Archive for January, 2006

Florence and Pisa, Italy

Wednesday, January 4th, 2006


In November, I headed over to Italy to give a series of lectures to the inaugural class at General Electric’s “Oil and Gas University” in Florence. This program has 25 students, from 15 countries around the world, including engineers from China Petrochemical International Company, Gazprom in Russia, and PDVSA in Venezuela.

GE recently set up the program in order to provide junior engineers in the oil and gas sector with both managerial and technical expertise, offering six months of training in four disciplines: 1) Leadership; 2) Energy; 3) Oil and Gas Processes; and 4) Rotating Machinery. It takes place at GE’s Florence Learning Center, their largest learning center in Europe. We also had a number of joint lectures at the Engineering School at the University of Pisa.


Our session was in the “Energy” module, and I was there—along with Sylvie Saulnier from IFP, Dominique Dron from Ecole des Mines de Paris, Stijn Santen from CO2-Net B.V. in the Netherlands, and a number of other European firms and governmental agencies—to address key environmental topics for the oil and gas industry.

Please check out GE’s Scholarship Program for young corporate-sponsored engineers in the oil and gas sector, and help spread the word about this challenging (and very effective!) training program.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

In October I was in Ecuador, working on a pollution control project with Juan Carlos Blum, Jorge Duque, and Mario Patino, and my other colleagues and good friends at Efficacitas.

Efficacitas is the best (and most well known) environmental consulting company in Ecuador, and they provide a wide range of services addressing the environmental impacts of energy facilities, dams, airports, etc.

We’ve worked together on several projects in the past, including the development of environmental by-laws for the country (with some help from U.S. EPA’s Cristina Fernandez), supported by the Inter-American Development Bank; air quality work for Duke Energy; etc.

Power plant in Ecuador

This year we bid on and won a project to analyze pollution control options for a thermal power plant located in Esmeraldas, in northern Ecuador. My job was to help analyze the facility’s options for sulfur dioxide control, including wet and dry scrubber systems, sorbent injection technologies, and sea water washing.

Our final report was submitted in December, and we’re looking forward to helping the firm achieve environmental compliance.


Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Roger at IAEA

The summer months of 2005 were fascinating, spent at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna. I worked with Dr. Ivan Vera in a follow up to IAEA’s successful Indicators for Sustainable Energy Development (ISED) project. This multi-year, multi-agency effort developed a set of indicators for the energy component of sustainable development, and then applied the ISED approach in seven countries to analyze energy sector trends in achieving sustainable development, and to identify potential means of improving energy policies to accomplish such goals.

The Guidelines and Methodologies document (published earlier in 2005) was one of five IAEA documents highlighted in Oslo in December when Dr. El-Baradei and IAEA accepted the Nobel Prize. We are now producing a follow-up publication (that will be completed in 2006) with case study analyses for Brazil, Cuba, Lithuania, Mexico, Russia, Slovakia and Thailand.

Roger at Spittelau waste-to-energy plant

[…and as an aside, for those of you who know my work in solid waste combustion: I definitely had to have my picture taken at the world’s best-looking waste burning/district heating facility when I was in Vienna — the Spittelau incinerator, designed by the artist Hundertwasser — and located at the place where I transferred from the bus to the subway on my trips into the city.]

An introduction

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

I’m not going to pretend to be a blogger (who has the time to read all of that, let alone write it?)—but I did want to provide some info about new and interesting projects that I’ve been working on…

and hopefully, I’ll manage to keep this section reasonably current! 😉