S&T Academy of Chemical Engineers inducts six new members

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On May 5, 2021

Six 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 a virtual induction ceremony held in April. 

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:

Mike Foley of San Francisco, who retired from Sandia National Laboratories in 2015, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1978. Following graduation, he accepted an offer from the Bendix Corp, a Department of Energy contractor in the Kansas City area. He stayed with the company through mergers with Allied Chemicals and Signal Corp. until 1992 when he and nine other Kansas City engineers were sent on temporary assignment to Sandia National Laboratories. At the end of the period, he was offered a full-time job at Sandia and worked the next 10 years on a variety of projects. In 2002, Foley was offered a three-year assignment as a Sandia advisor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C., working with engineers from two other DOE design laboratories – Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore – as well as various military branches at the Pentagon and elsewhere. Foley says this was the highlight of his career. He later served as project lead for a program undergoing design refurbishment at Sandia’s Albuquerque headquarters. Foley retired from Sandia in 2015, and continues to reside in San Francisco.

Ken Jinkerson, retired vice president of process engineering at Holly Frontier, earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1975 and 1977, respectively. During his career, he worked for nine companies in seven countries and in 26 oil refineries. His responsibilities included several refinery manager positions in multiple countries. Jinkerson says his career inspired a love of travel, and he has visited 70 different countries, from Mount Everest in Nepal to the Blue Hole in Belize, and nearly every continent. Jinkerson and his wife have two children and three grandchildren.

Kay Modi of Jackson Wyoming, a consultant in safety, health, environment and process engineering, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1979. That same year, she began her career as a chemical engineer with Shell Oil Co. in Texas, then transferred into the environmental, health and safety department to address projects with these perspectives. The move occurred soon after the tragic gas leak at the Bhopal, India, Union Carbide pesticide plant, and led to training on modeling and consequence analysis of major releases. Modi continued in Denver working for the U.S. EPA and studied human health risk analysis associated with toxic releases into the environment. Throughout the remainder of her career in various locations of the U.S., she continued to study and analyze risk to the public and employees from industrial processes. She began training other professionals in the field in 1992 and began professionally writing and speaking at conferences. To provide flexibility for balancing family obligations, Modi became an industry consultant. She has written over 11 technical papers assessing the toxins, flammable materials and greenhouse gases released from industrial processes and presented them at national conferences and public meetings. Modi’s later career focused on facility assessment in industry and potential merger and acquisition of companies. Throughout her career, she has been involved in training young engineers in her fields of expertise, and she has continued formal studies of geology, meteorology, and water management.

Dustin Olson of Orlando, chief manufacturing officer for PureCycle Technologies, earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1998. He also holds a master of chemical engineering degree from the University of Houston and an MBA from Rice University. Olson leads all global manufacturing project management, technology, procurement and supply chain operations at PureCycle Technologies with a mission of transforming the world’s polypropylene recycling industry. In a prior role, he was a business leader based in Shanghai, China, leading the successful regional integration of two major companies, achieving financial growth and building a strong organizational and project foundation. Prior to that, Olson served in multiple senior leadership roles in manufacturing, commercial and business support across refining, commodity chemicals and specialty polymer units in the United States, The Netherlands and China. Olson is also a former member of the Chemical Engineering Industry Advisory Council.

Stephen Schade of Mount Prospect, Illinois, a retired senior engineer at AECOM, earned bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Missouri S&T in 1974 and 1975, respectively. His master’s thesis focused on nucleate boiling from polymer coated surfaces. Schade joined AECOM in 2012 working primarily on projects for clients in the petroleum and chemical industries. Prior to that, he worked for UOP, where he specialized in aromatics processes as process design coordinator. Earlier in his career, he was involved in process development work for the Institute of Gas Technology, Searle and UGS. Schade has been active in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, where he served on the student outreach committee, delivering presentations at schools and helping prepare displays for Chemistry Day and Engineers Week. He also served as section chair, vice-chair of programming and secretary. His contributions to the organization include judging science fairs and tutoring high school students in math and science.

Steven D. Bridges of Waterloo, Iowa, a retired engineering fellow at Chevron Phillips Chemical Co., earned a bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1974. Bridges began his career with Phillips Petroleum at the Fairfax Refinery in Kansas City, Kansas. He worked in Oklahoma and Texas before he moved to Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. (CPChem) in 2000. His work took him to Argentina, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and China. Bridges retired in 2020 following a 46-plus-year career that involved both individual contributor and team assignments as well as leadership roles, across a full range of responsibilities. More recently Bridges served as the process design manager for CPChem’s joint venture in Jubail, Saudi Arabia; provided process engineering support for its complex in Old Ocean, Texas; and was lead process engineer for another CPChem project. Early in his Phillips career, Bridges followed academy founding member R.W. “Hank” Hankinson by serving as Phillips’ representative to the Corporate Development Council, and in the mid-2000s he attended several annual Chemical Engineering Advisory Committee meetings. He also worked at career fairs and recruited chemical engineering graduates for Phillips in the 1980s.

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