Michael Walker, Referee Analyst, honoured by Queen's University

Dr Michael Walker, Head of the Office of the UK Government Chemist and Referee Analyst, has had the title ‘Professor of Practice’ conferred on him


Michael Walker

Michael Walker, a leading expert in food safety and authenticity, and a longtime partner of the Institute for Global Food Security, IGFS, has received an honorary professorship from Queen’s University Belfast.


Professor Walker said:

I am deeply honoured. It is a privilege to support the Institute for Global Food Security and Queens University Belfast. I look forward to continuing my work alongside those at the forefront of food safety, authenticity and sustainability, which I enjoy immensely. It is also a reflection of the high standards of science in the Laboratory of the Government Chemist (LGC).

A graduate of Queen’s, Sussex and Kingston universities, Dr Walker has always maintained close links with Queen’s. He worked alongside Professor Chris Elliott in the ‘Elliott Review’ into the integrity and assurance of food supply networks in the aftermath of the horsemeat scandal.


He has collaborated with a number of other IGFS scientists on research projects and publications and contributes to the supervision of final-year undergraduate projects alongside IGFS Emeritus Professor, Duncan Thorburn Burns.


Dr Walker also sits on the Industrial Advisory Board of the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s.


Michael is a champion of forensic measurement science, particularly as it applies to food allergens and authenticity, and remains a very active (and past local Chair) of the Institute of Food Science & Technology (IFST) and was awarded an honorary Fellowship of IFST.


Michael is experienced in the fields of public strategy and policy. After serving as Public Analyst in Northern Ireland he spent a short period as Chief Executive of Forensic Science NI before taking up post at the Office of the Government Chemist, at the UK National Measurement Laboratory in Teddington, southwest London.


In parallel, he has been a non-executive Director with the Consumer Council, a founder Board member of the Food Standards Agency and a Board member of AFBI, the Agrifood Biosciences Institute for NI. Michael applies his science in his own chemico-legal consultancy as an expert witness.


Professor Nigel Scollan, Director of IGFS, said the honorary professorship was a fitting acknowledgement of Dr Walker’s contribution:

Michael has given strong support and assistance to Queen’s over many years.We have benefitted from his insights into the bioanalysis of food allergens and in many other key food-safety and authenticity research areas and I look forward to continuing close collaboration.

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