Jos de Wit
Technology Fellow, Corporate Innovation - Eastman Chemical Company
“Where Do Chemistry Ideas Come From?”
Dr. Jos de Wit obtained his bachelor of science degree in chemistry at Western Carolina University in 1983 and his doctorate in analytical chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1988.
de Wit joined Eastman and worked in manufacturing and research and development in chemicals, fibers, and plastics. He spent 12 years in coatings technical services with emphasis on cellulose esters. He has presented numerous papers at technical conferences and symposiums and is currently a Technology Fellow in the Polymer Research Laboratory.
Over the last few years, de Wit has worked on the development of Eastman Omnia™ high-performance solvent and filtration applications using Eastman’s cellulose-based polymers.
Executive Vice President of Engineering - Algenol Biotech
"Photo-Bioreactor System for Algae-Based Production of Fuels and Chemicals"
Dr. Ron Chance began his career with Honeywell, where he served in a number of research positions including Research Manager for Electronic Materials. In 1986, he joined Exxon as the Director of the company’s Polymer Laboratory, later serving as Division Manager for the Paramins Technology division, and as Distinguished Scientific Advisor in ExxonMobil’s Corporate Strategic Research Laboratories. Dr. Chance retired from ExxonMobil in 2006 and joined the Georgia Institute of Technology as Professor of the Practice with a joint appointment in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He also served as Distinguished Scientific Advisor Emeritus at ExxonMobil from 2006-2009. Dr. Chance is currently Executive Vice President and Head of Engineering for Algenol Biotech. His primary current research interest centers around carbon capture and utilization via algae-based biorefineries. He has organized several international scientific meetings, served on numerous advisory boards, is a Fellow in the American Physical Society, and published more than 200 papers and patents. Ron received his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Global Operations Technical Advisor - LanzaTech
"Innovating for a Carbon-Smart Future"
Curt Studebaker is a Global Operations Technical Advisor for LanzaTech, a Chicago-based startup company that develops fuels and chemicals from waste gases. He completed his B.S. in chemical engineering at Purdue University in 2011. (*Boiler Up!*) Since joining LanzaTech in 2014, he has traveled around the world starting up units that demonstrate the company’s gas-to-ethanol (GTE) and alcohol-to-jet fuel (ATJ) technologies. Curt is now the technical lead engineer on a project to install a pair of pilot-scale fermenters at LanzaTech’s Freedom Pines Biorefinery in Soperton, GA. These fermenters will be LanzaTech’s largest self-operated unit and will address R&D and training needs both internally and externally. Prior to working at LanzaTech, Curt performed a similar role for Honeywell-UOP, leading pre-commissioning and commissioning activities at petrochemical refineries all over Asia.