The interview: Professor Wu Wenbin, Henan University of Technology
Dr Wenbinhas been engaged in teaching and scientific research in regard to the grain processing industrywithin Henan University of Technology for an incredible 37 years.
He graduated from theDalian University of Technology and is a NTNU visiting scholar and Deputy Secretary General of China's Grain Committee for Standardisation.
Dr Wu is also Director of the Grain and Oil Machinery Research Institute of the Henan University of Technology. He has directed and completed the publication of over 135 papers and 18 national standards.
What exactly brought you into the milling industry?
At university I majored in grain engineering. After graduation, I was engaged in the teaching and scientific research of grain machinery at Henan University of Technology. Now, the university has long been committed to the research of basic theories and engineering technology in the field of grain production, and has established a complete discipline system integrating storage, transportation, processing, equipment, information and management.
It has the most complete grain, oil and food science group in China. It has 20 colleges and 67 undergraduate programs, three first-level disciplines authorised for doctorates and 20 first-level disciplines authorised for master's degrees.
I have been working for 37 years in the grain milling industry and have developed a very strong passion forthe grain machinery industry.I have drafted and revised many national standards for grain machinery and have published more than 130 articles. In particular, I have also trained many students to serve the food industry.
What do you see as a possible challenge that the industry may face over the next five years and how can we resolve this issue?
Food safety and the healthiness of food is something we need to pay special attention to. The improvement of design and manufacturing technology, the use of new technology and new materials, the continuous innovation of products and design methods will all assist in this greatly.
The most important thing is that we do a good job in educating and training professional for the professional talents.
Would you say that networking at events is more or less as important as the science and engineering that goes behind the technology within the flour and milling industry?
At present in China, networking plays a very important role in flour engineering technology and grain processing machinery, especially in business. Yes, the networking of grain engineering in the milling industry is more important, especially in China.
Building friendly relationships is especially important for every enterprise. Businesses are improving their concepts for customers, not just products, and also improving their services. 'Respect the customer, for the sake of all customers'.
You were recently also a judge for the GRAPAS Innovations Awards, which were held at the GRAPAS Conference at VICTAM International in Germany on June 13th. What do you think makes the GRAPAS Innovations Awards so special and interesting?
The GRAPAS Innovations Awards is a very good thing to milling industry. Throughthe GRAPAS Innovations Awards, we are able to select the latest technology and products in this industry that have made a meaningful different for the sector. It can promote and encourage more enterprises to improve products quality and carry out scientific innovations.
What do you think makes VICTAM International such an influential exhibition and event?
As a result of VICTAM's long-term operational activities and its efforts and contributions to the advancement of the grain and feed industry, it has become a household name in the grain and feed industry, especially in China and Southeast Asia.
Now, many Chinese enterprises have become more involved with VICTAM international. They want to attend VICTAM International as it can help improve Chinese enterprise's products and technology and help them to enter into the international market.
What is the latest trend in China, in regard to milling and food technology? Is anything especially popular at the moment?
We are now paying greater attention to food safety in the processing and storage of all products. Our country development plans are improving modern technology and equipment, so we are able to help advance the flour industry, improve production efficiency, reducing waste and reduce energy consumption.
What is your favourite aspect of working in this rewarding industry?
My main research is primarily directed towards grain machinery, including flour and rice processing and equipment. Much of my study and research is also regarding the basic theory of flour processing machinery, such as rollermills, plansifters, purifiers, separators, dry stones etc.
There is a lot of analysis, research and basic theory in relation to milling that we are continually learning here at the university.One particularly intriguing aspect is the study of roller cooling and roller quality detecting technology. We also learn the latest equipment technology and advancements from famous companies in the world.
Is the Henan University of Technology working on anything new for the food industry?
The scientific research of Henan University of Technology is mainly focused on the logistics, storage, processing, comprehensive utilisation and equipment of rice, flour, oil,grain and by-products.
We do have the State Key Laboratory for Wheat and Corn Processing and a National Key Laboratory for Grain Storage respectively. These laboratories areactively engaged in basic theory and applied research to serve the grain industry in China and specifically the Henan Province.
Do you find being a professor especially fulfilling, being able to teach young students the importance of food engineering and caring for our food in the future?
I like to teach students about milling knowledge and working on scientific research for the grain industry. I am happy to be able to train the technical personnel needed by the grain processing industry through my own work.
Because the development of the food industry requires a large number of engineers and technical workers who master professional knowledge, there is always a demand to teach more people about the importance of this industry. China currently has a population of 1.3 billion people,therefore grain safety and affording healthy food is our government and university and milling companies' duty.