S&T Academy of Chemical and Biochemical Engineers inducts six new members

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On May 10, 2024

Six professionals with ties to chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology were inducted into the Academy of Chemical and Biochemical Engineers at Missouri S&T during a ceremony held on April 11. 

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:

Jason Brinker of Houston earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1997 and joined ExxonMobil as a process design engineer at its Baton Rouge, Louisiana, chemical facility. He has since held roles in process engineering, supply chain, sales, new product marketing, technology, and business growth strategies. Brinker currently leads teams that build new manufacturing assets around the world. Jason has supported Missouri S&T in various ways since he graduated. He led ExxonMobil’s S&T recruiting team for 15 years. During fundraising efforts for S&T’s Bertlesmeyer Hall Brinker helped organize fellow ExxonMobil alumni to support the effort. He has financially supported the chemical engineering department and Da Vinci Society, and he is looking forward to finding new ways to make S&T the best ever. He enjoys spending time with his family, brewing beer, painting and woodworking. Brinker and his husband, Josh Frey, have a teenage daughter, Nina Frey-Brinker.

Terry Coffman of Richwood, Texas, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1976 and 1983, respectively. He began his career at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Sequoyah Nuclear Plant, then moved to the Office of Energy at the Shawnee Test Facility, where he assumed the role of technical supervisor of the facility and all engineers and laboratory personnel. In 1988, after 11 years with TVA, Coffman moved to the Dow Chemical Co. in the process control engineering department serving as capital project member and leader, supervisor and asset utilization project team leader. He also became a Certified Safety Instrumented Systems coach and auditor and a Certified Six Sigma Blackbelt and served on the team that integrated Union Carbide assets into Dow. In 2003, Coffman joined Dow’s Process Automation Technology Center as the corporate subject matter expert for state-based control and process control strategy documentation. In 2008, he moved to Dow’s global engineering and technical services department and retired in December 2019, as a process automation principal after 42 years with Dow. Coffman has been married to S&T computer science graduate Mary Brisbee Coffman for 46 years.

Dr. Charles Meyer of Houston earned a bachelor’s degree from Missouri S&T in 1982 and a Ph.D. from Rice University in 1987, both in chemical engineering. He turned down a faculty position at the University of Rochester to join Shell Oil Co. at its Westhollow Technology Center in a research position on biological wastewater treatment. Over the next several years, Meyer held various positions related to water and wastewater treatment, supporting both refinery and petrochemical wastewater treatment, and upstream water treatment. In 2005, he moved into a leadership role as manager of the utilities and water treatment group for Shell in the Americas. In 2015, Charlie became global discipline manager for Ecotoxicology, a group overseeing environmental testing of Shell’s products as well as providing support for assessment of the impacts of Shell’s operations on the aquatic environment. He retired in 2021. Meyer collaborated with various universities on environmental projects of importance to Shell, and recruited for Shell at the University of Minnesota and MIT, eventually managing Rice’s Shell recruiting team. Since 2009, Meyer has been a member of the Rice University Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Alumni Committee, serving as chair from 2016 to 2019. 

Richard Schafermeyer of Cincinnati, Ohio, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri S&T in 1973 and 1975, respectively. After graduation, he joined Procter & Gamble’s research and development organization starting in upstream research on amino acid and chlorinated fatty acid derivatives. He then moved to the Industrial Chemicals division before switching focus to food additives, which turned into a 12-year assignment where he led process development for the Olestra fat substitute program. This led Schafermeyer to a new processing plant and earned him seven U.S. patents. His expertise in fats and oils led to assignments that included process and product development manager for brands like Crisco, Jif, Duncan Hines, Folgers and Pringles. He also led a multi-year, multi-business task force on controlling acrylamide in food, which led to seven additional U.S. patents, as well as assignments in knowledge management, developing expertise in knowledge mapping, retention, and sharing. After retiring from P&G, he worked as a consultant for Your Encore in knowledge management and fats and oil development. Outside of work, Schafermeyer coached soccer and softball for 19 years, is active in his local AIChE chapter, church and community groups, and various arts organizations. He serves on the board of the Carpenter Enamel Center and is president of the Ohio Valley Enameling Guild. He and his wife, Nancy, have three children, two chemical engineers and one environmental engineer. 

Thomas Sonderman of Apple Valley, Minnesota, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1986. He also holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from National Technological University. In 2017, Sonderman was appointed lead executive and elected to the board of directors of SkyWater, a U.S.-investor-owned semiconductor manufacturer. As CEO, he oversees efforts to maximize shareholder value through collaborating with customers, partners and other external stakeholders to drive the company’s long-term vision for the future. He has been instrumental in leading the company’s successful business transformation, and he led SkyWater’s initial public offering in April 2021. Sonderman has effectively diversified SkyWater’s customer base and leveraged SkyWater as a U.S.-based semiconductor foundry to expand the company’s government business and reinstate a strong commercial manufacturing presence in the U.S. He has built a leadership team that inspires 800 employees. Prior to joining SkyWater, Sonderman’s extensive industry experience included all aspects of fab operations and delivering market leadership and increased shareholder value to high-technology industry leaders Rudolph Technologies, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and AMD. A widely recognized subject matter expert, Sonderman holds 50 patents and is a highly sought-after industry speaker. 

Dr. Mark Trampe of Hillsborough, New Jersey, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Missouri S&T in 1984. He also holds master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois. Trampe began his career at Union Carbide (now Dow). For 19 years, he conducted process research for several specialty chemicals businesses. His research focused on scale-up of new products and development of process optimization concepts, which were followed by tech transfer to commercial-scale manufacturing sites. He was awarded a Dow Technology Award for improvements to the methyl cellulose process and he earned one process patent for a process to convert waste sodium acetate back to virgin sodium hydroxide and acetic acid for recycle. Trampe implemented process analytical technologies at multiple manufacturing sites to improve process control and production capacity. He then accepted a position at FMC’s Innovation Center, working on process development of new formulation technologies for agricultural products. He was responsible for the tech transfer of two new fungicide product lines to multiple global sites. He then moved on to Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials (now Veranova), where he is technical lead for the commercial manufacturing of new drug products. Veranova provides manufacturing capabilities for new therapeutic treatments developed by their customers. His initial project was the start-up of commercial manufacture of the drug eteplirson which combats Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Subsequent projects involved drugs for pain management, ADHD and cancer. Trampe and his wife, Diane, have three adult children.

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