Abbey Thiel is a lecturer at the University Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison) where she teaches junior and senior-level classes. She helps instruct food functionality, food manufacturing, food chemistry and senior-level classes. She completed both her Bachelors and PhD in food science at UW-Madison. After the 2020-21 school year she will be leaving UW-Madison for a postdoc position in the dairy group at Wageningen University and Research, the Netherlands. Abbey is a member of the AOCS Young Professional Common Interest Group (YP CIG) and recently was a panelist for the AOCS Midweek Mixer: Habits and Rituals.
Abbey was intereviewed by the newsletter editor of the YP CIG, Jing Zhou, Ingredion, Inc., USA.
What excites you about your work?
I’ve always really enjoyed working with students. I served as a teaching assistant for three years of graduate school and interacting with the students was always the highlight of my day.
With the pandemic, it’s been quite isolating working from home several times a week. I’m used to seeing a building full of food scientists every day! I’ve noticed that during classes is when I feel energized and excited.
It’s also been really fun to work with the seniors for the whole school year and see how much they’ve grown. It’s has been a really rewarding year even with all the challenges due to COVID-19.
How are you involved with AOCS?
I first got involved with AOCS as a PhD student. My advisor encouraged me to join the community and it’s been a wonderful place to present my research into the fat systems within ice creams and whipped toppings. I have sporadically volunteered for opportunities like Midweek Mixers and writing for the student common interest group newsletter. I have always found the AOCS community to be very inviting.
How do you hope or how has AOCS helped in solving challenges you encounter in your work and/or career?
Could you describe the focus of your blog and YouTube Channel? What inspired you to create them?
As soon as people find out I’m a food scientist I’m usually bombarded with questions. Is oat milk good for you? How long can meat sit out? Why is Champagne bubbly?