Position: Contract lecturer, Field: Energy management, Organisation: University of Otago.

Eric grew up in the US as part of a family deeply involved in science and engineering. There was a good chance that he would have similar interests, and with his enquiring mind and fascination with how things behaved the way they did, this proved to be the case.

Having completed his studies in chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, Eric followed this up by graduating with a PhD from Princeton University.

Jobs in process engineering with Air Products and Chemicals in the US and later in the UK then followed. The work often involved going out to existing chemical plants to test equipment, readjusting it if needed or redesigning it to operate more efficiently. As a result of this work, Eric and his colleagues were able to patent a number of ideas to improve the efficiency and reliability of a wide range of energy and separations processes.

In 2000, Eric got an opportunity to join a start-up engineering consulting firm called exida and begin teaching part-time at the University of Otago as part of a move to New Zealand. He has continued in both pursuits since then and enjoys the wide variety of projects with exida and the opportunity to share those experiences with postgraduate energy management students at the University of Otago.

Over the years, Eric’s interests have moved from improving the world with new science to improving the world with new ways to engineer existing science. He is interested in new understandings of how to better use existing science and existing engineering on existing problems.

I am continually amazed by how many things we can improve... applying what we already know in better, more effective ways.

Eric’s current areas of interest are equipment reliability and safety as well as the energy efficiency of industrial plants.

Outside of work, Eric enjoys spending time outdoors with his family, skiing, running, cycling and kayaking.

This article is based on information current in 2014.

    Published 29 April 2014