Three professionals with ties to chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Academy of Chemical Engineers at Missouri S&T during its annual induction ceremony on Thursday, April 19.
The academy honors chemical engineers for contributions to their profession, leadership and involvement with Missouri S&T. It serves as an advisory group to the Missouri S&T chemical and biochemical engineering department.
The new members are listed below:
David K. Denner of Eureka, Missouri, president of Coronet Industries Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1976. He also holds an MBA from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Denner spent most of his career in chemical manufacturing. He began his career as a plant process engineer with Monsanto and rose through several supervisory positions to become plant manager of Monsanto’s Anniston, Alabama, facility. After two years as business manager in Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, Denner joined the ANGUS Chemical C. in Louisiana as vice president of manufacturing. After seven years, ANGUS was purchased by Dow Chemical and he returned to St. Louis as plant manager of the Astaris food phosphate facility. For the last 14 years, he has managed a 1000-acre site involved in a complex environmental remediation and civil lawsuit. His focus is continuous improvement in safety, cost improvement and regulatory compliance and developing partnerships with commercial groups on new product development and meeting customer needs. His wife, Denise Lovasco Denner, is a 1976 chemistry graduate of S&T, and his daughter, Darcy R. Denner, is a 2004 biological sciences graduate. Denner currently is secretary of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Alumni Corp. at Missouri S&T.
Michael Hoerle of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, vice president of engineering for Crown Iron Works, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1984. Hoerle began his career Cargill Inc. as a production management trainee at Cargill’s Memphis Tennessee Vegetable Oil facility in 1985. In 1990, he became the youngest plant manager in Cargill history at that time in Iowa Falls, Iowa, and the acquisition leader of the largest acquisition (at that time in 1995) in Cargill history. Over a 32-year career at Cargill, Hoerle held a variety of engineering, operations and management roles in Tennessee, Iowa, Ohio, Kansas, Florida, Germany, England and Minnesota in the vegetable oil, corn milling, fertilizer, salt, deicing, and health and nutrition Industries. Prior to retirement, he was the business leader for Cargill Optimizing Services. He holds six patents. In his current role, Mike manages teams in North and South America, Germany, England and China. Hoerle and his wife, Ellen (Westerman), a 1985 chemical engineering graduate of S&T, have been strong supporters of Missouri S&T.
Thomas Schmitt of Dallas, Texas, president of Hunt Refining, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1967. He also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to his current assignment, he was senior vice president with Hunt Oil Co. for its development in Kurdistan, Iraq. Schmitt began his career as a petroleum engineer with the Atlantic Richfield Corp. in 1979 and worked in production, drilling, operations and reservoir engineering, enhanced oil recovery research, strategic planning, and acquisition evaluations. In 1996, he left the oil industry for a career on Wall Street. He joined Alliance-Bernstein and soon became co-manager of the Global Research Growth Fund, a product that grew assets to over $65B in 2008. Tom was responsible for the fund’s energy and natural resource investments. In 2008, Tom founded Taum Sauk Capital Management, an energy and natural resource investment firm.