Past Keynote Speakers

2018 Keynote speaker

March 24, 2018


Mohamed Yakub, Ph.D., Plant Biological Sciences, Stakman-Borlaug Center for Sustainable Plan Health, U of M, Minneapolis, MN.

Dr. Yakub is responsible for all outreach and education initiatives for the Stakman-Borlaug Center (SBC) for Sustainable Plant Health, University of Minnesota. HIs work connects researchers and their science with the community and educators by developing and sustaining relationships with teachers and community members and bringing them to campus, as well as bringing the science out to their spaces and making it accessable. In addition,  Dr. Yakub creates interdisciplinary teaching and engagement opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Yakub recently completed his Ph.D. in Plant Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences. During that time, his research interestes focused on characterizing ecological and evolutionary responses of plants to various environments, and in the last five years, Mohamed has studied how plants evolve in urban environments which are warmer, drier, and more polluted than neighboring rural areas.

Using his research experience and having been involved in organizing outreach efforts such as Market Science, Mohamed aims to combine education, outreach and event planning to engage with and educate the public about science. With his expertise, Mohamed hopes to incorporate an outreach, education or capacity-building component within every SBC project, where diverse groups of stakeholders can participate in both the teaching and learning process.

2016 Keynote speaker

April 2, 2016

Heidi Teoh, Ph.D. Principal Scientist; General Mills, Inc. Minneapolis, MN.


Heidi TeohDr. Heidi Teoh leads a Technology Application Innovation and Acceleration Team in the Thermal Applications Group at General Mills Inc.  She works with Technology Development, Marketing and Consumer Insights to track trends, develop new products and determine new areas for growth. Heidi brings together a food scientist’s technical understanding of product formulation/behavior and flavor development with a strong culinary mindset developed as a caterer.  

During her 16 years at General Mills, she has worked on and led development on a many new products for a number of General Mills brands. Currently, Heidi is Technical Lead for new technology applications and innovation in the Global Meals Platform. She has led development on a host of Progresso soups, including the initial launch of Progresso Light soups.  

Heidi attended H. D. Jacobs High School in northwestern Illinois, where she was very active in Science Fairs and was a student officer in the IJAS. She received her Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Illinois, where she did research in extrusion and carbohydrate chemistry/food polymers – specifically characterizing and modeling glass transition behavior in grain based food systems: Physical and chemical characterization of extruded cereal grains.  

When not working on the next big idea(s) in bringing technology innovation to life for General Mills, Heidi loves spending time with her husband and son inside in the kitchen (she is a self-described rabid baker with a 12 year old sourdough starter named Methuselah), at the 
orchestra and opera, and outside enjoying Minnesota’s parks, lakes and trails by foot or bike.