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5. A reflective researcher with skills in:
(a) Reading and evaluating research

5a3 Quantitative methodologies used in food research at A.F.R.L.

Development Plan Portfolio Documentation
Describe methodologies used while employed as mathematician and statistician at Australasian Food Research Laboratories (A.F.R.L.), a Division of Sanitarium Health Food Company in Australia. Demonstrate quantitative research capability from experience at A.F.R.L.

In 5b1.2 Notes and Reflections on Experience at A.F.R.L., I have described some of the work I did while employed as one of the scientists at Australasian Food Research Laboratories. I held this position for eight years, moving into business computing after that. Most of my work had to do with helping the other research scientists design ANOVA and RSM (Response Surface Methodology) experiments, analyzing the results, and then helping with the statistical interpretations. I had recently taken a course in Numerical Analysis as part of the coursework for my Master of Engineering Science (University of Newcastle, 1974), and put to good use the techniques I learned for matrix inversion, and solving mutliple linear regressions with quadratic functions. I have described one experiment where my task was to apply the laws of radioactive decay and plot the effectiveness of two methods of mixing different batches of Marmite using a radioactive isotope of Sodium.

I have been able to locate only two of the reports I wrote up from my time as a scientist in the laboratory. Most of the research I did personally related to instrumentation and measurement methods. The first of the reports I was able to find, "The Relationship Between Outside Air Humidity And Finished Biscuit Moisture", was written in September, 1977. I used a Stepwise Linear Regression procedure to analyze the results, and concluded that "humidity had no effect on Finished Biscuit Moisture". The other report was written in January, 1978, and is an example of research on a measuring instrument. The A.F.R.L. had designed an instrument for quickly determining the moisture content of a cereal called Weet-Bix (still Australia's number one breakfast food). The instrument incorporated scales for measuring weight before and after, and used Infra Red (I.R.) radiation to heat the biscuit and remove moisture. The report was called "Voltages In I.R. Moisture Meters" and the research revealed some errors both in the manual for the instrument and in the actual use of the instrument.

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Created: Sunday, February 20, 2000 05:44 PM
Last Modified: Thursday, January 31, 2002 10:36 PM