Expert Details

Expert in Chem. Eng. Process Design, Pharmaceutical Batch Reactor System Design, Solvent Separation & Recovery

Expert ID: 721786 Washington, USA

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In recent years, Expert has pursued consulting activities through his company relating to the design and installation of pharmaceutical batch reactor plants (600- to 50-gallon), both glass-lined and solid specialty steels. These plants, focused on chemical intermediates, generally do not include the finishing operations of the final pharmaceutical product and therefore are more typical of chemical plants. However, the demands of process equipment inertness to chemicals and solvents are very rigorous. Most product wetted equipment is generally glass, Teflon, Hastelloy or 316 stainless steel.

His responsibility has entailed the design of the temperature control systems, (PC control or analog individual) pumping fluid mechanics, and heat exchangers and condensers for total system safe operation. All plants are designed for Class I, Group 1 or 2 as required for electrical code conformance. Expert has designed the specific heat exchangers, condensers, vacuum systems, heating systems, and selected the refrigeration systems and boilers to assure an economical balance between the utility requirements and capabilities of each piece of equipment.

Usually included in the design approach and plant layout is an economical plan for expansion of the plant, when appropriately sized utilities are incorporated into the original design. Expert notes that since a very wide array of chemical solvents is required, the process equipment designed is based on the physical properties of the solvents and chemicals that may be used in all future operations. This entails an intimate knowledge of the physical properties of the solvents and their potential interaction for reactor operating parameters, such as evaporating temperature and pressure, heat transfer of endothermic and exothermic reactions and basic reaction kinetics. He has cooperated with the research chemists who run reactions on the bench which determine kinetic parameters to incorporate into an operating procedure. A thorough understanding of the thermodynamic properties of the solvents through the use of equations of state for calculation of activity coefficients to determine vapor pressures and solvent non-idealities is often necessary.

As a consultant to a distillation equipment manufacturer, Expert designed small packed column distillation systems for the recovery and purification of solvents for both the pharmaceutical and solvent recovery industries. He designed a solid/liquid solvent extraction plant for the extraction and photochemical stabilization of a natural resin used in the beverage industry. This process entailed the reduction of a keto group with sodium borohydride to a secondary alcohol in the presence of a triketomethene molecule which was not affected. Expert holds six patents related to the original processes. The reduction process has been replaced by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction followed by catalytic hydrogenation of side chains.

Most recently, he created a new process which is the subject of a pending U.S. patent for the ultra purification of recycled acetonitile widely used in the genetic engineering industry. He serves as an advisory engineering director and board member of the company being created to commercialize the technology.

Expert visited a pharmaceutical plant to review the faulty operation of a tray dryer and document the equipment used. He then determined the proper size and operating conditions to make the system efficient. The liquid ring vacuum pump proved to be far too large, placing a large heat dissipation burden on the cooling system.He visited a paper company to review the proposed operation of a large heat recovery system. While on-site, Expert reviewed the design principles involved in choosing the correct equipment. The advice was accepted and the company ordered the proposed equipment. Expert reviewed the operation of a very large existing heat exchanger system to assess the cause of failure. The manufacturer blamed excessive and improperly reported high viscosity for the problem. When the solution of the problem was not evident, he built a "Stokes falling ball device" for measuring viscosity to actually demonstrate, using the plant streams, the real viscosities. The demonstration proved that viscosity was not the problem. This was followed by repeating all of the design calculations to show that the system was improperly designed.During a plant start-up, a stripping column would not discharge a stripped stream to its appropriate receiver. The problem was presumed to be insufficient head on the discharge line with respect to the stripper vacuum. However, physical measurement did not confirm this. The maintenance staff were finally convinced to take down the line and it was found that a valve in which the core of the body was solid and did not fully go through the casting body although the stem, without a gate, moved up and down freely. Expert observed a flow control system that was cyclically unsteady making continuous wide swings around the instrument set point. The problem was perceived to be an improperly-sized impeller, a poor controller, or a faulty mag meter. Since the mode of positioning the variable sheaves was an air-actuated spline positioner, lubricating the spline, which was operating in a damp environment, readily solved the difficulty.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Seattle, Washington - Tacoma, Washington - Bellevue, Washington - Everett, Washington - Federal Way, Washington - Kent, Washington - Bellingham, Washington - Lakewood, Washington - Renton, Washington

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1955 Degree: M.S. Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of Wisconsin at Madison
Year: 1949 Degree: B.S. Subject: Chemical Engineering Institution: University of Wisconsin at Madison

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1979 to 2003 Employer: Undisclosed Title: Owner and President Department: Responsibilities: As owner and president, Expert is responsible for all operations of the company. As a registered professional engineer, he assumes all responsibility for engineering design, calculations and performance of the work done by both himself and any subordinates under his direction. His company’s most recent accomplishment was the design and installation of a four-reactor suite pharmaceutical synthesis plant which is now successfully operating. Expert’s company currently has a contract for expansion of that plant also.

He has consulted on the design and operation of large heat exchange recovery systems for the pulp and paper industries. He was associated with a client for thirteen years, consulting on the design and operation of distillation systems for the purification and recovery of solvents. He designed their current line of small packed column stills.

When alcohol fuels were in high vogue, Expert designed eight smaller alcohol plants using corn. sorghum and potatoes as potential fuels. His combined experiences have given him sound knowledge of the design of explosion proof plants – having designed and built his first solvent extraction plant decades ago. The current pharmaceutical plants are, of course, explosion proof design.

(These activities were pursued concurrently at a reduced level during Expert’s engagement in the Medical College since there was no conflict and engineering was his primary interest.)
Years: 1993 to 1997 Employer: Intellectual Property Associates, Inc. Title: Co-Owner and President Department: Responsibilities: With co-owners, a patent lawyer and a license expert, Expert and his associates at Intellectual Property Associates pursued patent applications, wrote license agreements and contracts for the various forms of intellectual property. This activity was pursued concurrently, on a limited basis with Undisclosed
Years: 1983 to 1992 Employer: Medical College of Wisconsin Title: Vice President Department: MCW Research Foundation Responsibilities: Expert reviewed and evaluated new technologies created by the 800-person staff of the Medical College of Wisconsin. He counseled inventors on the probability and potential value of obtaining patents to create license positions for the technologies. He wrote and administered the subsequent license agreements for the commercialization of the new technologies and other intellectual property.
Years: 1972 to 1978 Employer: Schlitz Brewing Company Title: Director of Research Department: Corporate Staff Responsibilities: Expert directed the 35-person staff in engineering development for the (now closed) Schlitz Brewing Co., and the research departments of the company with a goal to improve process operations, minimize capital investment and produce new products. He and his development engineering staff, over a period of three years, evaluated each and every step of the production operations of six plants to critically assess capacity capabilities. The ultimate purpose was to delineate the exact equipment which required replacement at the least capital cost to effect substantially increased plant capacity.
Years: 1955 to 1972 Employer: Phillip Morris Title: Director of Research and Process Engineering Department: Miller Brewing Company Responsibilities: At Miller Brewing, Expert directed the improvement of process operations, reduction of operating and capital cost and the R&D laboratories. One of his most significant activities was the to direct the research, design, and construction of a solvent extraction plant for the isolation of hop resinous compounds for their chemical modification. It entailed taking research data from the bench and reducing it to plant design without the benefit of pilot plant evaluation, a very high-risk approach. The complex plant was designed, constructed, and operating within a 16-month period and continued operating for an additional 23 years until replaced by new technology. The process was similar to the present pharmaceutical synthesis plants Expert’s company now designs. His department designed and installed the first continuous automated filtration system ever used in the brewing industry.

Expert served as a member of the corporate "Technical Committee" which was the governing authority for all technical decisions of the corporation. He was successively promoted over a period of seven years from assistant process engineer to the principal technical position in the company. In addition to his engineering responsibilities, he directed the applied research in chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry.
Years: 1951 to 1955 Employer: Geo. J. Meyer Mfg. Co. Title: Chemical Engineer Department: Responsibilities: As the principal development engineer, Expert was responsible for evaluating heat transfer phenomenon in the pasteurization of beverages and foods, corrosion protection of equipment, techniques and devices such as cathodic protection, coating evaluation, plastics parts introduction and pasteurizer design. He developed an algorithm for the mathematical design of food and beverage pasteurizer cycles and reduced development department data to a graphical method of machine design. This also served as Expert’s M.S. thesis with full support of his company.
Years: 1950 to 1951 Employer: Globe Union, Inc. Title: Assistant Process Engineer Department: Centralab Division Responsibilities: He assisted the senior process engineer in the development of ceramic coating processes used in the printed circuit industry. Expert devised a process for preventing fusion of ceramic electronic disk components from fusing together during bulk kilning through the random introduction of a non-compatible ceramic dust, saving over a million dollars per year in losses.
Years: 1949 to 1950 Employer: Marathon Paper Company Title: Assistant Process Engineer Department: Process Engineering Responsibilities: Expert gathered plant data for the improvement of paper conversion and coating processes.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Expert is a former member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), and the Association of University Technology Managers.
Licenses / Certifications
Expert is a registered P.E. in Wisconsin (E-6902).
Professional Appointments
He is a former board member for the following organizations: POPE Scientific Inc., Medical Advances, Inc., Health Line Laboratories, Metriflow. Inc., Polylactane, Inc., Chemcycles, Inc., and Sorba Medical, Inc.
Awards / Recognition
Expert received the Wisconsin Venture Network Technology Transfer Achievment Award.
Publications and Patents Summary
He has seven issued patents and one patent application pending.

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Expert has acted as an expert witness for two law firms in cases involving intellectual property suits. He has given depositions in several trials.
Training / Seminars
He developed a three-hour training program relating to patents and licensing and a three-hour lecture related to brewing and malting. (Neither of these activities has been pursued in recent years.)
Vendor Selection
For the last contract, Expert purchased several million dollars of equipment for the pharmaceutical plant he designed. This included, reactors, pumps, valves, piping, instrumentation (a fully PC-controlled system), boiler, vacuum systems, heat exchangers, condensers, air supply, explosion proof and/or intrinsically safe wiring, and more.
Other Relevant Experience
He attended a summer course at the Sloan Business School of MIT on Technical Management. He also was an instructor of 'Engineering Physics' at Marquette University.

Fields of Expertise

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