In Memoriam: Owen R. Fennema


  • Owen R. Fennema

Jan. 23, 1929 – Aug. 1, 2012

We are saddened by the news that former IFT President and Editor-in-Chief of IFT Scientific Journals Owen Fennema passed away due to cancer on August 1st. Owen had been a member of IFT since July 1956 and an IFT Fellow since 1980. He served as president of IFT in 1982–3, and received many awards and honors during his career, including the William V. Cruess award for excellence in teaching food science and technology (1978), the Carl R. Fellers award for bringing honor to the profession through a distinguished career (1988), and the Nicholas Appert award for preeminence in and contributions to the field of food technology (1988). His volunteer contributions to IFT were extensive, including service on many committees, award juries, task forces, the Feeding Tomorrow Board of Trustees, the Expert Panel of Food Safety & Nutrition, and more.

Owen served as Editor-in-Chief of IFT's Scientific Journals from January 1999 to September 2003. During his tenure, he developed the section-based Scientific Editor/Associate Editor board structure that we continue to use, championed and launched the online-only Journal of Food Science Education and Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, assisted the transition from paper submission to online electronic submission, reduced the time from submission-to-decision and decision-to-publication, and established the “Industrial Applications” column in each issue.

To say that Dr. Fennema had an impact on the food science community and on IFT is a gross understatement. A video in remembrance of Owen can be viewed at

Memorials may be made in Owen's name to Agrace Hospice Care at 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, (608) 276-4660,

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