Picture of Richard W. Hartel

Richard W. Hartel

Class of 2017

Richard W. Hartel was born October 22, 1951 in Brooklyn, NY, to Paul and Wilma Hartel along with his three sisters and two brothers, Irene, Kathy, William, Paul and Nancy. After graduating from Sewanhaka High School, Rich says he did not know what he wanted to do other than go to college and keep learning, but he couldn’t afford a “good” college so found the in-state school that was farthest from home to attend.

He ended up graduating from State University College of NY, Potsdam in 1972, with a BA in Physics. From there, he worked his way west to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Co, where he earned a MS in Agricultural Engineering in 1976, and a PhD in Agricultural and Chemical Engineering in 1980.

Rich initially worked as a Research Chemical Engineer for Eastman Kodak Co. before entering academia as a Research Associate with University of Arizona and then Michigan State University. He joined the faculty of University of Wisconsin (UW), Department of Food Science in 1986.

The following year he married Paula in Mason, MI. They have two children, Annakate and Scott.

During his first three weeks as an Assistant Professor, Rich sat in on the NCA Resident Course at Uw-Madison. By the next year, he was teaching the course and eventually became the coordinator with the retirement of Professor Joe von Elbe, who was one of the course initiators in 1963. when NCA dropped their support of the course, Rich says he reorganized and now conducts the course himself. Rich is currently a full professor of Food Engineering and Vice-Chair for Undergraduate Programs at Uw-Madison.

Rich’s confectionery-related research projects include controlling phase transitions of sugar, caramel, lipids and ice cream.

Rich is a prolific writer and contributor to scholarly journals including over 140 refereed publications, 38 non-refereed publications, 30 book chapters and 16 books. He also has been awarded four patents. He is involved in editing numerous journals and is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists. Rich says he looks at all the book writing that he does as a hobby, especially the books he has written and still working on with his daughter — Food Bites, Candy Bites, and now Chocolate Bites.

In his first year as a faculty member, Rich was brought to an AACT meeting and introduced to all the industry leaders. He then attended a PMCA meeting and has been a regular at both meetings during the years. He says it was natural to become involved with Milwaukee AACT since he could make sure his students got exposure to the industry. He is a two-time recipient of the PMCA Marie Kelso Award, recipient of the Institute of Food Technologists Research & Development Award and the American Association of Candy Technologists Stroud Jordan Award.

Rich has run 19 marathons and bicycles to work every day. He likes to travel and makes a point of visiting candy companies.