Friday, January 14, 2022

Congratulations to newly minted Emeritus AOCS member: Rob Ariaansz

Each year the AOCS Governing Board has the honor of approving long-term members for Emeritus status. Emeritus Members are those members who either meet qualifications for Retired Member and have completed 35 years of membership in the Society or are Retired Members who have served as a past President, won the AOCS Award of Merit winner or A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award winner, and have been accepted as an Emeritus Member with the approval of two-thirds of the Governing Board.

AOCS membership dues are free for the rest of Emeritus members' lives.

In 2022, 23 AOCS members achieved Emeritus membership. We will be spotlighting many of them throughout January.

Meet Rob Ariaansz

Rob Ariaansz
After his study of organic chemistry and military service, Rob joined the Dutch office of the Harshaw Chemical Company as an Assistant Sales Manager in the Catalyst Division in 1981.

Soon, he got involved with fats and oils and oleochemicals, as well as with a wide variety of other catalytic processes. In 1985, Rob became Product Manager for fats and oils hydrogenation catalysts.

After the acquisition of Harshaw by Engelhard and later on by BASF, he stayed intimately involved with the fats and oils and oleochemical industry.

How has your membership and involvement with AOCS influenced your career?

In my job, I was fortunate to be able to travel to customers all over the world. In the 1980s, it was decided to transfer production for fats and oils hydrogenation catalysts from the USA to the brand-new facilities in The Netherlands. We developed dedicated types for the US customers. At that time, my colleague and mentor, the late Bob Hastert (former AOCS President), thought it was high time for me to join the AOCS.

I got a chance to participate in many short courses and congresses as a lecturer and to contribute to the Lipid Library. On a number of occasions, I was asked to review publications. Also, we, as a company, organized various training sessions and product presentations all over the world, often together with other companies associated with fats and oils processing.

What advice do you have for early-career scientists/researchers who are at the start of their careers?

The first AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo I attended was the one in Hawaii in 1986. What a wonderful experience that was! From that time on, I joined practically each and every Annual Meeting in the USA and Canada. It was always a great chance to meet customers and other people involved with the processing of fats and oils and of course to stay abreast of new developments.

In addition, the Annual Meetings offered a convenient opportunity to travel to our labs and production facilities in the USA to keep in touch with colleagues.

Congratulations, Rob, and thank you for your contributions to AOCS and the scientific community! Learn more about the different types of AOCS membership.

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