In August of 1973, I took a position as an application engineer with Research-Cottrell in Finderne, a small municipality outside of Somerville, NJ. That began a 30 year stint with that company which saw two substantial ownership changes, eventually becoming Hamon Research Cottrell in 1998. The details are available in my full resume which is available on request. While moving through estimating and intermediate assignments to a project management position, I saw most of the 50 states in the US and most Canadian provinces. I spent the last 10 of my 40 year corporate career with Bechtel Power as a senior technical specialist for air pollution control. I eventually dealt with nearly every air pollution control technology available to meet US EPA standards for industrial atmospheric emissions in place in 2015 when I was retired.

The time at Bechtel provided an opportunity for involvement with Engineers Without Borders leading to two trips to Uganda. The initial visit focused on villages needing better access to clean water and culminated with a meeting with the vice-president of Uganda, as he was from the region in which we planned to work. This and other contacts led me to pursue work with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, which provided a perspective on business and opportunities in Africa, which is one of the major markets pursuing development.

While decentralization of energy generation proceeds in the US, and is being employed elsewhere, the need for large central sources of electric power is a necessity for development and continuation of modern economies. Coal based power is in decline and fossil fuels in general are in disrepute due to climate concerns. Nuclear power also shares concerns due to the potential for catastrophe. None of this will disappear as industrialization continues. My background has prepared me to provide valuable perspective on environmentally sound use of fossil fuels while they remain essential for electric grid reliability. Additionally, significant experience with municipal solid waste as a fuel source for electric power is my most valuable asset in today’s marketplace. This technology has been used in the US and Europe and is appropriately recognized as a renewable source of energy. Every locality has garbage and waste to burn. The full range of biomass fuels are alongside municipal waste and are similarly applied. I intend to promote and educate concerning these sources of electric power as I continue my career.

— Mark Sankey, Principal