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Advisory Board

Our advisory board draws its members from academia, industry, consulting firms and private practice, all working together to achieve the department’s mission.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Evaluate and provide feedback for improvement to the department on its vision, mission, strategic goals, program objectives and accreditation assessment results.

  • Promote NC State CBE within industry, advocating for internship, co-op, and job opportunities, as well as corporate sponsorship of our research, educational and other programs.

  • Support our students and faculty through student mentoring and seminars, senior design project formulation and advising, special projects (such as the department’s 100 year anniversary celebration), scholarships, and gifts, as well as advocating for the department within the alumni network.

Current Members

  • Kate Auernik (Ph.D. ’09), Pfizer

  • Billy Bardin (‘95), Dow Chemical

  • Dominic Brown (’12), Albemarle

  • Nick Clausi (‘94), ExxonMobil

  • Ana Piqueras Davis (‘91), Syngenta

  • John Davis (‘91), Syngenta

  • Elin Gabriel (‘85), H.B. Fuller (retired)

  • Danny Henderson (‘79, M.S. ’81), Corning

  • Mark Hurley (‘81), Explorer Pipeline

  • Thad Leister (‘87), GE Hitachi Nuclear

  • Michael W. Lowder (‘78), Eastman Chemical

  • Carnley Norman (Ph.D. ’00), Kite Pharma

  • Russ O’Dell (‘75, Ph.D. ‘78), NC State University

  • Stephenie Robertson (’95), FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies

  • Joe Royer (Ph.D. ‘00), ClockSpring NRI

  • Dave Sehgal (‘94, M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’02), Seqirus

  • Amanda Taylor (’90) Merck

  • John Wolf (’95), DuPont / Spectrum Plastics Group

Career Profiles of Current Members

  • Kate Auernik (M.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’09) earned a B.S in chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame and began her career in biopharma working for Merck supporting commercial viral vaccine manufacturing before entering the Ph.D. program at NC State where she worked under the direction of Dr. Robert Kelly. After NC State, Kate spent over 10 years supporting commercialization and/or technical transfer efforts in various technical and project management capacities for both clinical and commercial vaccine, mAb, regenerative medicine, and gene therapy products at companies including Merck, Humacyte, Takeda, and Pfizer. She currently works for Pfizer Global Supply, based in Sanford, NC, as the Head of Technical Operations – Validation.

  • Dominic Brown (B.S. ’12) joined Albemarle Corporation as a process design engineer in Baton Rouge, LA after graduating from NC State with a degree in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Biomanufacturing.  He held several roles in manufacturing before transitioning to a commercial role at Albemarle’s Charlotte headquarters.  He has since led Albemarle’s business segments in bromine, flame retardants and organometallics.  Currently, Dominic is Global Business Director for one of Albemarle’s fluid catalytic cracking business segments in Houston, TX.

  • Nick Clausi (B.S. ‘94) earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering at the University of Texas-Austin in 1998 and joined ExxonMobil as a research engineer at the Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. During his career he has held marketing, supply chain, engineering, and manufacturing positions in the ExxonMobil’s Chemical, Refining and Supply, and Research and Engineering Companies. He was manager of ExxonMobil Chemical’s New Product Platforms group, and in 2016 was named Vice President, Global Chemicals Technology. In 2018 Nick was named Senior Vice President of Polymers at ExxonMobil Chemical Company and in 2019 he became Vice President – Engineering at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company.

  • Ana Piqueras Davis (B.S. ’91) began her career as a process control engineer with ExxonMobil in Baytown, TX and later joined Advanced Micro Devices in Austin, TX as a quality and facilities engineer. She has since worked for Union Carbide/Dow Chemical in South Charleston, WV as a production manager, for Dow Chemical in Freeport, TX as a plant manager and for Kao Specialties America in High Point, NC as a health, safety and environment manager. Ana is now the Head of Health, Safety, and Environment for Syngenta’s North American Crop Protection Business in Greensboro, NC.

  • John Davis (B.S. ’91) earned a Ph.D. at the University of Texas-Austin in 1996. He started his career at Union Carbide/Dow Chemical in South Charleston, WV as a senior engineer in research and development, and later transferred with Dow Chemical to Freeport, TX as a senior process development specialist. John joined Syngenta Crop Protection in Greensboro in 2005 where he has held roles in process development, operational excellence and supply chain management. Currently, he is the Head of Crop Protection Finished Product Processing for Syngenta’s North America region.

  • Elin Gabriel (B.S. ’85) received her B.S. in chemical engineering from NC State in 1985 and her MBA from the College of William and Mary in 1997. She was honored with the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2015. She has almost 30 years of experience in leadership roles in engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management. Prior to her retirement, she served as vice president of Global Operations at H.B. Fuller Company, which specializes in the manufacture of sealants, adhesives, coatings and other specialty chemical products worldwide. In 2013, Elin was selected as one of the Manufacturing Institute’s first STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award winners.

  • Danny Henderson (B.S. ‘79, M.S. ‘81) started his career at Shell Oil in Houston, TX. He moved to Corning in Wilmington, NC and became Engineering Manager. In 2004 he was named division vice president and business director, Corning Specialty Materials. Danny was named plant manager for the Corning site in Wilmington, NC in 2007. Danny has held executive roles for Corning as Manufacturing Manager and later VP of World Wide Manufacturing. Currently Danny is Vice President of Manufacturing at Corning.

  • Mark Hurley (B.S. ‘81) worked 28 years at Shell, from 1981 to 2009, starting at a refinery in St Charles, LA and moving up through the managerial ranks to become President of Shell Pipeline Co., LP. In 2010 Mark was hired as Senior Vice President, Crude Oil and Offshore for Enterprise Products Partners based in Houston, TX. In 2012, Mark joined Blueknight Energy Partners as CEO. Blueknight Energy Partners is an Oklahoma City oil and asphalt corporation with revenues approaching $200 million.

  • Thad Leister (B.S. ‘87) initially went to work as a process design engineer at Sirrine Environmental Consultants in Greenville, SC. He then joined General Electric where he worked in the Gas Turbine group as the Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager. Thad was later promoted to the GE Plastics business where he served as the Global EHS Manager for their Silicones business and as a Plant Manager in their Specialty Chemicals businesses. Thad is now with GE Hitachi Nuclear where he is the Global Operations Manager.

  • Michael W. Lowder (B.S. ‘78) began his career as a process design engineer at Tennessee Eastman, a subsidiary of Kodak. During his 44-year career with Eastman, he has held numerous assignments in engineering, operations, corporate strategy and mergers / acquisitions. Lowder served four years on the Board of Directors of the Engineering and Construction Contracting Association (Chairman in 2011) and five years on its Executive Advisory Council. He was honored with induction into the National Academy of Construction in 2019.

  • Carnley Norman (Ph.D. ’00) earned a B.S. in chemistry from Morehouse College and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Georgia Tech before entering the Ph.D. program where he worked under the direction of Dr. P.K. Lim. Carnley has over 20 years of therapeutic protein and vaccine drug substance process development, characterization, technology transfer and manufacturing experience. He has held senior engineer positions at a number of pharmaceutical companies including Merck, Amgen, Medimmune and Novartis. Carnley held a number of executive roles at KBI Biopharma including Director of Downstream Process Development, VP of Manufacturing Operations and VP of Global Process Development. In 2021 Carnley was named VP and Head of Manufacturing Sciences and Technology at Kite Pharma.

  • Russ O’Dell (B.S. ‘75, Ph.D. ‘78) completed his Ph.D. under the direction of Dr. Ron Rousseau. He began his career at Fiber Industries in Charlotte as an R&D engineer. Through a series of corporate buyouts he then worked for Celanese, Hoechst Celanese, Hoechst North America and KoSa. Russ moved up the technical ladder to become the Global Manager of Technology for the PET business. In 2002 Russ came to NC State as a Development Officer in the Engineering Foundation. He retired from NC State in 2014, but has returned to the CBE Department in a part-time role as Director of Alumni Relations.

  • Stephenie Robertson (B.S. ’95) initially served in the U.S. Army as an Engineer Officer. She then earned an M.S. in chemical engineering at the University of South Florida. Stephenie started in industry as a chemical process engineer at Ajinomoto Amino Science, and soon took on management roles as a Separation Department Supervisor and then Head of Production. She next went to Novartis (now Seqirus) and took on a series of management positions, eventually being named Director, Quality. In 2018 Stephenie joined FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies as Senior Director, Operations and in 2020 was named Vice President, Operations.

  • Joe Royer (Ph.D. ‘00) joined the graduate program at NC State after earning a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1995. His Ph.D. work. was co-advised by Drs. Saad Khan and Joe DeSimone. After earning his Ph.D. and a short post doc co-advised by Drs. Khan and George Roberts, Joe took a position at Milliken and Company in corporate research in 2002. Joe has held various leadership positions in corporate and business unit R&D, and was technical director for the Milliken Infrastructure Group. When Milliken Infrastructure was sold to ClockSpring NRI in 2019 he became VP of R&D.

  • Dave Sehgal (B.S. ’94, M.S. ’99, Ph.D. ’02) started his career at Merck & Co. as an Environmental Engineer after his BS degree.  Over his 18 years at Merck he held various roles within technical services and operations management and he earned MS and PhD degrees while being employed.  In 2012 Dave joined Novartis (now Seqirus) Flu Cell Culture Facility in Holly Springs, as Director, Drug Product Operations, and in 2016 was promoted to be Site Head of Quality / Senior Director, Quality Operations.  Dave joined FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in 2017 as Vice President, Process Development; however, he returned to Seqirus in 2020 as Site Head and Head of Manufacturing.

  • Amanda Taylor (B.S. ’90) initially went to work as an engineer with Dow Chemical in Dalton, GA. She then joined Merck in Elton, VA, where she worked in several roles including as a Project Engineer in Environmental Engineering. Amanda next moved into operations management at the Elton sites as a Maintenance Superintendent followed by Director of Maintenance. She then was selected for plant leadership roles as Director, Biotechnology IPT Leader followed by Director, Biologicals IPT Leader and Director, Vaccine Operations. Amanda next moved into executive positions with Merck as she was named Executive Director in West Point, PA, followed by Plant Manager at the Wilson, NC, site and Vice President-Plant Manager at the Durham, NC, site.

  • John Wolf (B.S. ’95) started his career at Cryovac (now Sealed Air) in Greenville, SC. He moved up the ranks at Sealed Air holding positions as Plant Manager, Director, Vice President, Global Vice President and ultimately Global Vice President and General Manager. In 2019, John joined Spectrum Plastics as Division President and two years later he was named President and CEO. The business was acquired by DuPont in 2023 and John became a Global General Manager at DuPont and CEO of the Spectrum Plastics Group.

Career Profiles of Emeritus Members

  • Jeff Buffo (B.S. ‘85) started his career at Milliken & Company in Spartanburg, SC as a process engineer in the textile business. He later joined EuroKera North America in Fountain Inn, SC where he became plant manager. Jeff now is a partner at Keller Williams Realty in Marrietta, GA.

  • John Chambard (B.S. ‘97) has spent his entire career at ExxonMobil, initially starting in Baytown, TX as a process contact engineer and moving into management as the Engineering Services Section Supervisor. In 2009 John transferred with ExxonMobil to Fairfax, VA as Corporate Reliability Specialist with responsibilities for manufacturing sites across the country. John transferred in 2013 to Baton Rouge, LA continuing in his role as Corporate Reliability Specialist.

  • Norvin Clontz (B.S. ‘65, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ‘70) earned three ChE degrees from our department. His advisor for both his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees was Dr. Warren L. McCabe. Norvin spent his entire career at Milliken, becoming president of Milliken’s larest division – Fashion Apparel and Specialty Fabrics. He also had responsibility for Corporate Engineering, Operations Research, Dyeing and Finishing Technical Services and Corporate Environmental and Energy Management.

  • Jeff Dugas (B.S. ’90) entered the medical profession after graduation, earning an M.D. from Duke University School of Medicine in 1994, followed by an internship at UNC Hospitals, an orthopedic surgery residency at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and a fellowship in sports medicine at the American Sports Medicine Institute in Birmingham, AL. Jeff is an orthopedic surgeon & sports medicine specialist at Andrews Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, AL. He treats orthopedic sports injuries, including injuries of the shoulder, elbow and knee. Jeff participates as a team physician for Troy University and provides sports medicine assistance for the Birmingham Barons and the Alabama Ballet.

  • John Earnhardt (B.S. ‘63) had a 33 year career with DuPont Fibers starting in R&D at Benger Lab in Waynesboro, VA and later moving to Richmond VA and Wilmington, DE, mainly in the Nomex and Lycra/Spandex businesses. After retiring in 1996, John studied two years at the University of Delaware in Environmental Science and started an Environmental Management consulting business, Pro Services Co., which he has operated and managed for 17 years.

  • Tommy Gibson (B.S. ‘74) spent his entire career at Alcoa, retiring in 2009 with 35 years of service. He started as a plant engineer in the Badin, NC aluminum smelter and rose through the ranks to become Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Public Strategy Manager, and Plant Manager. Tommy’s career included 27 years in Badin with shorter assignments in Alabama and New York.

  • Carlos Gutierrez (B.S. ‘60) initially took a job with Union Carbide in Bound Brook, NJ but came back south in 1962 to work for Milliken Chemical Corporation. Carlos has helped create four companies, starting with Unisphere Chemical Corporation in 1974, then G&H Industries in 1984, URRC (United Resource Recovery Corporation) in 1992 and NURRC in 2008. NURRC, a joint venture with the Coca-Cola Company, built the largest bottle-to-bottle polymer recycling facility in the world.

  • Randy Jester (B.S. ‘75, M.S. ‘77) did his M.S. work under Dr. Hubert Winston. He began his career as an R&D Engineer at Fiber Industries in Charlotte. Randy moved up the ranks at Hoechst Research and Technology Corporation as a group leader and project leader in their films business. Randy eventually became an engineering associate at Hoechst Celanese in New Business Development and an Engineering Associate in Market Development for TOPAS Advanced Polymers. Randy retired in 2013 and has started a consulting business.

  • Yang Luo (Ph.D. ‘94) came to NC State after a B.S. in chemical engineering at Zhejiang University in China. She started her career at International Paper in Erie, PA, as a research associate. In 1997 she joined Delphi in Lockport, NY, and worked her way up to Sr. Project Manager. Yang then moved to Praxair in Tonawanda, NY, in 2006 as a Development Professional and was subsequently promoted to Sr Program Development Manager. In 2009 Yang was named Associate Director of R&D and since 2015 she has been Director of R&D at Praxair. She took on a business role as Head of Adsorption & Membrane Plants, Americas for Praxair/Linde in 2020.

  • Ellis McGaughy (B.S. ‘82) started his career at DuPont in Wilmington, DE. He transferred to Kinston in 1992 and became a Continuous Polymerization Manager. He transitioned the site to Invista in 2004, then to Unifi ownership in 2005. Ellis returned to DuPont in 2005 as Plant Manager for the Charleston, SC continuous polymerization facility. In 2010 he was named Site Manager for DuPont at the Fayetteville site which was spun off as part of Chemours in 2015. Ellis retired from Chemours in November 2018 and is now President of Final Approach Aviation, LLC which specializes in general aircraft maintenance.

  • Mike McLean (B.S. ‘73) started out as a production engineer at Mallinckrodt Chemical in Raleigh. He later joined Ajinomoto and Wyeth Vaccines in production management positions. In 2009 he returned to the Mallinckrodt manufacturing facility where he started his career. Mike retired in 2013 after 40 years in industry.

  • Nate Miranda (Ph.D. ‘94) earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Stanford as well as a B.A. in English. His Ph.D. work was performed under the direction of Drs. Benny Freeman and Hal Hopfenberg. Nate started his career at W.R. Grace/Cryovac/Sealed Air in Duncan, SC, moving through the ranks as a Section Leader, Manager, and to Director of Technology and Innovation. In 2012 Nate joined PepsiCo in Hawthorn, NY, as an R&D Senior Director and in 2015 he joined MonoSol, a division of Kuraray, in Merrillville, IN as Director, Technical Services and Development. Nate joined TC Transcontinental in 2020 as Director, Innovation Platforms and Sustainability.

  • Tim Nolen (Ph.D. ‘89) came to NC State to do his Ph.D. under Dr. Peter Fedkiw after earning a B.S. in chemical engineering from Auburn University. He started his career at Eastman Chemical in Kingsport, TN as a process design engineer. Shortly after being promoted to Research Associate in 1998 he became a Group Leader for Chemical Engineering Research. In 2011 Tim was named a Technology Fellow in Process Engineering and Evaluation Research, a position he holds today, and in 2013 Tim was elected as a Fellow of the AIChE.

  • Ann Quillian (B.S. ‘85) began her career as an environmental engineer with the US Environmental Protection Agency in RTP. In 1990 she joined Monsanto as a Sr Environmental Engineer in the chemical division. Ann joined the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tampa, FL in 1999 as a permit engineer. In 2003 she went to work for Progress Energy/Duke Energy in St Petersburg as a strategic environmental analyst. In 2010 she transferred with Duke Energy to Raleigh as a Senior Environmental Specialist and she was promoted to Lead Environmental Specialist in 2017.

  • Joan Rodberg (Ph.D. ‘89) came to NC State after earning a B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She completed her Ph.D. work with Dr. PK Lim, finishing in 1989. Joan then accepted a process engineering position with Union Carbide in South Charleston, WV. In 2001 Joan became an employee of Dow Chemical when Union Carbide became a wholly owned subsidiary. She currently is a senior process engineer at Dow Chemical.

  • Stuart Thomas (Ph.D. ‘96) came to NC State after earning a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin. His Ph.D. work was performed under the direction of Drs. David Ollis and Steve Peretti. Stuart went to work for DuPont in Wilmington, DE as a scientist in their corporate R&D department. In 2005 Stuart moved into business development in the biofuels arena, and in 2009 was named Vice President of Technology and Licensing for DuPont Danisco Cellulosic Ethanol, which is now part of DuPont Biofuels Solutions after DuPont acquired Danisco.

  • Allen Tothill (B.S. ‘65) began his career as an area engineer at DuPont in Kinston, NC. His work there on process simulation and plant financial forecasting models led him to EDS in Dallas, TX. Allen then joined AMS, a software startup company, and was named VP of marketing. Allen next joined Sprint where he managed multiple sales organizations over a 17 year period and had global responsibility as National Accounts VP before retiring. He then joined Internap Network Services, Inc. and served as Vice President of Carrier Alliances. Today, Allen owns his own consulting company, and serves as an advisor and consultant to an information technology, and management recruiting agency.

  • Scott Warlick (B.S. ‘87) initially went to work for Champion Paper in Roanoke Rapids, NC. He moved from the paper industry to specialty chemicals in 1990 when he took a position in engineering at Mallinckrodt Chemicals. In 2006 Scott was promoted to Manager of Global Manufacturing Engineering where he oversaw capital projects for six sites and in 2010 he was named Plant Manager for the Mallinckrodt pharmaceuticals plant in Raleigh. Scott joined Mylan in 2015 as Senior Director of Manufacturing at their Morgantown, WV facility and in 2017 he became General Manager for Insys Therapeutics in Round Rock, TX.

  • Alan Weinberg (B.S. ‘63) first took a job with Esso Research & Engineering in Florham Park, NJ. In 1966 he came back south to work for W.R. Grace/Cryovac/Sealed Air in Duncan, SC. Over his 35 year career Alan worked in research & development, marketing, and business development. Alan moved up the ranks of corporate management to become Global Vice President of Research, Development and Extension.

  • Tamie Daniels Wells (B.S. ‘92) returned to her hometown to work as a process engineer at Eastman Chemicals in Kingsport, TN. She has steadily moved into roles with higher responsibility at Eastman, first in Corporate Technology Strategy as Growth and Innovation Leader and later as the Program Director for Sustainability Analysis. Tamie left Eastman to study medicine at East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine.

  • Jim Williamson (B.S. ‘85) started his career at Procter and Gamble in Greenville, NC as a process engineer and transferred with P&G to manufacturing facilities in Greensboro, NC and Rochester, NY. He left P&G after 15 years to start Innovative Systems, a firm that sells and installs home automation, audio and video systems. He merged his company with Audio Advice in 2008 and now is General Manager for their operation in Charlotte, NC.

  • Billy Willis (B.S. ‘76, Ph.D. ‘81) completed his Ph.D. work under Dr. Jim Ferrell and remained at NC State for 17 years eventually becoming the university Vice Provost for IT. Billy then progressed through a series of high level IT positions: Chief Technology Officer for Interpath Communications, IT Group Vice President at Cable and Wireless, Deputy Chief Information Officer for the State of North Carolina and Senior Technology Leader for Federal Programs at Raytheon. In 2011 Billy was named Chief Technology Officer at Duke University Health System and in 2020 became Executive Consultant at Duke Health.

  • Ron Zumstein (Ph.D. ‘87) came to NC State after earning a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Tennessee, and completed his PhD under the direction of Dr. Ron Rousseau. Ron went to work at Ethyl Corporation, now Albemarle, and has successfully held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility including site management at several of the company’s plant sites. In 2003, he became Vice President for Health, Safety, and Environment and in 2010 became Vice President of Manufacturing. Ron retired in 2019, most recently as a Sr. Vice President leading the company’s Corporate Engineering, Operational Excellence and HSE teams.