S&T Academy of Chemical Engineers inducts nine new members

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On April 26, 2019

Nine professionals with ties to chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T were inducted into the Academy of Chemical Engineers at Missouri S&T during its annual induction ceremony on Thursday, April 25.

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:

Dr. Farhad Adib of Santa Ana, California, senior material development engineer for Freudenberg-NOK, earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1984, 1985 and 1991, respectively. In 1988, joined BASF Corp. as an applications engineer working in various aspects of automotive paint. In 1994, he joined Bourns Inc. in Riverside, California, as a materials and polymer engineer. In 2013, he joined Bel Power Solutions and Protection in San Jose, California, as a senior materials and process technologist. In 2016, he moved to Britt Manufacturing Co. in Port Huron, Michigan, as a feedstock process engineer. He improved product quality by 50% by studying the rheology of the metal injection molding binders for that improve mixing and dispersion during the compounding process. In 2017, he accepted his current position with Freudenberg-NOK. He develops materials for the O-Ring industry, aerospace specifically. He is responsible for material selection for RFQ/specifications, working closely with the product marketing and commercial team. He performs benchmark testing of competitors’ materials; participates in evaluation of material suppliers, audits, selection or replacement of raw materials; creates longer-term supplier strategy plans for the division, and supports the full supply chain process to increase productivity and reduce costs.


Edward C. Bonney of Labadie, Missouri, retired from quality management integration at Corteva AgriScience, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1979. He also holds a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Westminster University, and an MBA from McNeese State University. After starting his career in 1979, Bonney spent nearly 20 years in process, project, construction and management roles at several chemical companies, working with agricultural chemicals, specialty chemicals and polymer production. In 1998 Bonney and his family moved to St. Louis where he began an IT career with Monsanto. After several years, he moved into seed production as the Monsanto North American Seed Manufacturing quality lead. This led to a similar quality role with Monsanto Biotechnology. Bonney retired from Monsanto in 2013 and began a quality management career with Dow AgroSciences. When Dow and DuPont merged in 2017, Bonney assumed a transition role with DowDuPont working to merge the quality management practices of Pioneer and Dow AgroSciences at Corteva AgriScience. He retired from that role in March 2019. During the last 10 years of his career he was actively involved in science outreach activities with Monsanto, Dow and the Chemical Educational Foundation. His hobbies include aviation, forestry, wildlife conservation, hunting, golf and sailing. Bonney and his wife, Beth, have a son who is studying mechanical engineering at Missouri S&T, and a daughter, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Missouri State University this spring.


Ralph E. Grant of St. Louis, director of business development for Clark Richardson and Biskup Engineering, Architecture, Construction and Consulting, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1993. Before college, Grant was a project manager for Ramsey Schilling Consulting in Kansas City, Missouri. As an undergraduate, he worked with Dr. Oliver Sitton and the Rock Mechanics and Explosives Research Center. After graduation, he joined Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals in the corporate engineering group, where he held positions of increasing responsibility managing a variety of capital projects throughout North America. After five years, he transitioned to operations as a senior process engineer for a highly automated 760-metric-ton active pharmaceutical intermediates plant. In 2000, he joined EcoLab in South Beloit, Illinois, as engineering sales manager. In 2005, he formed Grant Process Solutions and then returned to Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals as senior director of engineering in 2007. In 2018, Grant returned to consulting in his current position. He has professional affiliations with the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineers, Saint Louis Council of Construction Consumers and the Design Build Institute of America.


Dr. Marvin R. Havens of Greer, South Carolina, retired research associate for Sealed Air Corp., earned bachelor of science, master of science and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1971, 1973, and 1976, respectively. He applied knowledge from his degrees across a wide variety of materials and processes, including polymers, plastic extrusion, multilayer extrusion die, electron beam modification, ethylene production and economics, analytical instrumentation like non-invasive oxygen determination within a closed package, and pilot plant design plus process operations. He holds 41 U.S. patents. Other work was deemed trade secrets, not to be disclosed in patents, many of which are still practiced. Some were published in various journals, encyclopedias, technical standards or as an invited editorial in Design News. Many resulted in significant economic gain. For example, the Chinese saran film extrusion plant was two years ahead of schedule for profitability. Redirecting the use and sales of a Canadian atmospheric resin produced a $40 million income. Modification of one polymer pigment master batch applied across other master batches resulted in $6 million in annual savings. Havens taught in-house polymer science and polymer processing classes. He helped found Clemson University’s Center for Advanced Engineering Fibers and Films. Collaboration with chemical engineering students produced some insightful papers, mostly with oxygen and wax diffusion in polymers. In retirement, Havens is involved with polymer and process consulting, particularly with static electricity fires and radiation effects on polymer processing and properties. He also helps teach a Radiation Safety Officer Certificate class. He hopes to contribute insight and guidance to his alma mater and its students.


John Hegger of St. Louis, engineer and brewer for Anheuser Busch InBev, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1986. He began his career in 1998 with Anheuser-Busch Inc. From 1998 to 2005, Hegger held positions of increasing responsibility, starting as shift production supervisor and working his way to assistant brewmaster. He worked in each area of the brewing process, using his background to understand the principles in action. From 2006 to 2017, Hegger has served as plant manager for both the Jonesboro Arkansas Rice Mill and Eagle Packaging Crown Liner Facility in St. Louis. He was accountable for all aspects of operations, including people, environmental and safety, and legal aspects, as well as the production KPI. After the integration of Anheuser-Busch with InBev, Hegger led both plants to qualify for the ABInBev Excellence Programs. In March 2017, he became North America Zone (NAZ) technical expert with responsibilities that included owner of Zone Micro Key Performance Indicator (KPI), NAZ Strategic Plan for Micro KPI Improvement and owner of Zone Micro Sampling Plan.


Dr. Daniel J. Klingenberg of Madison, Wisconsin, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1985. He also holds master of science and Ph.D. degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. Klingenberg began his career as an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. In 1997, he was promoted to associate professor and in 2006, he was promoted to full professor. In January 2007, Klingenberg was a visiting scientist for General Motors Research and Development. His research interests focus on fiber suspensions and particulate suspensions in electric and magnetic fields. His research group employs experiments, simulations and analysis to understand fundamental issues in practical engineering systems. During Klingenberg’s academic career, he has received numerous awards, including the Polygon Engineering Council Outstanding Instructor Award, which he received seven times, an NSF Career Award, the Benjamin Smith Reynolds Award in Excellence in Teaching Engineers, the Vilas Faculty Mid-Career Investigator Award and a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Klingenberg has authored 99 publications, one book, two book chapters and many proceedings and presentations.


David Neuwirth of O’Fallon, Missouri, president of Neuwirth Consulting Group, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1971. He also holds an MBA from Xavier University. Neuwirth began his career in brand management with Proctor & Gamble in 1971. He developed a line extension for Jif Extra Crunchy peanut butter, developed and launched Pringles Extra potato chips, developed and launched the Deluxe II Cake Mix line nationally, and worked on the new product line conceptualization. In 1978 he joined Holiday Inns Inc., serving as director of new business development, director of the strategic planning task force and director of facilities planning and development. In 1981, Neuwirth joined Ralston Purina as director of acquisitions and special projects in the diversified business division. He advanced to director of market planning and communications, then director of marketing worldwide. In 2008, Neuwirth joined Novus International-Novus Nutrition Brands, as executive director responsible for the creation, development, leadership, and profit and loss for a new business division. He originated, grew and took global three new businesses in the human, pet and companion animal nutrition and health areas. He and his wife, Patrice, have three children.


Ed Palmer of Houston, Texas, manager of downstream process engineering, downstream and chemicals for Wood Group Mustang, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1968. Palmer has been with Mustang for 23 years and has over 40 years of industry experience. He is a registered professional engineer in Texas and Louisiana and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Palmer has authored or co-authored numerous technical articles and presentations for industry publications and meetings. He is responsible for directing all process design activities for downstream and chemical projects and studies, including selecting the lead process engineer and supporting team for each engagement. Palmer also assists with proposal development and prospective client presentations. He was previously employed at Conoco and Litwin Engineers and Constructors.


Gerald R. Thiessen of Bolivar, Missouri, a retired U.S. Army colonel, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering in 1968 and a master of science degree in engineering management in 1974, both from Missouri S&T. He also studied at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. Thiessen is also a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College and has completed the Advances Operational Studies Fellowship, a War College program at the School of Advanced Military Studies in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a former registered professional engineer in Virginia. Thiessen completed over 27 years in the U.S. Army. His last assignment was as Garrison Commander at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. His military assignments included two tours with the 3rd Engineer Battalion of the 24th Infantry Division in Fort Stewart, Georgia, where he served as commander, executive officer and assistant division engineer. Thiessen was deputy district commander of the S. Louis District of the U.S .Army Corps of Engineers and held staff assignments as chief of the Forces and Arms Control Division, Plans and Policy Directorate of the U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany; installation engineer with the Defense Construction Supply Center in Columbus, Ohio; and the plans and programs officer with the Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran, Iran.  He was an instructor at the U.S. Army Engineer School of Advanced Military Studies and served in numerous unit officer troop assignments in Vietnam, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Fort Meade, Maryland. Among his military awards are the Bronze Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (six awards) and the Army Commendation Medal (two awards). After retiring from the Army, he worked from 1997 through 2011 as director of engineering for a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Springfield, Missouri. Among other duties, Thiessen led the engineering team to conduct product conversions of the process units. Many of these were highly expedited for commercial reasons. He successfully conducted one large changeover to produce an antiviral in response to a declared national emergency to mitigate a perceived flu epidemic at maximum project acceleration. Thankfully the epidemic never materialized, but the stockpiles of antiviral medication were delivered to government and commercial stores on time. Thiessen and his wife, Christine, are retired on the family farm near Bolivar, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.

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On April 26, 2019. Posted in College of Engineering and Computing, People

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