Skip to content

AURI’s new faces

Carmen McEwen, AURI’s new deputy director of science and technology, brings an international flair, strong interest in innovation, and experience developing food, cosmetic, oral care and nutraceutical products to the Institute.

A native of Venezuela, McEwen previously worked in innovative solution development at Nine Sigma, Inc. of Nashville, Tenn. She has business-development experience in the United States, Latin America and Pacific Rim and was a lecturer at Massey University in New Zealand. She has also worked for Cargill and FMC Corporation.

McEwen holds a Ph. D. in food technology and engineering from the University of Washington and an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management. At AURI, she will oversee technical staff and direct projects from AURI’s Marshall office.

AURI attracted her because of “the variety of projects and the opportunity to apply technology to help business,” McEwen says. “We have the capability to apply that knowledge and technology in service to the public.”

“Dr. McEwen comes to AURI with a tremendous amount of experience that we can draw from to help build solid value-added projects that make a difference in Minnesota,” says AURI Executive Director Teresa Spaeth. “Her focus on innovation and finding creative solutions will be very valuable

to AURI and our clients.”

Katherine Beyer has joined AURI as project development director serving southeast Minnesota. The Willmar, Minn. native will also be involved with government relations. Before joining AURI in September, Beyer was the Minnesota House of Representatives agriculture, rural economies and veterans affairs committee administrator. She previously served the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, providing consumers with information and resolving complaints. She served as a mediator who negotiated agreements between consumers and companies.

“I want to continue to be involved in issues related to rural vitality, agriculture and renewable energy,” Beyer says. “AURI’s philosophy on growth and innovation appeal to me. I am excited to become a member of the team.”

Beyer earned her bachelor’s degree in English and environmental studies from the University of Minnesota – Morris.

Minnesota meat processors have a new resource: Carissa Nath, a meat technologist who recently joined AURI’s animal products laboratory. A Canyon, Texas native, Nath holds a master’s degree in animal science from South Dakota State University where she was coach of the SDSU meat-judging team. She earned her bachelors degree from Texas Tech.

“Research and development was something that really attracted me to this position,” Nath says. “I‘m looking forward to helping develop new products.”

Nath is working with turkey processors on a taste panel and with pork producers on new value- added products.

“The animal product industry is very important to Minnesota and to AURI,” says AURI Executive Director Teresa Spaeth. “Her expertise and enthusiasm for working with the state’s processors will be very valuable.”