Rhonda Miller | AIChE

Rhonda Miller

Professor and AgriLife Research Fellow
Texas A&M University

Rhonda Miller earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Journalism in 1978, a Master of Science degree in 1982 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1983 in Animal Science (Meat Science) from Colorado State University.  She conducted her dissertation research at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska.

In 1983, Rhonda was employed by Monfort, Inc. as Director of Research and Development.  Her responsibilities included defining new product formulations, specifications, shelf-life determinations and production procedures for new and existing products.  She assisted in designing a new meat processing facility and she investigated and implementation improvements for existing products.  During her tenure, she was responsible for the introduction of over 300 new products.

In 1988, Rhonda Miller joined the Animal Science faculty at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993 and to Professor in 1999.  She has taught graduate and undergraduate meat science courses and has taught in the Food Safety and Inspection Service Training program.  She has developed a research program on the aspects of the palatability, composition and shelf-life of meat products.  Rhonda has trained over 66 graduate students and 2 post-doctorial professionals.  Her research program has been strongly supported by outside grant support from industry associations, private industry and government sources.  Highlights of her research accomplishments include: the revision of beef cooking guidelines for the foodservice industry; identification and documentation of the role of sodium lactate, sodium diacetate, and sodium propionate to extend the shelf-life and enhance the flavor of enhance fresh beef and pork whole muscle steak and roast products, cooked beef, ground beef and cooked turkey rolls; utilization of calcium injection of pre-rigor beef from mature cattle to improve meat tenderness; identification of cooking methods to maximize the palatability of lean beef; evaluation of value-determining systems for pork; examination of the use of ultrasound and a new technology called "elastography" to identify composition and quality attributes of beef and pork carcasses; determination of customer satisfaction for beef; determination of consumer's perception between beef tenderness and value; use of hot water and lactic acid to increase shelf-life and safety of pork and beef trimmings; the effect of pork quality characteristics on consumer perception; and the influence of genetic type on ham quality and processing characteristics.  She has been instrumental in understanding factors that affect beef flavor and consumer perceptions of beef flavor.  She is recognized as an expert in meat sensory scientist.  Rhonda strives to incorporate her industry experience into her teaching and research activities and emphasizes the application of her research findings.  

Rhonda was the recipient of the 1992 American Meat Science Achievement Award, the 2006 American Meat Science Teaching Award, the 2015 American Meat Science Research Award, and the 2016 American Society of Animal Science Meat Science Research Award.  She was a Director for the American Meat Science Association from 1998 to 2000 and served as President-elect, President, and Past President of the American Meat Science Association from 2017-2019. She has won several professional awards; has served on numerous professional committees; and has served on the Genetic Programs Committee, the Production Systems Committee, the Quality Solutions Team and the Animal Science Committee of the National Pork Board. She was honored as an AgriLife Faculty Fellow in 2017.