CHME - Advisory Board

Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Advisory Board

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Advisory Board was established in 1998 as an organization of outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of chemical and biomolecular engineering. The Advisory Board is responsible for advising the department, the college, and the university on matters related to the chemical and biomolecular engineering undergraduate program.

2014-2015 Advisory Board Profiles

Paul T. Brandt, P.E.
Chemical Engineer, Energy Division
Burns & McDonnell
9400 Ward Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64114
Phone: 816-349-6691

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Education : BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2007

Paul Brandt is a Chemical Engineer at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company in Kansas City, Missouri.  He works on projects within the Energy sector, with a specific emphasis in air pollution regulations and control technologies.  His air quality experience includes the design, construction, and start-up phases of major air quality control retrofit work at various power plants.  This work has included design and installation of: selective catalytic reduction reactors for removal of nitrous oxides from boiler flue gas, lime and limestone flue gas desulfurization scrubbers, pulse jet fabric filters, and sulfuric acid mist mitigation systems.  He has experience in managing EPC and Owner’s Engineer contracts, as well as developing regulatory and optimization studies for clients in Missouri, Florida, Texas, Delaware, Iowa, and Kentucky. He is licensed as a professional engineer in the State of Missouri.

Paul and his wife Anne both grew up in Nebraska and now reside in Kansas City, Missouri with their daughter Gianna.

Dr. Michael Cloeter, Ph.D.
Michael Cloeter
Senior Research Scientist, Core R&D, Engineering Sciences, Fluid Mechanics & Mixing Discipline
The Dow Chemical Company
2301 N. Brazosport Blvd., B-1603 Bldg., Freeport, TX 77541
Phone: 979-238-4724

Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1985; MS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1987; PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Houston, 1997
Professional Associations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Institute for Liquid Atomization and Spray Systems (ILASS), American Chemical Society

Michael D. Cloeter is a Senior Research Scientist at The Dow Chemical Company in Freeport, Texas. He joined Dow in 1987 in the Epoxy business with responsibilities for a variety of process R&D related to reaction kinetics, catalysis, and crystallization. In 2002 he moved to his current role in the Engineering Sciences - Fluid Mechanics & Mixing Discipline where he leads the experimental program at the Freeport site. His specialties include physical modeling of industrial processes that are studied using laser diagnostics and visualization methods. Globally-leveraged capabilities include testing of turbulent reacting flows, stirred tank mixing, static mixing, spray technology, and various multiphase systems. He consults with design teams on a wide variety of business technologies, mentors young engineers, and has authored over 100 internal R&D reports

Recognitions include the “Excellence in Science” award given by the Dow Gulf Coast Scientists organization and multiple Technology Center Awards given for projects that meet economic and waste reduction thresholds. He also leads an internal process mixing class given annually to design engineers and researchers. He is certified as a Six Sigma black belt for both MAIC and DFSS and is a practitioner of systematic innovation.

Dr. Lawrence F. Drbal, Ph.D.
Larry Drbal
Associate Vice President (Retired)
Black & Veatch
Phone: 913-764-5715

Hometown: Blair, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1967; MS, Nuclear Engineering, Kansas State University, 1971; PhD, Nuclear Engineering, Kansas State University, 1975
Professional Associations: American Nuclear Society, National Society of Professional Engineers
Professional Registration: P.E, Colorado 1991; P.E., Pennsylvania 1991; P.E., Kansas, 1980

Dr. Larry Drbal retired from Black and Veatch in June, 2011. He was employed by the company since 1975 and served both as Project Manager and Associate Vice President.

Previously, Dr. Drbal was the Licensing/Technical Compliance and Assistant Engineering Manager for the Lungmen Nuclear Project which designed and procured equipment for two GE ABWR nuclear islands. Drbal also served as the Project Manager for the Ft. St. Vrain Repowering Project which added the first 232 MW combined cycle unit to an existing steam turbine generator, replacing a high temperature, gas-coolednuclear reactor power souce. This was an EPC project.

Dr. Drbal is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Mechanical and Civil Engineering at the University of Missouri, Kansas City where he teaches a class about power generation systems.

Scott Harmeier
Scott Harmeier
Process Control Superintendent
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM)
3000 East 8th Street
Columbus, NE 68601-9073

Hometown: Columbus, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1996; MS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1998

David J. Hild
David Hild
Director, Manufacturing & Product Engineering
Transgenomic Inc.
12325 Emmet St.
Omaha, NE 68164
Phone: 402-452-5460

Hometown: Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Education: BS, 1981; MS, 1984

David Hild is currently a Manufacturing and Quality Engineering Manager for Transgenomic Inc. He previously worked in research and development of analytical lab instrumentation for Transgenomic. He has 11 years prior engineering management, R&D, and manufacturing experience with Anacomp, Xidex, and Control Data Corp., all in the manufacture of magnetic storage media. He was then, and is now also responsible for the various facilities' environmental affairs. David is a registered professional engineer in Nebraska. Previously, he was a mentor for ten years with the UNL College of Engineering Prot6g6 program. David and wife Jill are both UNL graduates and lifetime residents of eastern Nebraska. With luck, they hope they are raising a future Cornhusker.

Dr. William J. Koros, Ph.D.
Bill Koros
Professor, Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Membranes and
Roberto Goizueta Chair in Chemical & Biomedical Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering
447 Bunger-Henry
311 Ferst Drive, N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30332-0100
Phone: 404-385-2845

Education: BS, University of Texas at Austin, 1969; PhD, University of Texas at Austin, 1977

Professor Bill Koros is a leader in the development and characterization of specialized morphologies useful for advanced separation membranes. He is currently the Roberto C. Goizueta Chair and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Membranes at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas. He has served on the faculties of Chemical Engineering at the North Carolina State University, The University of Texas at Austin prior to his position at Georgia Tech. He served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Membrane Science from 1991-2008.

Dr. Angela Lueking
Angela Lueking
Associate Professor, Departments of Energy and Mineral Engineering and Chemical Engineering
Pennsylvania State University's
120 Hosler Building
University Park, PA 16802-4400
Phone: 814-863-6256

Hometown: Oxford, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska, 1996; MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, 1998; MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 1998; PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 2003

Angela D. Lueking is an Associate Professor of Energy Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Penn State University. She is a past Marie Curie International Fellow for the study of novel materials for sustainable energy applications, and has authored over 40 peer-reviewed research articles in adsorption, catalysis, and surface science. She teaches an interdisciplinary green engineering design course at Penn State, and incorporates consideration of energy and environmental challenges into her teaching of core engineering courses. Prior to her academic career, Angela worked in industry as an Environmental Engineer, where she led several environmental initiatives including chemical management, air-permitting, and environmental training.

Dave Mills
Dave Mills
External Manufacturing Manager
1 Cargill Drive
Eddyville, IA 52553
Phone: 641-969-3739

Hometown: Gretna, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 1988

Dave Mills is currently an External Manufacturing Manager for Cargill. In this role, Dave is responsible for managing and guiding a network of external manufacturers to meet manufacturing strategies of several product lines in the areas of food and pharma. Past roles at Cargill have included project management, plant management, and start-up of the Vitamin E plant. Prior to joining Cargill in 1995, Dave was a process automation engineer with Union Carbide in Seadrift, TX.

Sarah B. (Macklin) Olson
Sarah Olson
Product Development Manger – North America
Vehicle Safety Products – Friction
Federal-Mogul Corporation
44064 Plymouth Oaks Blvd.
Plymouth, MI 48170
Phone: 734-582-5211

Hometown: Pilger, Nebraska
Education : BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1998; MEng, Engineering Management, UNL, 2003
Professional Associations: Member of Project Management Institute
Professional Registration: Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, July 2007

Sarah Olson began her professional engineering career in 1998 as a Development Compounder for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Lincoln, Nebraska. In 2000 she became a Development Engineer and in 2002 she became an Industrial Belt Materials Team Leader.

Olson accepted a position as a Development Engineer with Federal-Mogul Friction Productions in Smithville, Tennessee in 2004. In 2005 she became an Application Engineer and Project Manager with the same company, in Plymouth, Michigan. She has been the Product Development Manager for North America friction products group since 2008. Her division develops and sells brake pads for the automotive original equipment market serving clients such as Ford, GM and Chrysler.

Olson is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and has served as Treasurer of the University of Nebraska Engineering Alumni Board.

Justin Vala, P.E.
Director, Engineering and Development
Tenaska NG Fuels
1044 N. 115 Street, Suite 400
Omaha, NE 68154-4446
Phone: 402-938-1660

Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2003
Professional Associations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Professional Registration: Professional Engineer, State of Nebraska, 2012

Justin Vala is currently Director of Engineering and Development for Tenaska NG Fuels (an affiliate of Tenaska Incorporated – a diversified private energy company).  In this role, Justin is responsible for Technical and Economic analysis of developing projects which convert natural gas into transportation fuels.  Past roles at Tenaska have included, project management, technology evaluation and selection, configuration analysis and conceptual design for power plants, project management, service and supply contracting, and technical due diligence for potential acquisitions.  Prior to joining Tenaska in 2008, Justin spent five years with ExxonMobil Chemical at sites in Baytown and Beaumont, Texas.  Responsibilities included process simulation, pilot plant management, and plant operations support.  Justin and wife (Karamie) have two children and reside in Omaha.

Dr. Melissa A. (Buechler) Ver Meer, Ph.D.
Melissa Ver Meer
Technical Manager - Materials Engineering
National Nuclear Security Administration's Kansas City Plant
Operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC
Phone: 816-997-5165

Hometown: Papillion, Nebraska
Education : BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1999; MS, Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, 2002; PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Iowa State University, 2010
Professional Associations: American Chemical Society (ACS), American Association for the Advancement of Science, Society of Women Engineers

Melissa Ver Meer is a Technical Manager - Materials Engineering at the NNSA's Kansas City Plant, which is managed and operated by Honeywell FM&T. Her work has ranged from polymer synthesis, thermal analysis, elastomer compounding, polymer failure analysis, high temperature polymers and nanocomposites. She joined Honeywell FM&T in 2012 after spending nearly 10 years at Schlumberger in polymer engineering and management.

John Wilson, M.B.A.
John Wilson
Vice President of Sales Asia Pacific
Fisher Controls

Hometown: Nebraska City, NE
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1998; MBA, Executive MBA Program, University of Iowa, 2007
Professional Associations: Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and past board member of the Gas Processors Suppliers Association

John Wilson is currently Vice President & General Manager of the Fisher and Valve Automation Divisions of Emerson Process Management in the Asia Pacific region. Since beginning his career at Fisher in 1998 as an application engineer focused on the Power Industry, he has held various roles in engineering, marketing, sales and operations. His recent responsibilities include leadership roles for the Hydrocarbon Industry, Global Strategic Accounts, Global Project Pursuit, Global Industry Sales and Asia Pacific Sales functions at Fisher.

John currently resides in Singapore with his wife, Shannon, and his daughter, Caley.

Dr. Mark D. Young, Ph.D.
Mark Young
Senior Vice President of
Pharmaceutical Operations

Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
11804 North Creek Parkway South
Bothell, WA 98011
Phone: 303-437-6422

Hometown: Kimball, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1972; MS, Chemical Engineering, Columbia University; PhD, Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan, 1981

Mark Young studied under Pete Reilly at UNL, focusing on fermentation process science and other aspects of biochemical engineering in his research. Dr Young held research positions in the fermentation departments of Hoffmann-LaRoche and The Upjohn Company.

In 1985 he joined Synergen, a start-up biotechnology/ biopharmaceutical company, where he started the process development group. There he served as Director, Process Development; Vice President, Technical Operations; and finally as Executive Vice President.

Since 1995 when he left Synergen, Dr. Young has held several management posts in biotech companies, including Vice President of Technical perations at Protein Design Labs (1995-1997), Chief Operating Officer at Biomira (1997-2001), and Senior Vice President, Technical Operations at ZymoGenetics (2001-2006). He is currently Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Operations at Alder Biopharmaceuticals.

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