Halak Mehta, M.S. (Candidate for Director)

Halak Mehta, M.S. is a student member of Phi Tau Sigma. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Food Science at Purdue University, with a research focus on the development of artificial intelligence tools for improved texturization of plant-based meat analogues. Halak earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from B.M.S College of Engineering (India), and a M.S. in Food Science from Purdue University. Her master’s thesis focused on development of a novel device for rapid measurement of food thermal properties at high temperatures. Design of thermal processes, especially aseptic processes, can be significantly improved by quick and accurate measurement of thermal properties of the food matrix at elevated temperatures.

Halak has been actively involved in professional organizations throughout her academic career. She founded the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Chapter in her alma mater, one of the first Chapters of the organization in India. During her time at Purdue, she has represented graduate students at the department, college, and university level. She has served as a Senator in the Purdue Graduate Student Government, as graduate student representative for the College of Agriculture (CoA) Graduate Chairs Council, the CoA Graduate Student Advisory Board, and the Department of Food Science Graduate Committee. The goal of opportunities for all is profoundly important to her. To this end, she has served on the Diversity Action Team at Purdue and as a member of the Shared Governance Task Force to create a more equitable and inclusive structure of Purdue’s governing body.

Since being inducted in Phi Tau Sigma at the Hoosier Chapter, Halak has been a member of several committees. She is a long-time member and the immediate past Chair of the ad hoc Student Relations Committee, and a member of the Chapters Affairs Committee and the Communications Committee. She is also the current Vice President of the Hoosier Chapter.

Vision for ΦΤΣ: I am honored to be considered for the role of Director of Phi Tau Sigma. Since becoming involved with Phi Tau Sigma, I have had the opportunity to learn from the leaders, pioneers and visionaries of the food science and technology arena. As a young scientist, I would like to work towards expanding the reach of Phi Tau Sigma so more and more students benefit from the expertise, experience, and mentorship of the esteemed members. As a long-time member and immediate past Chair of the ad hoc Student Relations Committee, our efforts have been targeted towards increasing recruitment and member engagement through novel initiatives and on platforms such as social media, which are frequented by the younger generation of food scientists. I am deeply interested in leading and supporting such initiatives at all levels of Phi Tau Sigma.