Dr. Pan has been conducting innovative research and development in novel and new processing and biorefinery technologies for food and agricultural products and their byproducts for improved nutrition, value, quality, sustainability, efficiency and food safety.
The food related research has been focused on drying (infrared-, air-, spray-, drum- and freeze-drying); infrared heating for peeling, blanching, roasting, stabilization, disinfestation and disinfection; ultrasonic assisted processing; ultraviolet; pulsed electric filed technology; extrusion; separation and extraction; thermal and chemical modifications; wet and dry milling; characterization of thermal, chemical, physical, and rheological properties of agricultural and food products; acoustic and enzymatic methods; food-processing equipment and system design; numerical modeling of heat and mass transfer and optimization of food-processing; and food quality evaluation and control.
The non-food related research devoted to biobased materials, biofuels and bioenergy, including development of bio-based adhesive, agricultural product-based particleboards, pretreatment of agricultural wastes or by-products for production of sugars/bioethanol and biogas. The research used various advanced methods, including magnetic resonance imaging, dynamic vapor sorption, dynamic mechanical analysis, differential scanning colorimetry, and scanning electron microscopy.
Dr. Pan joined Archer Daniel Midland (ADM) Co. in 1998, UC Davis in 2000 and USDA-ARS in 2003 and has been conducting creative research and teaching in food and agricultural product processes in research institutes, academia and industry and received 66 research grants. Several processing technologies have been implemented by the food industry. He has authored more than 330 publications (196 peer reviewed journal publications), 16 patent applications, 3 books (lead editor, 2 in press) and 27 book chapters. All of his publications and presentations have been well received by academia and industries.
In addition, he has mentored 34 Ph.D. and 27 M.S. students, 36 post-docs and visiting professors and students from 16 countries. Dr. Pan received numerous awards including the Research and Development Award – Institute of Food Technologists (2018), Award for Outstanding Commercialization Success – Federal Laboratory Consortium (Far West) (2017), Technology Transfer Award – Pacific West Area, USDA-ARS (2017), Life Achievement Award – Chinese American Food Society (2017), Distinguished Career Award – Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological, and Food Engineers (2017), the Herbert L. Rothbart Outstanding Early Career Research Scientist Award of the USDA-ARS (2007) and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2007 which is the highest honor for young scientists and engineers in the United States.
He was also the first Chinese American who received the PECASE award in agriculture field. He is well recognized nationally and internationally with his strong research program and achievements, has been invited as a plenary session speaker at national and international conferences, and received the You Bring Charm to the World – Influential Chinese Award (2008) as one of the three scientists selected word-wide and honored each year and Chinese Government Friendship Award – China (2017) (the highest honor to foreign experts). His research and achievements have widely reported through TV, newspaper, magazines, and internet.
He has consulted for food companies and has been very active in professional societies, provided leadership in professional societies and co-organized several international conferences, and established strong domestic and international research collaborations. He severed as the President of Association of Overseas Chinese Agricultural, Biological and Food Engineers, President of Chinese American Food Society, Trustee of ASABE Foundation Board, Associate Director OF World Food Center – China at UC Davis, Associate Director of USDA-MOST (Ministry of Science and Technology, China) Agro-products Processing Virtual Center, Vice President of Asian Association for Agricultural Engineering, and Vice Chairman of Editorial Board of International Journal of Agricultural and Biological Engineering. He also serving as the Member of Advisory Committee of Foreign Experts, State Council of China and Member of International Research Advisory Panel, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi.