Career Paths Within Alternative Energy

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 5:30pm MDT
Event format: 
In-Person / Local
Posted by Laura Moes
3415 Colorado Ave
Boulder, CO 80303
United States

Presentation: Career Paths Within Alternative Energy

Date: Thursday, March 31, 2016   ** NOTE: Fifth Thursday of the month **


  • 5:30 Panelist Introductions including career history;
  • 6:00 Q&A Session;
  • 6:20 Refreshments in JSCBB lobby

Career Panelists: 

  • Alan (Al) W. Weimer, H.T. Sears Memorial Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Dr. Esther Wilcox, Principle Investigator and Manager at the National Renewable Energy Lab
  • Jerrod Hohman, P.E., Principal Engineer at Process Engineering Solutions, LLC

Location: Room A115, Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building (JSCBB), University of Colorado Boulder Campus, 3415 Colorado Ave, Boulder, CO 80303

Menu:  Pizza

Cost:  Members & Non-members $10; Students are free (Students must RSVP to Carrie Ngai).  Add $5 for attending meeting without RSVP

Please RSVP by Friday, March 25 (early RSVPs are greatly appreciated!) You may RSVP via email at indicating your name, phone number, and number of attendees and pay at the meeting. Or you may RSVP and pay online by selecting your membership level in the Paypal drop down box and clicking on the "Buy Now" button below to pay by credit card.

Students Free!

Meeting Synopsis: 

The department and the AIChE Rocky Mountain Section will co-host a panel discussion on alternative energy on Thursday, March 31 from 5:30-6:20pm in the Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building (note: parking in the large northwest lot is free after 5pm). The discussion will be followed by a reception.


Professor Alan Weimer, University of ColoradoAlan W. Weimer, H. T. Sears Memorial Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, joined the faculty of the University of Colorado in 1996 after a 16-year career with the Dow Chemical Company. He was named Dow Research Inventor of the Year in 1993, and received Dow’s “Excellence in Science Award” in 1995 for commercializing high-temperature processing to produce advanced materials. He was named University of Colorado Inventor of the Year in 2004 and received both the campus-wide and the College of Engineering and Applied Science Faculty Research Awards in 2005. He is recipient of the 2005 DOE Hydrogen Program R&D Award for developing solar-thermal technology to split water, the 2009 AIChE Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems for his pioneering effort to functionalize fine particles with thin films, and the 2010 AIChE Excellence in Process Development Research Award for his persistence to commercialize his academic discoveries. His former students have co-founded two spin-off companies out of his university laboratory (ALD NanoSolutions in 2001 and Copernican Energy, now Sundrop Fuels, in 2006). He is an inventor on 29 issued U.S. patents and an author of 150 peer-reviewed publications. He received a 2004 R&D 100 Award for his invention and commercial development using atomic layer deposition to functionalize fine particles (i.e. Particle ALD). He recently received the 2011 State of Colorado Cleantech Industry Association Award for “Excellence in Bio-Derived Technology Commercialization”. He teaches the capstone design sequence in chemical engineering at CU, but, also has a research team of 15. He anticipates potentially two additional startups out of his university lab over the next 5 years based on projects currently supported by the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E).

Dr. Esther Wilcox, NRELEsther Wilcox is a principle investigator and manager at the National Renewable Energy Lab researching pilot-scale thermochemical conversion of cellulosic biomass to liquid fuels. She has over 10 years of experience in alternative energy research with a strong background in catalysis and kinetics. Esther obtained her B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa and M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University.

Jerrod Hohman, P.E., Process Engineering Solutions, LLCJerrod Hohman is a Principal Engineer at Process Engineering Solutions, LLC.  He graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in chemical engineering.  For the first few years of his career, he worked with engineering companies and fabricators serving the oil refining and natural gas processing industry in Texas.  After that, he spent a number of years in the chemicals industry in western Pennsylvania.  Eight years ago, he moved to Colorado to work for an alternative energy company developing a process to produce cellulosic ethanol from woody biomass.  Since leaving that job, he has worked as an independent contractor providing process engineering services to both alternative energy companies and traditional oil and natural gas producers and processors.  Jerrod has about twenty years of industry experience in all phases of process engineering from front end process design to detailed engineering to commissioning and startup of plants ranging in size from laboratory units to commercial facilities.