Name: Ursula Hosking
Job: Senior growth platform technologist
What does your job entail? I work for a beverage company. I look into future trends and what’s possible for future products from a technical angle – including new ingredients and processing technologies. We collaborate with New Zealand Universities and our wider global research team in Japan and Europe.
How long have you been doing it? A year and a half.
What led you to this job? I’d studied food technology. While at university, and then for my first job, I was involved in scientific food processing research.
What attracted you to this line of work? I always wanted to do something to combine research and working in the food tech industry. With my current job I am doing exactly that: skimming through research papers to identify opportunities for future beverage ingredients and processing technologies.
What training was involved? I did a degree in food technology at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany, and a PhD in chemical and process engineering at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.
What do you love most about your job? I love to do beverage prototypes. Based on current trends and research, we think up new concepts for new products. We imagine what it will look like, what it will taste like and then go into the lab to make it. I also really enjoy creating the label to make the product come alive. With our technical background knowledge we are in the position to pitch our ideas to marketing for potential future products. We’re not really the decision makers – we’re the inspirers.
And what are the worst bits? The paperwork – filling in the details on specifications of each ingredient.
What motivates you in your work? Mostly the people – working in a great team.
What are your career goals? Maybe after working in the industry for a decent amount of time I’ll go back to teaching in a university.
Do you have any key mentors or people who have influenced you? Many people at different moments in time.
Where did you grow up and what was it like? I grew up in Bavaria, Germany and went to Goethe High School in Regensburg. It was great to grow up there!!