PANG, Tiana

DegreePANG, Tiana

Bachelor of Food and Nutritional Science

Graduation year


Current position

Research Technician – Sensory & Consumer Science



What are some of your career highlights?

  • The Sensory capability at the CSIRO moved from NSW to VIC last year and I was involved in setting up the laboratory, establishing SOPs and recruiting an in-house panel of people to carry out “taste testing”
  • Carrying out analysis into the Giant Oyster Cracker (Trachinotus anak) which is a species of fish new to Australia. At the time I write this, the fish is being investigated in a wider project to assess its potential flesh quality and taste, and as an addition to the Australian aquaculture and seafood market
  • My colleagues and I won awards for our work in optimising baked goods for a clinical trial
  • Promoting CSIRO’s Sensory capabilities through AgCatalyst 2022 in NSW
  • Stepping into the Health and Safety Representative role for my team this year

Describe the most enjoyable and challenging aspects of your job

Working at CSIRO overall is very enjoyable because the culture is great, everyone works well together, and I’ve found that the leadership team are very supportive of the path that you want to take with your career. I’m very happy to get up in the morning and come to work every day!

Regarding my job, I’m a very hands-on person so I enjoy preparing samples, looking after the lab and making sure that any practical work undertaken is robust from a quality and safety perspective. I also enjoy the background research leading up to each project, seeing the data generated by the panel (i.e. how people perceived the samples they tasted and their comments/reactions) and finding out what this means for, say a client that requested the taste testing.

As for challenges… Last year, my partner and I became parents and I started with CSIRO when our daughter was 7 months old, so she was placed into childcare full time. We had also moved to a new house as well. Up until all these life changes, she had slept well but she started to wake up multiple times during the night and I’d be so sleep deprived and lacking energy, which is not great when you start a new job!

What are your strongest memories while you were studying at Federation University?

The class sizes were small, so it was easy to get to know other students as well as get one-on-one help from lecturers and tutors.

Do you have any advice about life after study to pass on to current students?

While you’re still a student and studying, use this opportunity to also get professional experience in the area you’re studying. It will put what you’ve studied into perspective; you’ll also gain other skills such as teamwork, communication, and organisation/time management which you can’t really learn from listening to lecturers or reading books. Also, lots of employers ask for qualifications as well as work experience these days and I think it’ll be difficult to find a job once you graduate if you don’t have both. Probably the easiest thing to do if you have zero experience is to take the initiative and contact companies asking to do placements/internships. From there, it’ll be easier to apply for entry level jobs and go from there.

That said, life is not all about work and study. You should work hard but don’t forget to have fun as well