He defended his thesis with success (magna cum laude) in 2016 and his supervisors were Prof. Jorg Hinrichs and Prof. Bernd Hitzmann. The Jury chose The this PhD thesis as the winner because it was very detailed, published in high ranking scientific journals and comprised a lot of work from various disciplines: rheology, microscopy, sensory science, physical chemistry, and notably with a big eye for practical applications, the results were applied to yoghurt and fresh cheese. An impressive amount of seven peer-reviewed journals are in the thesis and next to that dr. Nöbel already published  7 other publications that are not in the thesis. He is currently head of the Milk Gels and Physical Analysis Group within the Soft matter science and dairy technology group of Prof. Hinrichs at the University of Hohenheim.

The jury consisted of dr. Elsa Antunes Fernandes, representing the Association for the Advancement of Dairy Science, Prof. Gert Jan Hiddink representing NZO and Prof. Tiny van Boekel, representing Wageningen University received a compilation of applications describing research performed in several European countries. 

The jury came to a unanimous decision about the one application that stood out among the others,  performed by dr. Stephan Nöbel.

There were two other candidates who submitted work of great quality and were awarded a certificate for excellence of work. One was the submission by Claire Berthon with her paper “Protein and lipid oxidation affect the viscoelasticity of whey protein layers at the oil–water interface”, published in Eur. J. Lipid Sci. Technol. The excellent work, was in the spirit of Pieter Walstra who, worked a lot on emulsions, though not on oxidation, so the paper was a very useful addition to our knowledge and very relevant for practical applications as well. Claire works at the Food Process Engineering Group at WUR.

The other submission is by dr. Jorien Peters who sent in her PhD thesis “Water binding of protein particles”  done at Food Process Engineering Group at WUR. Jorien studied water binding via TD NMR and demonstrated the potential using protein micro- and nano structuring, in a very comprehensive way, mostly with whey protein but also some other proteins, again  in the spirit of Pieter Walstra’s own work, and the jury was of the opinion that this was worth a certificate as well.

The Pieter Walstra Award has been introduced in 2011 by the Dutch Dairy Organisation (NZO) for the best publication related to dairy science and technology research. With this Award, the NZO honours the great contribution of Prof. Pieter Walstra to Dairy Science and Technology. The next Pieter Waalstra award will be honoured in 2020.