“For me, the award means a lot,” Flores said. “First of all, it’s my alma mater. I did work on my dissertation there and I later taught grain science and was involved in their international grain program. This recognition is very rewarding. Also, it’s a very strong recognition for our college and very prestigious for NMSU. It’s a great recognition from the only formal grain science program in the U.S.”
Flores earned his Ph.D. in Grain Science at KSU in 1989, becoming one of only six Ph.D.s in grain milling in the world at the time. His areas of research included processing systems simulation, economic feasibility studies of processing operations, product quality, and heat and temperature movement in stored grain.
Flores’ career was heavily influenced by his time at KSU, which included several professional posts.
From 1988-1990 at KSU, he taught the Management Factor in Milling Technology II in the Department of Grain Science and Industry. He taught the Processing Factor in the Agroindustrial Project Analysis Short Course, as well as Grain Storage and Marketing; Grain Grading, Storage and Handling. During that time Flores went to Haiti as a leader of a technical assistance team to evaluate the milling operations of La Minoterie D’Haiti.
From 1990-1993, Flores worked in the Cooperative Extension Service’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at KSU as an assistant professor and Food Engineering Extension Specialist. He developed and implemented programs to provide information and technical assistance to food producers and processors related to the design, selection, maintenance and utilization of processing equipment for enhancing agricultural products for food and non-food markets.
During that time, Flores also pursued funds for and directed the construction and operation of the Kansas Value-Added Thermal Processing Laboratory at KSU. He taught milling simulation and management short courses in the Department of Grain Science and Industry and conducted research on wheat processing, adding value to low-grade agricultural products, the development of thermoplastics from wheat and corn starch, the uses of foodservice processing waste, and the measurement of physical properties of biomaterials.
Flores later worked as an associate professor at KSU from 1996-2001 and held the G.M. Ross Professorship. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses in grain milling engineering, grain processing and mill management systems. Flores conducted research on the simulation and optimization of the wheat milling process, dry/wet sorghum milling, waste/residues from food industries, and the utilization of grain processing byproducts. He also taught grain processing courses in Mexico and Chile.