Mulvaney joined the Cornell faculty in 1990 as Assistant Professor with interests in the area of food processing and engineering. Prior to joining the Cornell faculty, he was Assistant Professor at the University of Missouri. He received his BS (Food Science) from the University of Massachusetts, and his MS (Food Science) and PhD (Food Science) from Cornell University.
My research program involves development of a polymer/material science based approach to characterizing foods and food materials. The unique aspect of this research is the integration of three separate and distinct areas into one new way of thinking about the physical properties and processing of soft solid foods and/or food materials such as wheat dough. The three general areas are: polymer science and physics, food polymer science, and development of new experimental techniques for characterizing the rheological properties of food polymers. The first two parts involve the building the scientific foundation, while the last involves using that science to develop new testing methods for viscoelastic foods. This approach is currently finding good acceptance in the area of development of new methods to characterize the rheological properties of wheat gluten. What is new is the interest of industry and government agencies in working together in this area.
My teaching interests parallel my research activities and include courses in physical principles of food processing and manufacturing, current issues in Food Science, and food biopolymer science. I try and integrate polymer science and physics, experimental rheological measurements with the principles of food science. This leads to a more quantitative approach to food processing.