Samir Brown

Samir Brown

Bachelor of Science (Honours) student
Bachelor of Science in Food Science

Being able to work with Frucor Suntory – a market leader in the energy drink and water sectors – was one of the highlights of studying food science at AUT, says Samir Brown who is currently completing a Bachelor of Science (Honours).

“In my final year, I worked with Frucor Suntory, which produces popular drinks like V Energy Drink, Just Juice, Fresh Up, H2go, Mizone and many more. During my year at Frucor Suntory, I conducted a process capability analysis of all products produced on a new manufacturing line and made recommendations for improvement.

“This experience truly made me appreciate the significance of what was taught in the lectures and labs at AUT. This valuable industry experience will greatly assist me in the future and in my current research. I was also lucky enough to be offered a full-time position for the summer break before I started my Bachelor of Science (Honours).”

Pushing the boundaries
Planning to find a quality assurance job within the beverage industry once he graduates later this year, Samir is currently researching wheat beer.

“Wheat beer is a specialty beer that originated from Germany in the 1500s, and has recently seen an increase in popularity. For my honours research, I’m working with Dr Rothman Kam to look at the novel development of blueberry wheat beer.

“There’s currently no fruity wheat beer available in the New Zealand market, and blueberry is a fruit of choice for wheat beer because it’s rich in antioxidants, phenolic compounds and anthocyanin.”

The research being conducted at AUT has the potential to change the future of the food and beverage industries, he says.

“Researchers at AUT are involved in new areas of research that aren’t being explored anywhere else. They’re pushing the boundaries of research and teaching within the food science industry, and reaching new horizons that could be the norm in few years’ time.”

Advice for other students
Samir has some great advice for other students considering a career in science.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions. AUT’s food science department is very inclusive and accommodating, and the lecturers are willing to go out of their way to help you if you show initiative. Their doors are literally open for you and their drop-in sessions are really valuable.”

Make the most of the opportunities to gain workplace experience, he adds.

“There are many summer jobs within the food science industry, which the lecturers and the AUT Employability and Careers team advertise regularly. These opportunities are a major boost to your career.”