Casey Erdmier

Casey Erdmier

Manager of Information Systems

Chip Ayers

Chip Ayers

Pilot Plant Program Director

Danny Bragg

Danny Bragg

Technical Program Director

Darnell Wilson

Darnell Wilson

Pilot Plant Program Director

Fern Howard

Fern Howard

Executive Assistant

Linoj Kumar

Linoj Kumar, Ph.D.

Research Manager

Martha Simmons

Martha Simmons

Analytical Services Director

Omar Ali

Omar Ali, Ph.D.

Director of BioProducts

Richard Robbins

Richard Robbins

Pilot Plant Manager

Thomas Cox

Thomas Cox

Controller

Walter Chappas

Walter Chappas, Ph.D.

Director of Advanced Materials

Cheng Zhang

Cheng Zhang, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Rafael Quirino

Rafael Quirino, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Casey Erdmier

Mr. Erdmier joined Herty in 2008. He oversees all equipment and operations involving computers, networks and voice communications.He has previously held IT positions with Coca-Cola Savannah and Kern-Coleman & Company.

Chip Ayers

Eugene “Chip” Ayers
Mr. Ayers joined the Herty team in 1994 as an operator in the R&D department. During his 21 years at Herty he has been involved in all aspects of paper making processes, including forming and calendaring, as well as non-woven product development. He has worked in supervisory capacities from Team Leader to his current position of Program Director in Advanced Materials Development. He also recently assumed the position of Safety Coordinator for the facility.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280sreya1454800280c1454800280

Danny Bragg

Mr. Bragg joined Herty in 1987 and has spent 28 years helping customers with their pilot plant projects. Project areas include nonwovens, traditional paper making, as well as stock preparation. Danny is responsible for pre-project planning, project implementation and post project analysis and reporting.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280ggarb1454800280d1454800280

Darnell Wilson

Mr. Darnell Wilson joined the Herty team in 1992 as an operator in the R & D Department. For 23 years he has worked as the project manager in various areas. Some of his projects have included paper making and biomass research. Darnell is also responsible for Plant Operations and Project Management.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280nosli1454800280wd1454800280

Linoj Kumar

Dr. Linoj Kumar, Research Manager of Herty has established expertise in chemical processing of natural fibers and fractionation chemistry of lignocellulose to produce novel biochemical formulations and advanced materials (nanocarbon, nanocellulose etc.). He has also worked extensively on process analysis and engineering of both thermochemical and biochemical processing platforms for forest and agricultural biomass. Dr. Kumar has completed his PhD from the University of British Columbia (UBC), Vancouver, Canada and subsequently did his post-doctoral work in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering at UBC. He has more than ten years’ experience in developing and commercializing technologies for the processing biomass to fuels, materials and chemicals, led many scientific projects in this area, authored many technical reports and peer reviewed publications and invited to present in many international conferences.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280ramuk1454800280l1454800280

Martha Simmons

Ms. Simmons holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Savannah State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University. Ms. Simmons joined Herty in 1981 as a pulp and paper chemist. During her 30 years at Herty, she has held positions as Chemist, Project Manager, Analytical & Chemical Testing Manager and Assistant Laboratory Manager. Prior to joining Herty, Ms. Simmons held research and method development positions with Hercules at the Wilmington, NC facility and the Research Center in Wilmington, DE.  She also worked in Quality Control and Method Development at Hercules’ Brunswick, GA and Savannah, GA plants. She has been a member of TAPPI since 1981.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280snomm1454800280ism1454800280

Omar Ali

Dr. Ali joined Herty in November 2007 following a successful career as a researcher and technology developer in the forest products industry. Dr. Ali is a research and technology professional with a proven track record in technology development, new product and process development and research and technology management. He has over 25 years experience in R&D and technology development. His expertise is in chemical engineering, pulp and paper and bioenergy. Dr. Ali received his B.Eng., M.Eng., and Ph.D degrees in Chemical Engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He has worked at the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, Union Camp Corporation, International Paper and Rayonier prior to joining Herty in 2007. Dr. Ali is a long-time member of TAPPI.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280ilao1454800280

Richard Robbins

Mr. Robbins joined Herty in 1978 in wet and dry laboratory testing. During his 35-year tenure, Mr. Robbins held positions as Team Leader, Program Director and Pilot Plant Manager. Throughout this time, he gained experience in all areas of bleaching, pulping, refining and papermaking. Currently, Mr. Robbins oversees plant operations and serves as the management representative for Herty’s ISO 9001:2008 program.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280snibb1454800280orr1454800280

Tom Cox

Mr. Cox joined Herty in 2006 and brings 35 years of financial management experience to his position as Controller. In the senior accounting role at Herty, Tom is responsible for all accounting, forecasting, financial reporting and the overall financial management. Prior to joining Herty, Mr. Cox held senior financial positions with AT&T Wireless, CVS Drugs and Tribune Broadcasting. He holds a degree in Accounting and Business Management from the Purdue University, Krannert School of Business.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280xoct1454800280

Walter Chappas

Dr. Chappas has a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland. He was on the faculty of the University of Maryland’s Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering and was Director of the University’s Laboratory for Radiation and Polymer Science and Radiation Engineering Facilities. A noted serial entrepreneur, Dr. Chappas has formed several companies focusing on materials processing and the production of novel polymer-based products. He has been the guest editor for three technical journals, has published chapters in three books, holds six patents, and has published 39 technical papers in the fields of radiation processing, chemistry, and quality control.

Contact: moc.y1454800280treh@1454800280sappa1454800280hcw1454800280

Office: 912.963.2625

Cheng Zhang

Dr. Cheng Zhang is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Zhang earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 2007.  He then worked as a Postdoctoral Associate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2007 to 2010, before joining Georgia Southern University in August 2010. His research interests are computational fluid dynamics, computational aeroacoustics, coal/biomass gasification, biomass to liquid fuels, pellet extrusion, diesel/biodiesel combustion, and wind energy.

Rafael Quirino

Rafael L. Quirino received his BS in Chemistry and his MS in Physical Chemistry from the University of Brasilia, Brazil. In 2006, he joined the Larock group at Iowa State University (ISU), where he completed his PhD in Chemistry in 2011. He then joined, as a Research Associate, the Polycomp research group lead by Dr. Kessler in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, at ISU. In 2012, he started his independent career at Georgia Southern University as an Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry. His research group focuses on the preparation and characterization of novel bio-based polymer and nano-composites.