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By Robert Rapier on Nov 1, 2005 with 2 responses

My Resume

Updated 3/10/2014

Or if you prefer, my CV, which has more specific details on patents and professional accomplishments.

In a nutshell, my passions are energy, the environment, and sustainability. I have worked on a wide variety of energy projects – both conventional and renewable – in several different countries. In my spare time I write about my passions primarily in an attempt to influence the discourse over our energy policy. A major interest of mine is to find ways to better utilize the waste biomass throughout the world that is currently burned or land-filled.

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ROBERT RAPIER

Location: Hawaii

My personal Email

CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER

Global Management Executive and published author with a track record of coaching internationally diverse, multidisciplinary teams to high performance levels. Experience includes assignments across the U.S. and in multiple European countries. Long record of resolving challenging technical issues and capturing major cost reductions through novel process improvements and optimal deployment of resources. Skilled at creating intellectual property, with five granted patents. An objective and creative thinker proficient across a broad range of energy-related and chemical technologies. Core expertise includes:

  • Safety Culture Development/Deployment
  • Technology Evaluation
  • Resource Optimization/Succession Planning
  • Cost Reduction and Profit Optimization
  • Staff Training, Mentoring, and Development
  • Process and Operational Improvement
  • Intellectual Property Creation

Master of Science • Chemical Engineering • Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Bachelor of Science • Chemistry and Mathematics (dual major) • Texas A&M University

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PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

INVESTING DAILY, Falls Church, Virginia

Chief Investment Strategist - 2012 to present

This job is done in parallel with my job with Merica International. I write three investment newsletters for Investing Daily, contribute to a fourth, manage an investment portfolio, and make investment recommendations in the energy sector. In my first full year managing the investment portfolio, we achieved a 28 percent rate of return, in line with the year-to-date gain by the S&P 500 and well above the 22 percent advance for the Energy Select Sector SPDR.

  • Write one free weekly newsletter on the energy industry
  • Write one free weekly newsletter on master limited partnerships
  • Write one biweekly subscription-only newsletter on energy investments
  • Write semimonthly articles for Personal Finance
  • Manage a model energy investment portfolio for investors
  • Conduct monthly web chats with paid subscribers to the newsletter to answer investment questions

MERICA INTERNATIONAL (a private renewable energy company), Hawaii, USA

Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President - 2009 to present

Responsible for evaluating bioenergy technologies/companies for possible integration into the company portfolio. Duties include locating appropriate technologies and evaluating them on the basis of technical and economic merit. I also represent the company as an invited speaker to conferences and through interviews with the media.

TITAN WOOD (a division of Accsys Technologies PLC), Dallas, TX/Arnhem, Netherlands

Director of Projects, Engineering, & Development – 2008 to 2009

Global responsibility for engineering functions within the organization. Responsibilities include engineering support for a facility under development in China, a production facility in the Netherlands, and a global network of multidisciplinary scientists and engineers. Built an engineering team and then oversaw major process improvements in the Dutch facility that increased capacity, reduced energy usage, and decreased waste streams. Responsible for engineering teams in Dallas and in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

  • Built a global engineering organization to support process development, improvements, and design and construction of new facilities.
  • Oversaw process improvements that significantly reduced production costs.
  • Adopted a highly proactive approach toward the career development of my team.
  • Identified missing processes and procedures and drove those through implementation.

CONOCOPHILLIPS CORPORATION, Houston, TX 2002-2008

Engineering Team Leader (U.K.) – 2007 to 2008

Managed a large, international team of engineers in Aberdeen, U.K. Responsibilities included capital project development and execution of oil and natural gas projects in the North Sea. Strong focus on recruiting and developing young engineers, which resulted in the lowest attrition rate among the engineering teams. Focus on process safety resulted in the identification and elimination of several potentially major safety hazards.

  • Emphasized a safety culture that resulted in more thorough safety reviews of projects.
  • Identified and implemented capital reduction opportunities on projects through a more flexible approach to engineering solutions.
  • Focus on career development resulted in a 0% attrition rate in the engineering group.
  • Implemented a new system of process checks designed to identify design errors.

Optimization Engineer – 2004 to 2007

Worked within a refinery to optimize process operations. Duties included identifying crude oil varieties that were priced for the maximum financial return to the company. Refinery operating plans, scheduling, and planning were carried out in conjunction with the commercial team. Secondary duties included gasoline blending and turnaround planning.

  • Implemented control plan for Six Sigma project on crude oil quality that resulted in a $2.5 MM/yr annual savings.
  • Eliminated gasoline blending inefficiencies to capture > $1 million in annual savings.
  • Served as a corporate-wide consultant on alternative energy initiatives and testified as an expert witness before the state legislature.

Senior Development Engineer – 2002 to 2004

Responsible for developing intellectual property related to the company’s gas-to-liquids technology development. Interfaced with technical groups and project team for scale-up from the lab to the successful piloting of the technology. Team leader for a project to economically convert ethane to ethylene via novel techniques.

  • Worked with project team to conduct piloting experiments for plant design basis.
  • Generated 20 invention records and received multiple patents.
  • Invented a breakthrough process for ethane conversion to ethylene (U.S. Patent 7,074,977).

CELANESE CORPORATION, Dallas, TX 1995-2002

Six Sigma Black Belt – 2001 to 2002

Part of the initial Six Sigma implementation at Celanese. Led two Six Sigma projects, and mentored two Green Belts. Specialized in energy reduction projects.

  • Completed Six Sigma training and executed two projects that resulted in energy savings of $1.8 MM/yr.
  • Served as company-wide energy expert.
  • Represented the company at university career fairs, recruiting and interviewing prospective employees.

Production Engineer (Germany) – 1999 to 2001

Served as production engineer in Oberhausen, Germany for butyraldehyde, butanol, and 2-ethyl hexanol units. Duties involved unit support and process development. Conceived of and led a project team to successful piloting of a novel butanol process that reduced production costs by $5.4 million/yr and reduced the capital requirements for future units. This work has resulted in receipt of multiple European and U.S. patents (U.S. Patent 7,087,795)

  • Invented a novel process that slashed operating costs and capital requirements.
  • Initiated and completed a new Internet process monitoring tool.
  • Developed spreadsheets that resulted in a better accounting of energy and mass balances.

Senior Process Engineer – 1997 to 1999

Served as process engineer for butanol, propanol, and partial oxidation units. Sole process engineering representative on project teams for major expansions of the butanol and partial oxidation units. Drove a substantial redesign of the butanol unit that pushed Celanese into the position of worldwide low-cost butanol producer.

  • Engineered distillation modifications that increased butanol capacity by 20% and reduced energy by 30% at a very low capital cost.
  • Served as sole process engineering support on a $6 MM butanol expansion and $20 MM partial oxidation unit conversion from fuel oil to natural gas.
  • Modified operating conditions to lower waste stream effluent by 75% while increasing the overall efficiency of propylene utilization by $9 MM/yr.

Development Engineer – 1995 to 1997

Provided technical support for plants engaged in butanol and propanol production. Used simulation software to develop a better understanding of our processes, and also to identify key improvement opportunities. Developed expertise as a company-wide resource on distillation.

  • Eliminated a planned $5 MM capital expenditure via a novel process modification.
  • Built Aspen Plus simulations of a butanol, propanol, partial oxidation unit, and synthesis gas purification train.
  • Drove the successful engineering and installation of a butyraldehyde splitter unit.

EARLY POSITIONS – TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY: Teaching/Research Assistant (1991-95) CAMPBELL SOUP COMPANY: Lab Technician (1986-91)

Miscellaneous

Author of a number of articles on energy and sustainability, including:

Biofuels in Achieving Sustainability: Visions, Principles, and Practices. Vol. 1. published in 2014.

Power Plays: Energy Options in the Age of Peak Oil published in 2012

The Potential of Algae and Jatropha as Biofuels Sources in Global Economic and Environmental Aspects of Biofuels published in 2012

The Global Energy Picture for The Economics of Alternative Energy Sources and Globalization published in 2011

Diesel Production Processes for Advances in Energy Research published in 2011

Bioenergy/Biofuels in Sustainable Development in the Forest Products Industry published in 2010

Renewable Diesel for Biofuels, Solar and Wind as Renewable Energy Systems: Benefits and Risks published in 2008

I have appeared on 60 Minutes, The History Channel, and PBS to discuss the energy sector, and my articles on energy and sustainability have appeared in numerous media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington PostChristian Science MonitorThe Economist, and Forbes. I also appeared in the documentary film Critical Mass by director Mike Freedman.

Engaged in ad hoc technical consulting for a number of energy projects, including projects on biodiesel, ethanol (via cellulose, sugarcane, and corn), butanol, and a pair of biomass gasification facilities.

  1. By Virginia Velasquez on January 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Hi Robert, I found it really interesting that you want to utilize the waste biomass that is being thrown away and that you care for the environment.
    I am a just-graduaded chemical engineer, and I´m taking a master´s degree on Industrial Project Management so I´m really interested in all that has to do with projects especially the environmental ones. I found your webpage because I want to work on my thesis about Biodiesel generation from chicken fats waste; I´m reading some of your articles and I´d love to know if you could help me with some extra information.
    Here in Venezuela we are not that developed on environmental issues, so it´s kind of interesting to see if it is possible to take advantage of those wastes and turn them into useful fuel.
    Hope you can help me… thanks anyway
    Virginia V.

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  2. By Robert Rapier on April 9, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Updated 4/9/2012 to include the publication of my book and a chapter I wrote for another recently published book.

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