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.
2018-2019 Advisory Board Profiles
Jim Bielenberg, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
RAPID – Advanced Manufacturing Institute
120 Wall Street, FL23 NY, NY 10005
Hometown: Kearney, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1999; PhD Chemical Engineering MIT, 2003
Professional Associations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, International Society of Reaction Engineering
Jim Bielenberg is the Chief technology officer for the RAPID manufacturing institute. RAPID is a public-private collaborative institute that carries our research and develops educational and networking opportunities in the areas for processing intensification and modular processing. As CTO, Jim is responsible for defining the technical direction of the institute through the development of technology roadmaps and project selection.
Prior to RAPID. Jim worked for ExxonMobil Research and Engineering where he held research and leadership roles spanning several technology areas, including upstream, downstream, chemicals, and biofuels applications. During his time at ExxonMobil Jim also held roles in supply chain planning and marketing for the ExxonMobil Chemical Company. Jim came to ExxonMobil following a postdoctoral research position at Los Alamos National lab.
Paul T. Brandt, P.E.
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska
Education : BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2007
Paul Brandt is a Senior 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, water/wastewater regulations, and associated control technologies. His experience includes the design, construction, and start-up phases of major 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, reverse osmosis water treatment systems, and chemical dosing systems for water treatment. He has experience in managing EPC and Owner’s Engineer contracts, as well as developing regulatory and optimization studies for clients in Missouri, Kansas, Florida, Texas, Delaware, Iowa, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, 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 Overland Park, KS with their daughter, Gianna, and son, Oliver.
Business Development Engineer
DuPont Sustainable Solutions
6363 College Blvd., Suite 300
Overland Park, KS 66211
Hometown: Grand Island, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2006; MS, Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University, 2009; MBA, Washington University, (in progress)
Professional Associations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Tim Carmann is a business development engineer with DuPont, where he is responsible for technical sales, licensing and marketing of clean technologies to global customers. Prior to this role, Tim served in operations and new technology commercialization roles with DuPont. He started his career in technology development at ExxonMobil. Tim received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and North Carolina State University, respectively. Tim is also currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Tim enjoys traveling, cooking, home brewing, taking improv comedy classes, and collecting art.
Dr. Michael Cloeter, Ph.D.
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
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.
David M. Driscoll
U.S. Gulf Coast Economist
Dowstream / Refining and Supply Division
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2001; MBA, Chemical Engineering, Louisiana State University.
Hometown: Minot, North Dakota
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 2003; MS, Bioengineering, UCSD, 2005; PhD, Bioengineering, UCSD, 2008
Professional Associations: American Institute of Chemical Engineers, International Society of Metabolic Engineers, Society of Biological Engineering
Adam Feist is a Research Scientist at the University of California, San Diego and a Senior Scientist and Group Leader at the Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark. Dr. Feist serves as a PI and Co-Investigator on various grants, research advisor for PhD and MS students, and guest lecturer. Dr. Feist’s current research is focused on developing two technologies – an adaptive laboratory evolution platform and next-generation genome-scale models. Dr. Feist has demonstrated application of these technologies towards the fields of metabolic engineering and biomedical applications. Dr. Feist also has experience in industry at a start-up company focused on commercializing constraint-based modeling in the field of human health.
Hometown: Columbus, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1996; MS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1998
Hometown: Plattsmouth, Nebraska
Education: BS, 1981; MS, 1984
David Hild currently serves as Senior Vice President and General Manager of ADS Biotec Inc, where he has global responsibility for all aspects of manufacture and distribution of ADS Biotec products, including consumables, instruments, reagents, and enzymes used in cytogenetic, amino acid, and molecular genetic analysis. Mr. Hild has over 30 years of industrial and manufacturing experience, having held key positions in process and product development, production and operations management. Mr. Hild received his BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Nebraska. He holds emeritus status as a registered professional engineer in Nebraska
Patrick T. Hurlbut, M.D.
Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon
Certificate of added Qualification in Hand Surgery
Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC
4130 Pioneer Woods Drive Suite 1
Lincoln, NE 68506
Hometown: Kimball, Nebraska
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1983; MD, University of Iowa College of Medicine 1988
Board Certification: American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery
Professional Organizations: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Nebraska Orthopaedic Society, American Medical Associaton, Nebraska Medical Association, Lancaster County Medical Association
Dr. Hurlbut is a board certified orthopaedic surgeon. He completed his residency at the University of Vermont in 1993, and a fellowship in Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery in 1994 at the University of Minnesota. He subsequently earned a Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery from the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. Dr. Hurlbut has been admitted to that American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH), an elite professional society of hand surgeons. Prairie Orthopaedic & Plastic Surgery, PC and Dr. Hurlbut’s team uses the most advanced treatment options for recovery of maximum mobility, strength, and return of function. Dr. Hurlbut’s passion has been the diagnosis and treatment of shoulder, elbow and hand injuries but he also continues to practice in many areas of orthopaedics including total joint replacement and knee arthroscopy.
Angela D. Lueking, Ph.D.
Professor, Energy and Mineral Engineering, Chemical Engineering,
The Pennsylvania State University
Pennsylvania State University's
120 Hosler Building
University Park, PA 16802-4400
Hometown: Oxford, Nebraska
Education: B.S. ‘96, Chemical Engineering - University of Nebraska; M.S. ’98 - Environmental Engineering, M.S. ‘98, Ph.D. ’03 - Chemical Engineering, University of Michigan
Angela Lueking is Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering and Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, and is currently a visiting scientist serving as Program Director for Process Separations at the National Science Foundation. The Process Separations programs seeks to develop sustainable technologies that more efficiently utilize material and energy resources in chemical separations, field-driven separations, environmental treatment technologies, and downstream biological processing. At Penn State, her research has focused on problems in sustainable energy solutions, spanning the fields of adsorption, surface science, catalysis, material development, and advanced materials characterization. She was selected as one of twenty-five American scientists in 2013 for an Incoming International Marie Curie Fellow for a year of study at the University of Crete. She teaches core engineering courses and a project-based green engineering course that partners with the office of physical plant to identify campus-wide sustainability projects for semester long student projects. She was also co-Principal Investigator on an NSF outreach program “Carbon EARTH” that supplements graduate education with outreach to K-12 students. She is co-author of the 2017 textbook “Science of the Earth, Climate and Energy”, which explains the scientific basis and fundamentals of contemporary environmental issues to a general audience.
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.
Kathy Ostrom Payn, P.E.
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Education: BS, Chemical Engineering, UNL, 1985
Certification: Registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas
Being attracted to health and wellness her whole life, Kathy became involved with Environmental Consulting Services early in her career. Always intrigued with the “people” side of the business, Kathy was drawn into technical sales and management and continued her education with several graduate classes in marketing, management, finance, accounting, etc. She went on to sell thermodynamic temperature control systems for advanced medical equipment and eventually found her “sweet spot” as a key account manager.
For over ten years, Kathy managed key accounts in energy and healthcare markets. These key account responsibilities included selling and growing authentication programs to deter counterfeit, diversion, substitution and dilution of valuable brand products for Global Fortune 100 companies. The products and services sold encompassed molecular markers, detection devices (gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy, fluorimetry, etc.), program management and field sampling services, actionable data intelligence, and case file development.
She is currently a Key Account Manager for Hach, helping strategic clients with water quality analysis and management. Hach, a Danaher company, has a wide portfolio of instruments, services, software and consumables; over 30,000 products to be explored!
In addition to the UNL Chemical and Biomolecular Advisory Board, Kathy serves on the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board for Wello Inc., an entrepreneurial company focused on improved disease control and contagion management in healthcare. Kathy lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Jeff, a Systems Architect for Dell. They have one adult son, Matt Friedman, who is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Social Psychology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
Justin Vala, P.E.
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, Engineering for Tenaska, a diversified private energy company headquartered in Omaha. In this role, Justin has broad responsibilities in:
- large project development and conceptual engineering;
- technology evaluation and selection;
- management of internal and third-party engineering design studies;
- contracting for supply of engineering services, major equipment, and project construction; and
- performance/management of due diligence regarding prospective merger and 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 is registered professional engineer in the State of Nebraska. Justin and wife (Karamie) have two children and reside in Omaha.
Dr. Melissa A. (Buechler) Ver Meer, Ph.D.
Technical Manager - Materials Engineering
National Nuclear Security Administration's Kansas City Plant
Operated by Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, LLC
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.