EME has four volunteer-based Industrial and Professional Advisory Coucils (IPACs). Each IPAC helps to assist its program area through support, assistance, and guidance.
Program Chair: Derek M. Hall | firstname.lastname@example.org
IPAC Chair: Mark LaBarbera, Ph.D.
Position: Manager of Test and Operations Engineering
Organization: FuelCell Energy
Mark is the Manager of Test and Operation Engineering for FuelCell Energy. He received a Ph.D. Energy & Mineral Engineering from Penn State for his contributions to solid oxide fuel cell development and modeling. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Penn State with a focus on fuel science and thermodynamics. He has experience providing engineering support for the design and operation of an international fleet of MW scale grid-connected molten carbonate fuel cell-based power plants; and molten carbonate fuel cell-based carbon dioxide separation and hydrogen generation; as well as biogas cleanup and integration to molten carbonate fuel cell system.
Amber D. Kara, PE
Position: Senior Project Manager
Organization: Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
As a Senior Project Manager and engineer at ERM, Amber helps ensure clients in the power, oil and gas, and manufacturing industries maintain compliance with multimedia environmental requirements. Her experience includes the preparation of air quality permit applications, emissions reports, and compliance reports along with supporting stormwater, oil control, and chemical reporting projects.
Robert Borja Flagg Díaz
Position: Sr. Associate
Organization: New Markets, Ørsted
Robert has a B.S. degree in Energy Engineering from Penn State University and an M.S. in Wind and Renewable Energies from The Association of European Renewable Energy Research Centers (Universidad de Zaragoza/The National Technical University of Athens). He is focused on expanding the potential for underutilized sustainable technologies and has experience in market expansion, strategic partnerships, business case development, construction and operations of large-scale renewable energy projects.
Ruishu F. Wright, Ph.D.
Position: Research Scientist
Organization: National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) / Leidos
Ruishu F. Wright is currently a research scientist at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL)/Leidos in Pittsburgh, PA. She was awarded a Ph.D. degree in Energy and Mineral Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in May 2016. She also holds an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering and Technology from Tsinghua University and a B.S. degree in Metallurgical Engineering from Central South University in China. Her research is focused on corrosion mechanism study and advanced sensor development for Oil and Natural Gas infrastructure. Dr. Wright is an active member with the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE), the Electrochemical Society (ECS), and the Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society (TMS). She has published 30 technical articles and given 20 presentations at international conferences. She holds one awarded patent and three provisional patents. She also serves as a co-mentor and research advisor for DOE Mickey Leland Energy Fellowship (MLEF) Program and Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program.
Position: Managing Consultant – Energy and Sustainability
Organization: Federal Energy Efficiency Programs, ICF International
Emmy Feldman has 8 years of experience in advising government clients on energy efficiency. This includes providing technical, analytical, and programmatic support related to specification and test procedure development for the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR program. In her primary role at ICF, she serves as the project lead on the development of various ENERGY STAR specifications including Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, Televisions, Room Air Cleaners, and Audio/Video Equipment. She serves as the project manager providing key client support for EPA’s ENERGY STAR Commercial Food Service specification portfolio, with a focus on providing technical guidance regarding specification development. She is also the ICF-lead on the ENERGY STAR Emerging Technology Award program – analyzing emerging technologies, providing recommendations on those that deliver significant energy savings, developing efficiency criteria, and promoting those technologies.
Fernando Vallejos-Burgos, Ph.D.
Position: Materials Scientist
Organization: Carbon Centre of Excellence, Morgan Advanced Materials
He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Science in Chile for his experimental and quantum chemistry of studies of carbon reactions. He has worked with Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and worked in Japan for 6 years studying molecular fundamentals of adsorption and designing novel automatic laboratory testing apparatus. His current work is focused on the study of carbons for high-performance applications in tribology and electron transfer.
Position: Engineer II
Organization: Engineering and Project Management, South Jersey Gas Company
Alexa lives in Williamstown, NJ and graduated from the Energy Engineering undergraduate program in 2015. She currently manages the design and implementation of transmission engineering projects for South Jersey Gas Company and is also pursuing her M.B.A. through Penn State World Campus with a concentration in Engineering Leadership and Innovation Management.
Justin Beck, Ph.D.
Position: Corrosion Engineer
Organization: Berkshire Hathaway Energy Gas Transmission and Storage
Justin graduated from Penn State in 2008 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering – Fuel and Energy Option. Graduated again in 2012 with a Ph.D. in Energy and Mineral Engineering. During Ph.D. and Post Doc appointment studied corrosion in high temperature, high-pressure environments related to power plant boilers, supercritical CO2 sequestration/storage, and oil/gas extraction. In 2017 joined BHE Gas Transmission and Storage as a corrosion engineer for natural gas transmission pipelines. Currently develops and implements corrosion prevention/mitigation strategies for 4,000 miles of gas pipeline across 6 states and ensures compliance with federal regulations.
- Help support the Environmental Systems Engr (ENVSE) program in developing and achieving its mission and strategic objectives
- Improve the understanding of what graduates of the program will need upon graduation
- Improve the quality of the educational experience by providing practical experience into the overall program
- Transfer knowledge and insight about global and domestic trends and practices in business, regulations and community expectations
- Help identify and jointly develop potential solutions for constraints, barriers, or critical issues that may inhibit or delay the program from achieving its mission and strategic objectives
Roles & Responsibilities
- Advise faculty and administration on critical issues, strategic objectives, program resources, desired program outcomes, learning objectives, and other educational issues
- Ensure Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are current and meet the needs of ENVSE stakeholders. Review objectives and feedback from industry groups on a regular basis – update PEOs as necessary.
- Support the program as necessary to maintain ABET accreditation. Work with the Program Chair to address ABET review findings, review materials for upcoming reviews, meeting the review committee members, etc.
- Interact regularly with faculty and students to contribute knowledge and expertise regarding the knowledge, skills, and abilities the graduates of the program will need in practice
- Continually look for new and improved methods for enhancing the quality and quantity of interactive dialogue between industry representatives, faculty, and students
- Participate in strategic planning and the development of new initiatives
- Consult with faculty to create opportunities for students and faculty to be exposed to the application of the principals and theories in practice and critical issues facing industry. Support the student society (SESE) through presentations on relevant industry issues, types of jobs, resume and interview skills, etc.
- As requested by Faculty, provide input and/or participate in teaching activities (e.g., capstone design, visiting lectures, new courses)
- Provide visible and vocal support for the program in highlighting the needs of the program. Advocate for the program within the Energy & Minerals Engineering Department & College of Earth & Mineral Sciences.
The industry advisory committee meets face to face at least once per year. Additional meetings and conference calls are scheduled by the Chair as needed. In consultation with the Program Chair and IPAC members, the IPAC Chair develops a meeting agenda that is distributed to all members prior to each meeting.
The advisory committee consists of a diverse group of professionals that may include representation from relevant technical disciplines and competencies such as:
- Environmental Engineering & Science
- Safety and Health
- Process Safety
- Extractive industries – Mining, petroleum, natural gas, etc.
- Chemical Process Industries
- Consulting and project management
- Regulatory Agencies
Based on nominations provided by ENVSE faculty and advisory committee members, the Program Chair endorses one member to serve as the Chair of the IPAC.
- Mike Barish
Somerset Coal International
- Larry T. Goodheart
Manager, Environmental Technology
Chevron - retired
- Kelly L. Hamilton (Chair)
- Michael J. Henk, CRIS
Assistant Vice President
Tokio Marine Specialty Insurance Company
- Lucy A. Sciallo-Tyler, CSP, CIH
- Christopher M. Stroz, CSP
Health, Environmental, and Safety Superintendent
Chevron Nigeria Ltd
PNGE Program Chair: John Wang
- Gary Packer – (Committee Chair); Newfield Exploration Company; Spring, TX
- Adwait Chawathe – Chevron; San Ramon, CA
- Paul Dudenas – East; Allison Park, PA
- Lou Durlofsky – Stanford University; Stanford, CA
- Steven Hinchman – Scala Energy; Houston, TX
- Thomas Lopus – Range Resources-Appalachia; Canonsburg, PA