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Shelly J Schmidt

Shelly J Schmidt
Shelly J Schmidt
Professor of Food Chemistry; Director of Assessment for the Undergraduate Food Science Program
(217) 333-6369
367 Bevier Hall


  • Ph.D. University of Illinois-1986


Dr. Shelly J. Schmidt received her Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986 under the direction of Dr. Marvin P. Steinberg. Before obtaining her Ph.D., Dr. Schmidt was employed at General Foods in Kankakee, IL for two years. Currently, Dr. Schmidt is a Professor of Food Chemistry in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL. In 1994-95, Dr. Schmidt spent her sabbatical leave at Tate & Lyle (formerly A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company), in the Research and Development Department and in 2007-08 she spent her second sabbatical leave in conjunction with the Visualization, Media, and Imaging Laboratory, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois developing visual explanations for the courses she teaches and teaching Water Relations in Foods courses for Kellogg's Company in Battle Creek, MI.

Dr. Schmidt has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate food science courses at both the Urbana-Champaign campus and the Chicago and Decatur Food Science Masters Extramural Programs. She has developed two campus-wide general education courses, a Natural Science course and a Composition II course. Dr. Schmidt is also an instructor in the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES) Teaching College Course, a program dedicated to teaching other professors how to teach. Dr. Schmidt has served as a USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program Panel Manager and is a former member of the Food Chemicals Codex Committee of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She collaborates with several food industries and analytical equipment companies.

Dr. Schmidt has received numerous campus and national teaching and research honors and awards. Dr. Schmidt is a University of Illinois Scholar, a University of Illinois Distinguished Teacher Scholar, and a charter member of both the College of Agriculture Academy of Teaching Excellence and the UIUC Campus Teaching Advancement Board. Dr. Schmidt is an associate editor for the Journal of Food Science Education and was one of the founding members of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Education Division (1997). Dr. Schmidt is a Fellow (elected in 2004) and a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists and a professional member of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Schmidt's husband, Art, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They have two children, Robbie and Annie. The Schmidt family enjoys living in the country with their two Australian Shepherds, Shadow and Rosebud.

Resident Instruction

  • FSHN 592 - Graduate Internship Experience
  • FSHN 595 - Water Relations in Foods
  • FSHN 101 - Introduction to Food Science and Nutrition

Research Interests

  • Dr. Schmidt's food materials science research program uses multi-level analytical techniques, such as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), Dynamic Vapor Sorption (DVS), Dynamic Dewpoint Isotherms (DDI), and Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) to elucidate the relationship between water and solids dynamics (mobility) and the physical, chemical, and microbiological stability and quality characteristics of food systems.

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Barbosa-Cánovas, G.V. Fontana, A.J., Schmidt. S.J., and Labuza, T.P. 2007. Water Activity in Foods: Fundamentals and Applications. Blackwell Publishing, Ames, IA. pp. 435.
  • Spackman, C.C.W. and Schmidt, S.J. 2010. Characterization of sugar gum paste by water sorption isotherm behavior and texture analysis. Food Chemistry, 119(2):490-499.
  • Schmidt, S.J. 2009. Development and Use of Visual Explanations: Harnessing the Power of the "Seeing" Brain to Enhance Student Learning. Journal of Food Science Education, 8:68-72.
  • Thomas L.C. and Schmidt. S.J. 2010. Thermal Analysis, Chapter 31, pp. 555-571. In "Food Analysis, 4th Edition." S. Suzanne Nielsen (Ed.). Springer, NY, NY. p. 602.
  • Li, Q., and Schmidt, S.J. 2011. Use of equilibrium and ramping water vapor sorption methods to determine the critical relative humidity at which the glassy to rubbery transition occurs in polydextrose. Journal of Food Science, 76(1):E149-157.
  • Yuan, X., Carter, B.P. and Schmidt, S.J. 2011. Determining the Critical Relative Humidity at which the Glassy to Rubbery Transition occurs in Polydextrose using an Automatic Water Vapor Sorption Instrument. Journal of Food Science, 76(1): E78-89.
  • Lee, J.W., Thomas, L.C., Jerrell , J., Feng, H., Cadwallader, K.R., and Schmidt, S.J. 2011. Investigation of thermal decomposition as the kinetic process that causes the loss of crystalline structure in sucrose using a chemical analysis approach (Part II). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, (59):702-712.
  • Lee, J.W., Thomas, L.C. and Schmidt, S.J. 2011. Investigation of the heating rate dependency associated with the loss of crystalline structure in sucrose, glucose, and fructose using a thermal analysis approach (Part I). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, (59):684-701.

Other Honors

  • Campus Teaching Excellence, Graduate Student Mentoring Award (2011)
  • FSHN Outstanding Adviser/Mentor (2010)
  • Institute of Food Technologist Achievement Award, Chicago Section (2010)
  • Arnold O. Beckman Research Award, Illinois Research Board (2009)
  • Teaching Award of Excellence, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (2009)
  • Marcel Loncin Research Prize Award, Institute of Food Technologists (2008)
  • UIUC Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (2007)
  • Central Regional Teaching Award, North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (2005)
  • Elected Fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (2004)
  • Excellence in Innovation in Undergraduate Instruction Using Educational Technologies, UIUC Campus Teaching Award (2004)
  • National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture E.B. Knight Journal Award (2003)
  • Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Science, USDA-NASULGC National Award (2002)
  • University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana Distinguished Teacher/Scholar Award (2001-2002)
  • National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teaching Fellow Award (2001)
  • Institute of Food Technologists William V. Cruess Award for Teaching Excellence (2001)
  • National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Jack Everly Award (2001)
  • College of ACES Team Award for Excellence (2001)
  • College of ACES Paul A. Funk Recognition Award (2001)

Courses Taught

  • ACES 199 - Learning HowTo Learn Boot Camp
  • FSHN 101 - Intro Food Science & Nutrition
  • FSHN 101 - The Science of Food
  • FSHN 130 - Introduction to Food Science
  • FSHN 593 - Seminar in Foods and Nutrition
  • FSHN 595 - Water Relations in Foods
  • FSHN 598 - Advanced Special Problems

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