Daniel Y. C. Fung, PhD, an emeritus professor of food science at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, passed away Dec. 1, 2019.
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Professor Fung was an internationally renowned microbiologist, teacher, author, and consummate advocate of rapid methods and automation in microbiology. He truly enjoyed working with students and young professionals. During his long and illustrious career, he taught more than 17,000 students, supervised more than 90 MS and PhD graduate students as the major professor, and mentored countless undergraduate students and developing food safety professionals around the world.
As foodborne pathogens were being recognized as the most significant food safety hazards, Professor Fung’s pioneering research on rapid methods and automation in food microbiology and the Kansas State University Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology Workshop were instrumental in raising awareness and encouraging widespread application of useful diagnostic tools for the food industry.
He received numerous awards and honors for his work, including being made fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), the International Academy of Food Science and Technology, and the Institute for Food Science and Technology (UK). He also earned the International Award from the IFT in 1997 and the Waksman Outstanding Educator Award from the Society of Industrial Microbiology in 2001.
In addition to his important contributions to the field of food science, Professor Fung was a prize-winning pianist, often entertaining audiences with impromptu performances at various international conferences. He greatly enjoyed cooking, taught Chinese cooking classes, and self-published a cookbook with his family called Chinese Cooking Without Sweat.
His cheerful, optimistic disposition, his love, care, and concern for his students, and his tireless energy will be remembered by all who knew him. He will be missed.