Fernando J. Aguirre is Senior Vice President, Contracts & Services at Heat Transfer Research, Inc. (HTRI). He has held many positions during his 27+ years at HTRI, starting as Senior Research Engineer with responsibilities in research and software development in shellside flow and vibration, extended surfaces, and fired heaters. He then held positions as Director of Research, Director of Marketing and Technical Training, Vice President, Sales & Business Development, and most recently Senior Vice President, Global Sales. Prior to joining HTRI he was a research engineer at Bethlehem Steel Corporation and Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Fernando received his undergraduate chemical engineering education from Universidad T. F. Santa Maria, Valparaiso, Chile, and his MS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PA), USA. He is a Fellow of AIChE and a licensed PE in Texas. In addition to his involvement in the Management Division, he is Treasurer of the Dallas Section and has served as Chair of the Student Chapters Committee, Director of the former Heat Transfer and Energy Conversion Division, and member of the Publications Committee.
Joe Cramer is Director Emeritus, Technical Programming, for AIChE. He was appointed Director in 1994 and retired from full time employment in January 2012. Previously, he had nearly 25 years of experience with major engineering companies in a variety of technical management positions. Joe had extensive experience as an expert witness and managing others presenting expert testimony. He received his BS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Chemical Engineering Practice from the MIT Practice School. Joe is a Fellow of AIChE and a licensed PE in Texas. In addition to his involvement in the Management Division, he also serves on the Licensing and Professional Development Committee, the Admissions Committee, Membership Committee, Research and New Technology Committee, Fellows Council of AIChE, and the ChE PE Exam Committee of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). He is a past chair of the Environmental Division and Admissions Committee. Joe is married and resides in western North Carolina near Asheville.
Mahdi Nouri is Technical Director – Midstream at Jacobs Consultancy. He has a solid gas treating and processing and cryogenic gas processing (NGL and LNG facilities) experience as Gas Processing Subject Matter Expert for consultancy, feasibility and conceptual study, economic analysis, optimization, troubleshooting, debottlenecking, operation support, and safety review management of midstream facilities. Mahdi has held key leadership roles in design of over two-dozen gas processing plants, five LNG facilities, and four world-class cryogenic gas processing plants during commissioning and start-up. Mahdi is a graduate of Azad University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. He is a Fellow of Institute of Chemical Engineers (FIChemE), and Chartered Engineer (CEng). In addition to his involvement in the Management Division as Secretary, he also serves Vice Chair of GPA Midstream facilities design, operation & maintenance; member of GPA Midstream program committee; and Director of AIChE Fuels & Petrochemicals Division (2017-2020). He has organized and chaired several technical sessions in the world of gas processing, and has presented the AIChE Gas Utilization Keynote address and has also authored several GPA technical reports and papers. He is primary author for the Gas Treating and Processing: Practices in Design and Operation Book (CRC Press).
Bill Welker has over 35 years of experience in Food Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management, including several international assignments, at Nestlé Purina Europe, Brach’s Confections Asia Pacific, Frito-Lay, Inc., and Hunt-Wesson Foods. Bill served as Plant Engineer for Frito-Lay’s factories in Kirkwood NY and Chamblee GA, and Production Manager at the plant in San Jose, CA. During his time with Brach’s Confections, Bill served as VP of Engineering at their Chicago Facility, and then as VP of Operations for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore and Hong Kong, and was responsible for the construction of a chocolate manufacturing facility in China. Bill has served as VP of Product Supply of Ralston Purina’s international operations, where he was responsible for the construction of a Pet Food factory in Australia. He also served as Director of Nestlé Purina’s European Supply Chain. Most recently he has been coordinating the implementation of large information systems projects for Nestlé’s operations in USA. Bill obtained both his B.S in Chemical Engineering and his MBA from Cornell University.
Mark Swientoniewski has 39 years of broad-based chemical and nuclear engineering experience; 35 years have included management of projects. His experience includes project management, subcontract technical management, financial project management, procurement, proposal writing and evaluation, strategic planning, engineering design, system startup, operation of physical, chemical, and thermal treatment systems for hazardous, radioactive, and mixed wastes; troubleshooting treatment systems, preparing and negotiating numerous permit applications with the EPA and state regulatory agencies; and conducting incinerator trial burns. Experiences include project engineering, conceptual and detailed engineering design, process control and instrumentation design and troubleshooting, hazardous operations analysis, nuclear facility safety analysis, remedial investigation/feasibility studies (RI/FS), resource recovery and treatment technology design and operation, Superfund site investigations, innovative technology research and development, pilot-plant and laboratory design and operation, and analytical method development. Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (1979). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Tennessee and New York, has published six technical journal articles, and is certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt. Mark is a member of the AIChE serving the Knoxville-Oak Ridge section as Chair in 2007 and 2016 and as an executive board member since 2002. Mark was the 2017 Chair of the AIChE Management Division.
George Newcomb spent 27 years in process engineering, operations supervision, technical management, and organization consulting with E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, Inc. George has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University. An innovative leader, manager, and resource in the field of human resource effectiveness with expertise in personal and organization development. Specific areas of strength include leadership development, strategic planning, organization design, and systemic change. Instrumental in the design and implementation of high performance organization principles and concepts in non-profit and manufacturing organizations in the U.S. and abroad and in public schools at the building, district, and state levels. As President and Owner of Newcomb Associates, he worked for 25 years in human resource development consulting, of which 15 years were involved in safety management consulting. Currently serving as Director and Awards Committee Chair of the Management Division and holds the position of Senior Member Emeritus with 52 years as a member of AIChE.
Harold T. Conner, Jr. has five decades of DOE and NNSA experience. He has built an extensive record cost-effectively and safely managing and revitalizing facilities and infrastructure at SRS, Y-12, K-25, INEEL, and LLNL. He is extremely knowledgeable about DOE construction management regulations, site planning, environmental remediation, emergency management, and FIRP prioritization methodologies. He is the recipient of DOE Secretary and NNSA awards for outstanding facilities accomplishments. He is a strong champion of safety and continuous improvement and has achieved exemplary safety records. Harold is a Six Sigma champion and has led teams that have produced nearly $500 million in documented savings. He is known for worker involvement initiatives as part of the Integrated Safety Management System process. Harold received his BS and MS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee and PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Alabama Huntsville.
Markus E. Scheller has worked for several companies including BASF, Ciba-Geigy for almost 30 years. After receiving his PhD in organic chemistry at the ETH in Zürich (1985), Markus started as research chemist at Syntex in Palo Alto California. In 1987 he moved to Switzerland working for Ciba-Geigy in Process Development. In 1989 he co-led a major international project creating fully automated chemical synthesis production facilities in Switzerland (Kaisten) and USA (McIntosh). Consequently he joined the US team in McIntosh Alabama for 14 years, first as head for production Specialty Additives, then for Antioxidants. Markus was named Process Development head NAFTA in 1999, with facilities in Puebla, McIntosh, Canada. In 2001 he was appointed to lead the Global Process / Technology department for the Additive division with activities in USA, India, Japan, Mexico, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, etc. Then in 2008 Dr. Scheller was transferred to Switzerland and was nominated as Site Manager of the BASF production facility in Monthey. In 2016 he left BASF and is currently self-employed and functions as Operations Management advisor and Board member of smaller companies.
Brandon Harding has held several engineering and value chain optimization roles within the oil & gas and manufacturing industries. Brandon has been awarded multiple Business Leader & Chairman Awards for his success with implementing projects related to process improvement (business & technical) and capability. Brandon is also an advocate for Diversity & Disability Inclusion, and has been elected as a 2018 Rising Leaders Program Mentor through the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN). He has earned his Engineer in Training (EIT) certification and is a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB). He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a M.Eng. in Management Science from Lehigh University.
Quinta Warren is a chemical engineer with experience in energy and sustainability. She is currently an AAAS Fellow at the US Department of Energy and was previously with ConocoPhillips for six years. She holds a PhD in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University. Quinta owns a consulting company called Engineering Research Consulting that focuses on issues related to energy, sustainability, and process design/optimization. She is part of a group that started the STEM-focused Dakar American University of Science and Technology in Senegal.
Kate Gawel is Sr. Commercialization Project Lead, Beverages, at Campbell Soup Company. After receiving her B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering with Honors in Food Science and a minor in Engineering Entrepreneurship from the Schyerer Honors College at Penn State, she began her career as a project engineer at a Kraft Foods plant. Over the past 8 years, Kate has held a number of roles in engineering, project management, and product R&D. She has been an active member of AIChE since joining the Penn State student chapter as a freshmen and since graduation has held leadership roles in both the Young Professionals Committee and North Jersey Local Section. Kate was elected to the board of directors in the fall of 2016 and is currently serving a three year term (2017-2019).