Five 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 ceremony held on April 13.
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:
Mary Treis McLaughlin of San Ramon, California, who retired from Bechtel Corp. in 2021, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1981. She started her career with Black and Veatch as a design engineer in the power industry and took on roles of engineering manager and project manager working extensively in southeast Asia. In 2000, McLaughlin joined Bechtel Corp. as a senior project manager in its power global business unit. She later served as manager of procurement and operations manager for the power business line, president of the power business line, Operations Manager for communication business line, and manager of functions for the infrastructure global business unit. She was elected a principal vice president in 2009 and a senior vice president in 2015. That same year, McLaughlin became the corporate manager of EPC functions and a member of Bechtel’s operating committee and in 2018, she was elected director to the Bechtel Group Inc. board, serving on the operating committee and the board of directors until her retirement in 2021.
Don Montgomery of St. Louis, retired hazard communication group leader for ChemAdvisor Inc., earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1974. He also earned an MBA with a finance concentration from Saint Louis University in 1979. He joined Monsanto’s corporate engineering department as a process design engineer then held several process design positions before joining the plant engineering group at Monsanto’s East St. Louis Illinois plant. After earning his MBA, Montgomery also held assignments in the company’s IT and accounting areas. When corporate changes led to a spin off to Solutia, Montgomery was assigned to work in the product safety area of the environmental safety and health department. When financial problems befell Solutia, Montgomery moved first to UCB of Belgium and then Cytec Industries of New Jersey, where he worked in the hazard communication area, attaining subject matter expert status in SAP R3 software. When corporate reorganization struck again, Montgomery moved to consulting firm ChemAdvisor Inc. in Pittsburgh as hazard communication group leader. He retired in 2014.
William R. Morgan of Fayetteville, Tennessee, who has over 35 years of experience in the light metals industry working in both extractive and physical metallurgy, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1981. He held an internship at the Latvian Institute of Physics and is a blackbelt in Six Sigma Design and Six Sigma. Morgan began his career at Reynolds Metals Co.’s reduction research facility in Listerhill, Alabama, where he was responsible for development of Thermal-Magneto-Hydrodynamic software, using it to design high-amperage aluminum reduction cells. He was also involved in the design and testing low energy reduction cell cathodes using TiB2 and non-consumable anodes. Morgan has also served as technical and quality manager for aluminum reduction companies Noranda and Century Aluminum, and as technical manager in the Innovation Center North America for Aleris, a company involved in casting, hot and cold rolling, continuous anneal for autobody alloys and finishing rolled aluminum sheet. In these positions he was involved in designing robust processes, developing process control systems, developing and qualifying aluminum auto body alloys and development and support of process engineers. His work has led to multiple publications, a patent and numerous disclosures of invention.
Judy Roper of Fort Worth, Texas, who retired in 2021 after 40 years in exploration for ConocoPhillips and ARCO, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1979. Roper’s passion has been the challenge of working on “gnarly” problems that require collaboration across disciplines for the best creative, technical and economic resolution. From 1979 to 2006, Roper employed primarily reservoir and production engineering skills in conventional reservoirs, especially with respect to CO2 floods and waterfloods. Her job experience broadened significantly through serving in operations supervision and joint interest operations, which provided exposure across the entire Permian Basin, development of strong commercial and negotiating skills, numerous Permian business contacts, and a practical understanding of oil field and gas plant business drivers, contracts, and economics. From 2006 to retirement in 2021, Roper worked with fellow ConocoPhillips pioneering engineers and geoscientists on unconventional reservoirs first in the Barnett Shale. In late 2011, she was part of a small multidisciplinary technical group that founded the Unconventional Reservoirs Excellence (URE) team. The URE team collaborated with Asset and Technology Center technologists to learn from failures and facilitate, develop and promote leading practices needed to economically exploit the different reservoirs. As ConocoPhillips unconventional portfolio grew to include Bakken, Eagle Ford, Montney and Permian, URE promoted sharing of lessons learned between multidiscipline teams, including workshops where engineers and geoscientists from more mature assets could problem solve with their counterparts in early life assets.
Dr. Hu Yang of Rolla, Missouri, the Linda and Bipin Doshi Endowed Chair of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T, joined the faculty in 2020 from Virginia Commonwealth University where he was the Qimonda Endowed Chair in chemical and life science engineering, biomedical engineering and pharmaceutics since 2005. Yang earned a bachelor’s degree in polymers at Sichuan University in China in 1998 and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Akron in Ohio in 2004. He conducted postdoctoral research in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. An internationally known researcher, Yang investigates the role of biomaterials and nanotechnology in the treatment of cancer, glaucoma and arterial plaque buildup, as well as the use of hydrogels and dendrimers in targeted drug and gene therapies and tissue engineering. He is ranked in the top 2% in research productivity, of all engineering faculty, nationally, according to a Stanford study, he has garnered over $10 million in research support and his research has resulted in more than 80 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals. Yang serves on study sections for NIH and review panels for NSF. He is an associate editor of Materials Express and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Engineering, the International Journal of Polymeric Materials, and Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials, and Smart Materials in Medicine. He received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in 2010 and the Wallace H. Coulter Young Investigator Award in 2009. Yang has mentored dozens of students and worked to increase diversity in the science workforce has taught undergraduates basic and critical educational topics to prepare them for future careers. Under his leadership, the department has had a multifold increase in research income. He has received approval to build full biochemical engineering degrees, including master’s degree and Ph.D., and has received approval to recruit additional faculty in this area.