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NMSU’s College of ACES Dean Flores receives KSU’s Outstanding Alumni Award

As an engineer and scientist in grain processing, New Mexico State University’s Rolando A. Flores, dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has been selected to receive the Kansas State University Department of Grain Science and Industry’s Outstanding Alumni Award.


Man in jacket and yellow shirt
New Mexico State University College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Dean Rolando A. Flores. (Courtesy photo)

“This award recognizes Grain Science alumni who have made a significant positive impact on or contribution to the field of grain science,” said Gordon Smith, professor and head of Grain Science and Industry at KSU. Smith said the award “represents the values and mission of the department on behalf of our alumni, faculty, staff and students.”

“The faculty, staff and students of the Grain Science and Industry department take great pride in the accomplishments and contributions of our alumni,” Smith said. “Dean Flores’ impact on our industry not only positively reflects, but also extends and enhances the visibility and reputation of our department.”

Flores has been invited to receive the award at the Grain Science and Industry Student and Industry Awards Banquet on April 20 at KSU. The event also will highlight the awards and scholarships received by the department’s students, faculty and staff at the banquet.

“For me, the award means a lot,” Flores said. “First of all, it’s my alma mater. I did work on my dissertation there and I later taught grain science and was involved in their international grain program. This recognition is very rewarding. Also, it’s a very strong recognition for our college and very prestigious for NMSU. It’s a great recognition from the only formal grain science program in the U.S.”

Flores earned his Ph.D. in Grain Science at KSU in 1989, becoming one of only six Ph.D.s in grain milling in the world at the time. His areas of research included processing systems simulation, economic feasibility studies of processing operations, product quality, and heat and temperature movement in stored grain.

Flores’ career was heavily influenced by his time at KSU, which included several professional posts.

From 1988-1990 at KSU, he taught the Management Factor in Milling Technology II in the Department of Grain Science and Industry. He taught the Processing Factor in the Agroindustrial Project Analysis Short Course, as well as Grain Storage and Marketing; Grain Grading, Storage and Handling. During that time Flores went to Haiti as a leader of a technical assistance team to evaluate the milling operations of La Minoterie D'Haiti.

From 1990-1993, Flores worked in the Cooperative Extension Service’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at KSU as an assistant professor and Food Engineering Extension Specialist. He developed and implemented programs to provide information and technical assistance to food producers and processors related to the design, selection, maintenance and utilization of processing equipment for enhancing agricultural products for food and non-food markets.

During that time, Flores also pursued funds for and directed the construction and operation of the Kansas Value-Added Thermal Processing Laboratory at KSU. He taught milling simulation and management short courses in the Department of Grain Science and Industry and conducted research on wheat processing, adding value to low-grade agricultural products, the development of thermoplastics from wheat and corn starch, the uses of foodservice processing waste, and the measurement of physical properties of biomaterials.

Flores later worked as an associate professor at KSU from 1996-2001 and held the G.M. Ross Professorship. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in grain milling engineering, grain processing and mill management systems. Flores conducted research on the simulation and optimization of the wheat milling process, dry/wet sorghum milling, waste/residues from food industries, and the utilization of grain processing byproducts. He also taught grain processing courses in Mexico and Chile.