Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara is a chartered agricultural engineer, member of the Academy of Science of South Africa, and Distinguished Professor at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, where he holds the DST-NRF South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology. He joined Stellenbosch University in 2009, and is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf). He graduated in agricultural engineering from the University of Nigeria Nsukka, and holds a PhD from Massey University in New Zealand. His multi-disciplinary research team is the leading group worldwide working on postharvest practices that improve the postharvest handling, packaging and marketing of pomegranate fruit. Prof Opara is recognised globally as the leading individual researcher on postharvest technology of pomegranates. His current research focuses on innovative postharvest technologies for reducing losses, maintaining quality and adding value to agricultural and horticultural products. In recognition of his "excellence in research and building Africa's human resources capacity”, Prof. Opara received the 2015/2016 Impact Research and Science in Africa (IMPRESSA) Award by The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). He is the 2015 Laureate of the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award for Life and Earth Science, which was awarded to him at the African Heads of State Summit in Addis Ababa on 30 January 2016. He serves on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Horticultural Science and is the President of the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (CIGR). Recently, he was recognised by the African Union with the AU Kwame Nkrumah Continental Scientific Award for senior researchers, and is the 2015 IMPRESSA Award laureate. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Postharvest Technology, and has published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and industry journals.