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At Lee Enterprises Consulting we have assembled the top group of renewable chemical and biochemical experts.  In addition to these consultants, we maintain strategic partnerships and working relationships with the nation’s top alternative fuels and renewable chemical professionals.  Our number of consultants makes us the world’s largest renewable chemical consulting group, but it is our combined talent and expertise that makes us the best!

Meet Our Renewable Chemical Team

Joel Stone (Executive Vice President) - U.S.

Joel Stone is the President of ConVergInce Advisers and has been a long term visionary and respected leader in commercialization of industrial biotechnology. Joel is the former President of Green Biologics Inc. where he led the development of the commercial platform of the company in North America for renewable n-butanol for use in the renewable chemical markets and ultimately “Advanced” biofuels. He now serves as President and Founder of ConVergInce Advisers and offers adviser services for industrial biotechnology companies including Green Biologics Limited based in Abingdon, England. Prior to the merger in 2011 with Green Biologics, Joel

was CEO of butylfuel™ Inc.   Previously he was responsible for leading Osage Bio Energy in establishing new product and business opportunities where as the company Chief Operations Officer he was instrumental in ushering BioRefining to the forefront of biofuel facilities. Joel has served as the Chief Operating Officer for both AS Alliances Biofuels LLC and previously Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation. During his tenure with ASAlliances, Joel’s accomplishments included the planning, construction, and startup of three 100 MMGPY fuel grade ethanol plants. Mr. Stone provided operations leadership as Vice President of Operations of Balchem Corporation, a manufacturer of controlled release food ingredients and animal feed nutrients; and 11 years as Vice President of Operations for Opta Food Ingredients, a developer and manufacturer of functional starch, protein, and fiber ingredients. Earlier in his career Joel served as Director of Manufacturing for Genencor, a biotechnology developer and manufacturer of food and industrial grade enzymes. During the 1980’s Mr. Stone provided leadership in the design, startup, and operation of three fuel ethanol facilities. Mr. Stone holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic University; and an M.S. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. Joel was a previous Board Member of Green Biologics and presently serves on the Technical Advisory Board for the BioRenewable Deployment Consortium.

Terry Mazanec (Catalytic processes, biogas upgrading, bio-based chemicals, risk analysis, corrosion, ceramic materials, reaction intensification, intellectual property)-U.S.

Dr. Terry Mazanec has been involved in the renewable fuels and chemicals area for much of his 35 years in R&D.  Terry worked 21 years at BP in alternate energy R&D, and then as Chief Scientist at Velocys for 9 years where he led the team developing microchannel processes for natural gas upgrading and chemicals production, including catalyst development, corrosion resistance, and metals coating.  He has been an independent consultant for the past 5 years serving clients in the USA, Europe, and Asia.  He has authored 20 refereed publications and has been granted more than 60 US Patents as well as numerous international patents. He has experience in biomass upgrading, natural gas conversion, solid oxide fuel cells, algae production, chemicals process development, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis, FEMA/risk analysis, and intellectual property protection.

David Dodds (Organic synthesis, chiral chemistry, biocatalysis, industrial biotechnology, integration of chemical and biological processes) - U.S.

David has a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry under Bryan Jones at the University of Toronto, post-doctoral work in molecular biology with Marvin Caruthers at the University of Colorado, and over 30 years’ experience leading interdisciplinary process development groups using biological methods to perform organic synthesis. He established Dodds & Associates in 2002, to provide technical consulting and management to start-up pharma & biotech companies, and now the growing industrial biotech and renewable chemicals companies. David provides technical strategy, project management, and due diligence across multiple disciplines; organic synthesis, chiral chemistry, biocatalysis, synthetic biology, fermentation and strain development, industrial biotechnology and renewable / biobased chemicals. In joining Lee Enterprises Consulting, David is able to expand his capabilities by engaging with engineers and other experts in the renewable chemicals area. David also provides expert witness service for patent litigation, and serves on a number of scientific advisory boards.

Ronald Newman (Formulation chemistry, quality assurance, risk assessment, process startup, complex chemistry troubleshooting, supply chain intelligence) - U.S.

Ronald has a PhD in chemical engineering & chemical technology from Imperial College of Science, Technology & Medicine, London, UK, and a diploma in cosmetic science from the London College of Fashion. He spent 17 years in the chemical industry leading multi-functional teams for the identification and commercialization of new chemicals, followed by 18 years working on the development & commercialization of new consumer products. Ronald started his own consulting business in 2012 with the principal goal of providing “ecologically sound product development” to companies with the aim of commercializing new product based on renewable materials. He has been a frequent contributor to “Household & Personal Care Today” technical journal writing articles about promising consumer product applications of renewable materials.

Bernard Cooker (Economic Assessments, Process Design, Due Diligence, Risk Mitigation and HAZOP Analysis) - U.S.

Bernard, a chemical engineer, with his Ph.D. from Cambridge University, has worked in industrial process R&D, design and scale up for 35 years. He founded his consultancy, Chemical Processing Solutions in 2015, having worked at two biotechnology startups. He deconstructed lignocellulosic biomass by high shear rates, with enzymic saccharification. He led a team which developed, piloted and costed a continuous saccharification process in segmented augers. At the second company, he designed the continuous PP for furan intermediate dechlorination, via a supported reduction catalyst, in a cellulose to p-xylene process. He improved and optimized the existing PP. His biotechnology output includes a 2013 – 2017 spreadsheet of over 500 biomass-fed process projects, on all scales, and “Lignocellulosic Biomass Deconstruction”, in the 2017 issue of Biofuels Digest.  He is co-inventor on 20 issued U.S. patents, and in two biotechnology process patent applications.

Previously, Bernard gained wide chemical process R&D experience. This comprised process conception, safety engineering, design, scale up and plant startups. This included: the powder mechanics of a gas phase polypropylene process, continuous gas phase PVC, polyarylether sulfone process development, and scale up of styrene/butadiene block copolymers. Bernard was a team member for development of new propylene oxide processes, via four routes, two being catalytic. He is experienced in catalyst development and manufacture and collaborated to successfully improve the commercialized PO/TBA process epoxidation yield.

Gregory T. Benz (Agitation, Mixing, Fermentation and Bioreactor Design) - U.S.

Greg has a BSChemE from the University of Cincinnati and over 40 years’ experience in the design of agitation systems, specializing in fermentation and bioreactors  He is a  Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and the President of Benz Technology International, Inc. Most of the well-known biofuel technology providers have used Greg as a consultant as he has experience in continuous flow, multistage reactor design. Currently he does agitation, mixing and bioreactor design consultation, including equipment specification and bid evaluation. He has designed more than 150 fermenter agitators, as well as many polymer and biofuel agitation systems. He is a member of AIChE, ISPE, SIM, SBE, American Mensa and the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. He has authored more than 20 technical articles. He has specific experience doing business in China, having managed his former employer’s business there for years, and having consulted there for multiple clients. He has traveled to China dozens of times and is a student of its language and culture.

Jeff Robert (Project & Process Development, Technology & Equipment Selection, Cost Estimation, Plant Commissioning, Operational Assessment, and Organizational Alignment) - U.S.

Jeff has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and 35 years of extensive technology development, commercial implementation, and operations management background.  He has a diverse multi-disciplinary background in Engineering, R&D, Operations, Management, and Business.  Having spent roughly half of his career in manufacturing facilities, He brings a hands-on, problem solving approach with both teams and processes. Jeff spent first half of his career in the food industry, specializing in new product/process development, process scale-up, project management, and plant operations, with a successful track record in taking technologies from the lab to commercial scale.  He spent the last 15 years in First Gen Ethanol, Cellulosic Technologies, and Biochemicals, and as a seasoned executive in the bioeconomy, Jeff offers broad experience in all aspects of commercialization including facility site selection, project development, permitting, process development, scale up, equipment selection, detailed design, cost estimating, construction supervision, commissioning, performance testing and facility operation.

Scott Warfield (Renewable Chemicals & Ethanol, Biomass Power, Anaerobic Digesters) - U.S.

Scott is an executive manager and leader with more than 35 years of management experience in engineering, construction and facilities operations in several industries including defense and government, manufacturing, semiconductor production, electrical and gas utilities and several renewable energy, fuel or chemical production start-up companies.  He recently completed construction of the first commercial scale, renewable acetone and butanol (ABE) production facility. Scott has managed all aspects of the project life cycle from concept and due diligence through engineering, permitting, construction, commissioning, operations and retirement and has more than 15 years in EPC contract management and execution.  His projects typically range in value from $10’s of million up to $500 million with two projects exceeding $1.5 billion.   Scott has worked internationally in Mexico, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Asia and Australia.

 

Scott earned his degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1981 and his MBA from Webster University in 1998.  He was formerly a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.  Scott has been nationally recognized by the U.S. Departments of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture for his expertise in renewable energy technologies and has been a guest speaker and panelist at numerous renewable energy conferences.  He also served on joint EPRI and Sematech industry councils to improve power quality for the semiconductor industry.  Scott has been the recipient of three national awards for excellence in EPC construction.

Katrina Cornish (Bio-based Chemicals, Bioproducts, Biomass Utilization and Emerging Technologies)-U.S.

Katrina has a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Birmingham, England.  She is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Science, and has more than 30 years’ experience in government, academia and the private sector. Dr. Cornish led the USDA’s development of domestic natural rubber and rubber latex sources from 1989-2004. She was honored as the USDA’s Outstanding Senior Scientist of the Year in 1998 and won a presidential award from the American Chemical Society in 2002. She is currently an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Bioemergent Materials at The Ohio State University.  She has 175 papers and patents in biochemistry engineering, crop development, biopolymers, processing engineering, and product development.

David Senyk (Biotechnology Engineering, Continuous Improvement and Process Optimization, Statistical Techniques in Experiment Design, Instructor in ASME BPE) – U.S.

David has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan, and over 25 years’ experience in industrial biotechnology engineering and operations with large multinational corporations and small startups. He was worked with organisms including bacterial, yeast, fungal and protozoan hosts, and has proven experience in continuous improvement and process optimization using statistical techniques such as design of experiments, evolutionary operations, and response surface modeling. David also has expertise in aseptic equipment design and is an instructor in ASME BPE. He has scale up experience on more than fifty processes, including both lab-to-pilot and pilot-to-commercial scale in a wide range of fermentor volumes.

James R. Hettenhaus (Commercializing Applications of Biotechnology; Cellulosic Biomass Projects) - U.S.

Jim has a B. S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an M. S. in Engineering (Servomechanisms) from St. Louis University in Missouri. He co-founded Biomass Supply Systems LLC, a consulting firm commercializing industrial applications of biotechnology. Since 1997, Jim has successfully led projects across the cellulosic biomass supply chain to accelerate biorefinery commercialization to fuels, chemicals and other value added products. His clients have included small, early stage start-ups to Fortune 50 companies in addition to DOE’s National Laboratories: NREL, ORNL and INL. He has served on the BOD and SAB of biotech companies, NGO, Academic and Government Advisory Boards. Prior to his consulting work, Jim’s career included assignments with Monsanto’s Chemical and Fisher Control Divisions, Anheuser Busch’s Corn Wet Milling Division, and Royal Gist-brocades Enzyme business (now DSM). He also participated in three early stage start-ups that were successfully sold: Econics, DDS Sugars and Carolina Intl Textiles. Jim has authored many publications covering biomass commercialization and reports for the National Renewable Energy, Idaho and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. He has made numerous presentations to investment, scientific, and government forums on subjects across the cellulosic supply chain for biorefineries.

Daniel Lane (Technical assessment, due diligence, scale-up planning & management, process & technology development, project management, commercialization) - U.S.

Daniel Lane is an engineering leader with 20 years’ experience and success in process & technology development in multiple fields, including consumer products, specialty chemicals, and renewable fuels and chemicals. As founder and president of Saille Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in advancing the growth of startup firms in the bioprocess industries, he serves both potential investors and stakeholders by evaluating technologies for funding and to identify key areas to focus R&D efforts. Dr. Lane has held executive and senior leadership roles with multiple start-up companies in the renewables industry focusing on biomass conversion and scale-up of technology and processes. He has been instrumental to the design and construction of seven pilot- and demonstration-scale facilities around the world, producing first- (corn) and second-generation (cellulosic) ethanol, cellulosic sugars, and bio-based animal feeds from a variety of lignocellulosic feedstocks. Dr. Lane spent the first half of his career in process engineering and project management, commercializing technology with such companies as Procter & Gamble and Degussa, performing process and equipment troubleshooting, benchmarking, feasibility studies, and installing and commissioning myriad process packages. With his proficiency in process simulation and technoeconomic modeling, Dr. Lane is a recognized expert in technical assessment for both private and government funding sources and has helped companies secure over $170MM in financing. Dr. Lane was awarded the James W. Stewart Jr. honor scholarship to attend Vanderbilt University, where he earned his B.E. in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry.  He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech.

Elizabeth Hood (Industrial Enzymes, Foreign Gene Expression in Transgenic Plants, Plant Cell Wall Structure and Function, and Protein Targeting)-U.S.

Dr. Hood has an M.S. in Botany from Oklahoma State University, a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and more than thirty five years of experience. She is a Distinguished Professor of Agriculture at Arkansas State University and owns two companies – one to produce enzymes for biomass conversion from transgenic plants, and another to help deregulate transgenic plants to produce those proteins and enzymes. She runs an active research lab at ASU in plant-based protein production technology and cell wall structure and function. Dr. Hood held positions at Utah State University, Washington University in St. Louis, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.  She was a Program Director in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences at the National Science Foundation in 2003-2004, and was a leader in forming one of the world’s foremost transgenic plant research groups at ProdiGene, a plant biotechnology company. She served as the director of the cell biology group for plant production of therapeutic proteins at Pioneer Hi-Bred International, a Fortune 500 Company. Dr. Hood is internationally recognized expert with over 75 publications and patents.  She is a renowned national and international speaker with a keen interest in the areas of renewable resources, using enzymes for industrial processes rather than chemicals. To date her company has produced three (3) single activity cellulases, and a peroxidase.

Saravanan Ramusubramanian (Renewable Chemicals, Biofuels, Bio Refinery, Synthetic Biology, Big Data Analytics) – U.S.

Saravanan has a PhD in plant microbial biology from University of Madras, India, post-doctoral work in “omics” technology at various nationally ranked academic institutes in France and USA.  He has more than 10 years of work experience in biotechnology and renewable chemical industries. Saravanan’s knowledge and expertise in biotechnology and renewable industrial includes laboratory analyses, biofuel conversion process, cellulosic/corn ethanol, biodiesel esterification process, biocatalyst, industrial enzymes, nutraceuticals/supplements, bio based chemicals, bio lubricants, bioprocess scale up and solving biotech issues and working with engineers. Saravanan is expanding his consulting capabilities in microbiome and synthetic biology industry-specific needs and technological solutions integrating Big Data Analytics and advanced statistical methods. Saravanan has several publications and has presented at international conferences on the topic of renewables, cell biology, biochemistry and omics analysis. Saravanan also serves on scientific experts and editorial boards.

Lorenz Bauer (Bio Oil Upgrading, Catalytic Pyrolysis, Catalyst Hydroprocessing and Hydrocracking, Hazardous Waste Recycling, and Contaminant Removal, Commercialization)-U.S.

Lorenz earned a degree in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.  He is the inventor on more than 18 patents with 8 more pending and 15 technical papers.   He had 26 years’ experience at UOP, the premier licensor of refining and petrochemical catalysts and processes.  While at KiOR, a biofuel start-up, his team successfully upgraded about 1 million gallons of catalytic pyrolysis oil to a drop in fuel that was directly blended with commercial fuels and sold to consumers.  He has a unique blend of process, catalyst and characterization skills.    His ideas increased yields by 10% and saved millions of dollars in capital equipment.  He is an expert in catalyst preparation and applications for both direct conversion, liquefaction and upgrading.  He participated in the commercialization and scale up of new technologies for Catalytic Pyrolysis, Upgrading non-traditional Feeds, Contaminant Removal, Hydroprocessing and Hydrocracking Catalysts, Heavy Oil and Hazardous Waste Recycling.  He is a Six Sigma Black Belt and an expert statistical analysis, data mining, experimental design and modeling.   Lorenz is also knowledgeable in carbohydrate and petrochemical processes to produce high purity small molecules.

Fivga, Angela (Plastics, Pyrolysis, Biomass, Process Design, Process Simulation & Economic Feasibility Studies, Waste to Energy)-Greece

Angela received her BEng and MEng. Mechanical Engineering (specializing in Management of Renewable Energy Resources) from the University of Western Macedonia in Greece. She received her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from Aston University, UK. She is a mechanical and chemical engineer with a strong background in pyrolysis, biomass, plastic waste management, and thermochemical conversion technologies. Her Ph.D. thesis contributed to the EC Biosynergy project, which evaluated bio-refineries for transport fuels.  In addition her many research activities, she has experience with process design, PFD, P&ID, HAZOP and techno-economic simulations using HYSYS Aspen, and has worked on the development and optimization of both small, and large pyrolysis systems (including establishing design and operating parameters for commercial versions of prototype systems).  Her most recent work has been as the head of R&D for Recycling Technologies, where she focused on enabling mixed plastic waste to be converted to heavy fuel substitutes and refined feedstock for plastics production.

David Edwards (Pilot Plant Design & Manufacture)-Canada

David is the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at our strategic partner, Zeton Inc., the recognized world leader in the design and fabrication of lab scale systems, pilot plants, demonstration plants and small modular production plants. David studied Chemical Engineering at the University of Nottingham in England, completing his M. Eng. in 1987. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario, and a Chartered Engineer in the UK. He is a member of AIChE and IChemE. David is involved in all aspects of supplying turnkey, fully-automated pilot plants to its customers.

Mark Farrer (Biodiesel, Biogas, Renewable Chemicals & Fuels) - U.S.

Mark earned his degree in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1993. He has been involved in many aspects of biodiesel since 2003. His work includes research and development of new production methods and processes, including one of the first commercial applications of a solid catalyst used in biodiesel production. Mark has designed process equipment and managed the entire process of constructing of biodiesel plants. This work included the process engineering, project management of the equipment fabrication and facility construction. Mark also commissioned and led the operations for two separate biodiesel facilities as General Manager and Director of Operations, respectively. Mark continued working with other remote facilities to provide technical expertise for engineering and operations improvement and troubleshooting. Mark has led the effort working with other consultants to secure BQ-9000 accreditation for multiple biodiesel facilities. This included the needed training for the staff to follow the required operation and laboratory procedures.

Mark’s knowledge and expertise in biodiesel includes process engineering, operations, staffing, laboratory analyses, feedstock sourcing and biodiesel sales.

In addition to Mark’s experience in biodiesel, he also has experience in biogas production and processing, water and wastewater treatment, natural gas processing including refrigeration, separation and liquids fractionation / distillation, and glycerin refining.

Jess Hewitt – (Offtake, Isobutanol & Fuel Additives)-U.S.

Jess received his B.S. in Economics from the University of Houston in 1980.  He is the Chairman of Gulf Hydrocarbon, the premier provider of biodiesel to the petroleum industry. Jess has over 30 years’ experience in the energy industry.  He is a former member of the National Biodiesel Board and the immediate past Chairman of its Marketing Committee.  He served as President of the Biodiesel Coalition of Texas and on the advisory board for the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).  He is a member of the ASTM committee governing petroleum products/biodiesel. He is a top authority on RINS, and directs our RIN consulting and offtake operations.  Jess also handles our isobutanol projects – marketing, fuels registration for EPA, RFS2 registration, and assistance with manufacturing and importer registration with the EPA and  IRS.

Irshad Ahmed (Project Finance, Business/Project Development, Fuel Additives)-U.S.

Irshad has an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduate degrees in engineering from MIT, Cornell University, University of New Hampshire and IITC, India.  He has advanced management certifications in Agribusiness from Harvard Business School.  He has served as an adjunct at Lehigh University and is on the Board of Advisors of the Speed School of Engineering at the Univ. of Louisville.  Irshad is a recognized expert in the renewable energy with over 20 years of experience. He is the inventor of E-Diesel and cellulosic ethanol biorefinery technology platforms and fuel additives.  He hold 31 patents, has written four books and over 100 publications, and manages over $200 million in ethanol, biodiesel and waste-to-energy projects.  He has raised over $250 million in equity and project financing for renewable energy projects. He has served in lead corporate management capacities at the US EPA, Booz Allen & Hamilton, as the President of National Biodiesel Foundation.  Irshad is the CEO of Pure Energy Corporation and an associate at MIT Sloan School of Management. 

Alan Jacobson (Ethanol, Biodiesel and Biomass Power in the areas of Feedstock Availability, Infrastructure Development, Contracting, Procurement Monitoring and Financing Due Diligence) - U.S.

Alan offers extensive biomass-to-energy expertise. During the past thirty years, Alan has specialized in biomass availability and cost studies of agricultural residues, urban wood residues, forest residues, and sawmill and remanufacturing residues for financial institutions and project developers. These studies have been conducted in the states of California, Montana, Oregon, New York, North Carolina, Michigan, Maine, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Hawaii, Florida, Washington, Alaska, Arkansas, the Country of Tanzania, Africa, the Provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Alberta, and throughout the Country of Italy.

Alan has extensive experience developing the infrastructure required to collect, process and transport all types of biomass, in negotiating long-term biomass fuel supply contracts, and in biomass fuel handling and inventory management. Alan was responsible for the procurement of wood fuel for the first stand–alone biomass power plants in northern California.  Alan has also prepared biomass feedstock supply plans and negotiated contracts for delivery of rice straw and wood waste to potential ethanol projects.

Alan has qualified as an expert witness in litigation of biomass facilities. Alan has a diverse professional forestry background in California, Oregon and Idaho spanning sixteen years of managing timberlands and procuring raw materials for sawmills.

Terry Podgorski, ASA (Machinery and Equipment Appraisals) – U.S.

Terry holds a BA, Magna Cum Laude, from Grand Valley State University and has over 23 years’ experience as a machinery and equipment appraiser.  He has considerable experience in manufacturing including chief operating officer and plant manager.  He is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers and holds a Machinery and Technical Specialties designation.  He owns Machinery Valuation Specialists, LLC, based in Holland, Michigan.  He has performed hundreds of machinery and equipment appraisals, including many in alternative fuels and other energy related fields.  His appraisals have been used for a variety of purposes including financing, tax, accounting, insurance, buying and selling, litigation support, and auctions.  He also consults and assists companies and financial institutions with the selling and disposition of assets.