Photo:

Julie Bland

Favourite Thing: Learning, discovering, solving problems! Knowing you are advancing human knowledge (even if only a bit ;) )

My CV

Education:

School of Agriculture at Poisy (France) 2005-2008, University of Reading 2008-2011, French school of Dairy Industry 2011, University of Reading 2012-2015

Qualifications:

French Baccalaureate in Agriculture, Honours Degree in Agricultural Business Management, Certificate in Cheese Technology .

Work History:

I have been a horse-riding teacher and working on different farms every summer since 2000

Current Job:

PhD student in Food and Nutritional Sciences (still a student but I get paid)

Employer:

University of Reading

Me and my work

I am a cheese scientist and my work at the moment is to use science to produce a lot of cheese which still tastes good!

To do this I try using milk from different breeds of cows and mixing them together to see what happens. This is a natural way of making more cheese and will help  cheese-makers make more money. It is very interesting  because what I found will have a direct impact on the industry and people, in a few years you could be eating cheese made using the method I am creating now! Also, I believe the best food is made naturally and with this new method I am showing you don’t need to add lots of artificial substances to make more or cheaper food (You won’t find horse meat in my cheese) !

 

My Typical Day

I don’t have a typical day, every day is different: some days I make cheese, others I analyse it in the laboratory ( and eat it :), I often travel to talk about my work to farmers and cheese-makers and sometime work in a office writing reports.

I love this job because it’s never boring. I am not always in a office or  lab and spend in fact quit a lot of time in wellies going to farms to pick up milk (it is quite a physical job).  Making cheese is very rewarding when you finish your day by putting 20 kg of cheese in the fridge plus getting free cheese for me and my friends is cool. Working in the lab is a bit repetitive but it gives you a real kick when you discover something nobody else knows. I also meet a lot of new people all the time ( farmers, cheese-makers, scientists, students…) and enjoy sharing what I know. Finally, I also spent some time in front of the computer writing reports and learning more about cheese,which I found very nice and relaxing after everything else.

 

What I'd do with the money

If I win, the money will be used to buy a small cheese-making kit to show students in neighbouring schools how cheese is made and how science helps to make better cheese.

I always found it very interesting to see that many people don’t know how cheese is made and why cheese varieties can be so different. Also many don’t believe that there is a complex science behind cheese making.  So I would like to be able to go to schools and show students how cheese is made and explain the science behind it.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Hard working, organized, creative

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Depends on the day! This is the great thing in my job I am always listening to music, the radio is playing in each lab and I listen to my ipod when I am making cheese.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

I would have to say taking care of all my animals (cats, dogs, horses, donkeys, cows and goats) which is fun everyday!

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Have an assistant so I can concentrate on the most interesting part of my work, becoming a world cheese expert :-) and get my own house.

What did you want to be after you left school?

I wanted to become an agricultural adviser to help farmers in developing countries

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, I used to get bored and chat with my friends all the time. It’s only at uni where I studied something I was really interested in that I became a good student.

What's the best thing you've done as a scientist?

Being able to help cheese-makers make better cheese which helps them and their family but also makes consumers happier!

Tell us a joke.

Other stuff

Work photos:

pictureNormally, Cheddar is made using milk from Holstein cows which produce a lot of milk.

pictureI try to produce Cheddar cheese by mixing normal Holstein milk with Jersey milk which produces less milk, but because it is richer in fat and protein produces more cheese. Also Jersey cows are smaller and need less water and food so using them to make cheese would be better for the envrionment!

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Where I make cheese!

Me and my cheese!picture

pictureI have now made more than 200kg of cheese!

Me outside of work with my  animals.

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