Dr. Benjamin Smith, PhD, wins Excellence in Fragrance Science award
The Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM) is delighted to announce that it has awarded Benjamin Smith, PhD, the fourth RIFM Board of Directors Excellence in Fragrance Science Award. Dr. Smith serves as Director for the Singapore Future Ready Food Safety Hub (FRESH) and the A*STAR Innovations in Food & Chemical Safety (IFCS) Programme. James C. Romine, PhD, RIFM’s President, presented Dr. Smith with the award at RIFM’s 56th Annual Meeting on September 14, 2022. (Read a report from Happi on the event.)
A career defined by working across sectors
Dr. Benjamin Smith earned Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of South Australia in Applied Science, Environmental Biology and Toxicology (1997) and Environmental Toxicology (1998). He completed his PhD in 2001 from the University of Adelaide in Chemical Sciences with Commendation.
In the two decades since earning his PhD, Dr. Smith has excelled as a risk assessor and toxicologist across academia, government, and industry. A strong proponent of collaborative research and the importance of embedding safety across the entire product development chain, he is particularly interested in developing risk-benefit frameworks and integrating human-relevant and socially responsible safety methodologies into the regulatory approval processes for new consumer products and foods.
From 2005 to 2018, Dr. Smith worked at the Swiss flavor and fragrance company Firmenich in the field of ingredient toxicology, risk assessment, and regulatory and scientific affairs. During his time in the industry, he supported developing and commercializing many new ingredients and technologies. In addition, working through organizations such as RIFM, IFRA, and IOFI, he actively helped shape global safety and regulatory guidelines for fragrance and flavor materials.
For the last five years, Dr. Smith has undertaken multiple simultaneous roles, including Director of Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research’s Future Ready Food Safety Hub (FRESH), Director of A*STAR’s Innovations in Food & Chemical Safety Programme, and Adjunct Associate Professor in Food Toxicology & Risk Assessment at Nanyang Technological University. He also remains active in the field of fragrance safety, maintaining advisory positions with RIFM and the industry. In addition, he is currently engaged in two research collaborations looking at consumer product habits and practices in Asia, working with RIFM and the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association of Singapore. Dr. Smith’s key objective is to establish Singapore as a leader in the safety and risk science field and to help promote the island republic and city-state as a hub for safe product innovation for the food and consumer product industries. A particular emphasis is on developing “future-ready” product safety systems that do not rely on animal testing.
About the RIFM Board of Directors Excellence in Fragrance Science Award
The RIFM Board of Directors, acknowledging the importance of excellence in science to the fragrance industry’s ongoing commitment to human health and the environment, established this annual award to recognize individuals worldwide who have shown outstanding dedication to the advancement of fragrance science. The award honors those whose contributions meet the highest standards in the industry for excellence and distinction by conducting original research and publishing in peer-reviewed journals on fragrance chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, physiology, biotechnology, toxicology, medicine, psychology, and public health. The previous award recipients were Andreas Natsch (2021), Peter Cadby (2020), and David R. Bickers (2019).
The RIFM Excellence in Fragrance Science Award is intended to provide timely recognition of original and significant contributions to fragrance science and may not be presented every year. A selection subcommittee appointed by the Board of Directors reviews all nominated candidates and recommends a finalist to the full Board of Directors for approval.