Please check back for our details about plenary sessions and workshops.

Amaro Bustamante


Amaro Bustamante is a Mechanical Engineer with Aramco Services Company, the U.S.-based subsidiary of the world’s leading energy producer, Saudi Aramco. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M – Kingsville. He has 28 years of experience working mainly in the downstream sector: Olefins, Plastic Polymers, Chlor-Alkili and Derivatives, Propylene Oxide and other specialty Chemicals. In the course of his career, he has served as a Project Engineer, managed Engineering Standards and Vendor Qualification Programs, served as the Corrosion under Insulation Program Lead, technical owner responsible for corporate standards and specifications in the area of Piping, Valves, Insulation and Fireproofing; Fixed Equipment technical support for Capital, Turnarounds and Maintenance projects, and served as the Fixed Equipment Technical Team Leader responsible for evaluating and addressing mechanical integrity issues and establishing or improving maintenance and reliability best practices for fixed equipment. He is also active in professional organizations, particularly the American Petroleum Institute (API) where he is a member of the Subcommittee on Piping and Valves (SCOPV).

Amaro will be moderating the Valve Asset Management workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Amr Gado

Emerson Automation Solutions

Houston-based Amr Gado is an Engineering Manager at Emerson Automation Solutions, bringing 15 years of academic and industrial experience to benefit Emerson customers worldwide. In his role he oversees design and application of both spring operated and pilot operated pressure relief valves that increase efficiency, safety and ROI for industrial customers
Amr joined Emerson Automation Solutions through its recent acquisition of Pentair Valves & Controls. Amr earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park and a Master of Business Administration degree in Finance and International Management from Wright State University in Ohio.

Amr will be presenting on Pressure Relief Valves Fugitive Emissions Testing during the Fugitive Emissions workshop on Tuesday, June 20th at 10:30AM.

Andreas Vogt

F.I.R.S.T GmbH

Work History
F.I.R.S.T. – Gesellschaft für technisch-wissenschaftliche Softwareanwendungen mbH
Wermelskirchen, Germany
March 1989 – Present
Owner, CEO, CTO

F.I.R.S.T. – Project & Engineering Support UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Wermelskirchen, Germany
November 2015 – Present
Owner, CEO, CTO

Andreas Vogt - Gesellschaft für Softwaretechnik mbH
Wermelskirchen, Germany
February 1989 – Present
Owner, CEO, CTO

1983 – 1989
Taylor made software Project support & consulting

Asmaa Kassab


Asmaa Kassab Ph.D. is an R&D Engineering specialist at MOGAS Industries Inc. She studied Mechanical Engineering at Alexandria University Egypt.  Her desire to learn more is the reason for her move to Texas A&M University where she obtained her masters and doctorate degrees in thermal fluid science. Passionate about research, the move to the MOGAS R&D team was a natural fit. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, her husband and her two adorable boys. She considers the decision of going to Mechanical engineering as one of her proud moments.

Asmaa will be presenting on "Impact of Rotary Control Ball Valve Geometry on Dynamic Torque Coefficient & Actuator Sizing" during the Performance & Validation Workshop at 2:00PM on Wednesday, June 21st.

Bill Patrick - Chairman

The Dow Chemical Company

Along with the 2017 Valve World Americas Steering Committee, I look forward to reading your abstracts and presenting you with an
informative yet practical conference program that will challenge you to learn more about the important role that valves play in numerous
applications. I am looking forward to a great conference ahead and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as your Chairman.

See you at Valve World Americas Expo & Conference 2017 in Houston!

View Interview

Brad Wise


Brad Wise, 44, was appointed vice president of business development and marketing for DistributionNOW in 2014 with the successful spin off of the distribution business from National Oilwell Varco (NOV) having been in the same role under NOV within the NOV Wilson business unit.  He was vice president of business development with Wilson Industries, a Smith International and Schlumberger company from 2009 to 2012. 

Prior to joining DistributionNOW, Mr. Wise was vice president of business development for Maverick Technologies, an industrial automation and manufacturing IT systems integrator.  Mr. Wise has held various sales leadership and management roles with Dresser Industries, Halliburton, and Dresser Inc. from 1996 to 2004.

A graduate of Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, he received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering and a MBA from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston.  Mr. Wise is an active member of the PESA supply chain committee.

Brian Claverie


Brian Claverie currently serves in the Supply Chain Services group of DNOW. He previously held different roles within the energy and downstream/industrial markets, and most recently served as Vice President, Downstream and Industrial. Brian began his career in 1988 in Harvey, Louisiana, and has held regional and/or national responsibilities in multiple areas along the gulf coast. He attended the Penn State University Executive Management Program, the Smith International Senior Management Development Program, and has been a finalist for Schlumberger’s Preferred Projects.

Brian currently resides in Spring, Texas with his wife of 28 years, Christy. Together, they have 3 children and 1 granddaughter. He thoroughly enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, coaching, and watching baseball.

Brindesh Dhruva


Dr. Brindesh Dhruva serves as Vice-president of Technology for Bray International in Houston, leading valve and actuator technology development worldwide. He holds a PhD in Engineering and Applied Science from Yale University.

Brindesh holds multiple patents and has been published in several technical journals. Prior to joining Bray in early 2013, Brindesh held several strategic management positions over a 14-year period with Schlumberger with responsibility for product development within various business units and worldwide locations.

Bronson Pate

A.W. Chesterton

Bronson Pate has more than 10 years of full time professional experience with Sage, plus several years as an intern. Bronson now serves as Sage’s lead for all international business including China, Malaysia, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Europe. Bronson is familiar with VV, VVa, GGG, GGGa, KKK, QQQ, MON, HON, API 622, API 624, TA-LUFT, ISOM 1500 and worked with multiple facilities to develop LDAR programs including those subject to LDAR consent decree requirements. He has experience in fugitive emission source Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) monitoring, tagging, and database management, including Process and Instrumentation Diagram (P&ID) review. He has participated and lead in several dozen CD LDAR audits. He was trained and groomed for the audit lead position by Buzz Harris and David Ranum. Bronson has additional experience in the environmental field focused on air quality compliance in refining, petrochemical, and natural gas processing industries.

Bronson is familiar with air permitting including MACT, BACT, Netting and Title V. Bronson is one of HSE-U trainers for LDAR Essentials, Advanced LDAR and LDAR for Experts. Before joining Sage, he served as lead LDAR site supervisor and technician for various refineries and gasification facilities in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico. He was responsible for component tagging, P&ID review, Method 21 fugitive monitoring and database management. He is also experienced in performing on-line leak sealing, specifically drill and taps, wire wraps, peen and pumps and clamp measuring for placement and sealing.

Bronson will be presenting a plenary on "Effects of Consent Decree Compliance on Certified Low E Valves & Certified Low E Packing Procurement & Approvals" and presenting as part of the Fugitive Emissions Workshop on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.

Cam Robertson

Inter Pipeline Ltd.

Cam Robertson has worked in the piping trades for over 30 years. He is a journeyman Steamfitter/Pipefitter as well as a Forth Class Power Engineer. Cam has been employed by Inter Pipeline Ltd at the Cochrane Extraction Plant for over 20 years.

Cam will be presenting on "Valve Maintenance" during the Maintenance & Repair Workshop at10:30AM on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.

Carlos Davila


Carlos Davila is a registered professional engineer and a graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. With over 45 years of experience in the valve industry, Carlos’ background includes design, development, application and production of valves. Currently he is Product Manager-Americas, for Crane ChemPharma/Energy (Fluid Handling). Previously held positions include Chief Engineer, Technical Operations Manager and General Manager. He has written and published several papers in ASME and Hydrocarbon Engineering, and is an active voting member of the API Manufacturers Subcommittee on Piping and Valves for over 30 years.

Mr. Davila is current Vice-Chair of the ASME B16 Standards Committee, member of B16 Subcommittee C, Flanges, B16 Subcommittee N, valves and the USTAG committee; voting participant in ASME B31.3 Standards Committee addressing Process Piping; current member of the MSS Board of Directors and chair of Technical Committees 304, Quality Standards, 406, Diaphragm Valves and 110, Steel Flanges; and active in ISO standards activities as member of the ANSI/ISO Team and Chair of ISO TC5/SC10, Metallic Flanges and Components.

Carlos will be moderating the Cryogenics Workshop and presenting on "Performance Validation for Check Valves" during the Performance & Validation Workshop on Wednesday, June 21st.

Carlos Girao


Carlos D. Girão is a Professional Mechanical Engineer with a Masters in Science from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He has been in the Fluid Sealing Industry for the past ten years with extensive experience in manufacturing process, research and development of new products, and the engineering and creation of unique testing devices to evaluate packing and gasket emission performance. Mr. Girão has published several papers and championed many studies for standard setting organizations and conferences, including Valve World, IVS, ASME PVP and API.

Chris Warnett

CPLloyd Consulting

Chris Warnett has spent 40 years working in the valve and actuator industry. Starting as an actuator design engineer, he gained extensive experience in the marketplace, first as a product manager and then as a VP of international sales and marketing. He is currently the president of CPLloyd Consulting Inc. providing marketing and applications expertise for the valve and automation industry.

Clynt Waddell


Senior Piping Materials Specialist with over 13 yrs of experience in Design, Eng., & Const. of OG&C Projects. The last 5+ yrs have been at Bechtel Corporation in the Cryogenics Industry, working at both Project and Functional levels to develop cryogenic valve design standardization and testing requirements. Industry participation includes involvement with PIP (Process Industry Practices) valve task team & the API CRE SCOPV (subcommittee on piping and valves).

Dan DeVine

The DOW Chemical Company

Dan DeVine began his career in 1987 working for the Union Carbide Corporation after graduating from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering. He joined The Dow Chemical Company in 2001 through the acquisition of Union Carbide. He has worked in multiple chemical industry roles including production, chemical distribution, with the majority of his time spent in engineering design and project functions dealing with valve, piping, and pressure vessel technology. He is currently the Valve and Sealing (Packing) Technical Resource Leader at The Dow Chemical Company, and has successfully implemented a low emission valve and packing program to meet regulatory compliance at the Midland Michigan Operations Site. Dan is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Dan will be presenting on "Consent Decrees at the Plant Level" during the Fugitive Emissions Workshop on Tuesday, June 20th.

Dean Gambale

Ultramet CPT

Dean is the Director of Ultramet CPT, where he oversees the company’s operations and growth. With more than 20 years’ experience within engineering, Dean has devoted his career towards solving complex real world problems and helping advance materials related technologies and companies. Dean came to Ultramet, the world leader in tantalum surface alloys and refractory metal CVD, in 2012 from Tantaline where he spent another 7 years developing the technology and business of tantalum metal surfaces. Prior to his time at Tantaline, Dean was at H.C. Starck, where he led global business development efforts with a strong focus on tantalum metal products and technologies.  Before that, Dean was at WL Gore & Associates, where he developed cutting-edge products and businesses in key consumer and industrial markets. In addition, Dean currently owns a specialty materials fastener company, Extreme Bolt & Fastener. Dean holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Penn State University and a MBA from the University of Delaware. 

George Buckbee


George Buckbee is Head of Performance Solutions for Metso. George holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis, and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His 25 years of industry experience have been focused in the field of process control. George is the author of several books and dozens of articles. In 2011, George was selected as an ISA Fellow.

George will be presenting on Valve Monitoring and the Internet of Things during the Maintenance & Repair workshop at 10:00AM on Tuesday, June 20th. 

Gobind Khiani - Vice Chairman

Fluor Canada

Gobind Khiani is a professional engineer with more than 21 years of experience in the petroleum industry. He has served as Lead Engineer, in Engineering and Project Management roles, for both operating companies and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies. Gobind has a B.Sc. from University of Pune, India and M.Eng., from the University of Calgary, Alberta.

View Interview

Greg Johnson

United Valve

Greg Johnson has been in the valve industry for 37 years and is the president of United Valve, a 54-year-old valve service company located in Houston, Texas. He has been active in standards development activities for over 25 years in API, ISO and MSS. He is past-president of MSS as well as chairman of the VMA Education & Training committee. He also serves as chairman of the API sub-committee on piping and valves, manufacturers and contractors group. 

Greg will be presenting a plenary on Tuesday, June 20th at 9:30AM on "Becoming a Valve Expert" and moderating the Casting & Materials workshop that morning.

Greg Peterson

MRC Global

Greg Peterson has had 21 years executive sales management experience in valve and automation sales, promoting growth at the corporate level to the 25 Top national accounts and building and leading high-performing teams.

Currently in his role as Executive Director with MRC he has experience negotiating contract programs, strengthening the corporate culture and boosting profits in the North American valve markets with major energy related companies.

Greg has a Bachelor of Business Administration, Marketing degree, with emphasis in Computer Science from Northeastern State University.

Henk Hinssen

iHandl Engineering

Henk Hinssen, instrumentation engineering associate, has been working for the process industry over 40 years, of which 20 years for a major petrochemical company with HQ in Texas. He has been involved with Valve World since 2005 and has been moderating Valve World workshops since then in Europe, Asia and Americas. He has moderated workshops at Valve World Americas Conference such as “Fit For Purpose Valves” and one on “Effective Valve Engineering Tools”.

Henk will be Moderating the Control Valve Reliability Prediction and ESDV Valve Reliability Workshops on Wednesday, June 21st.

Jim Owsley


Mr. Owsley is Vice President, Supply Chain for DistributionNOW (NYSE: DNOW). Prior to this role, he was Vice President of Supply Chain for National Oilwell Varco’s (NYSE: NOV) Distribution Services business unit from June 2012, when he joined the company through the acquisition of Wilson Supply.

From 2001 to 2012, he served as Vice President of Material Sourcing at Wilson Supply, a business segment of Smith International and then a division of Schlumberger after Schlumberger’s acquisition of Smith in 2010.

He worked at Van Leeuwen Pipe & Tube from 1978 to 2001, and served as Vice President of Purchasing from 1999 to 2001 when the company was acquired by Wilson Supply. Before that time, he worked in various Materials Management, Accounting, Sales, and IT roles in Houston and Singapore. He began his 40-year career in the distribution industry at Westinghouse Electric.

Joe Kelly


Joseph (Joe) Kelly, Global Manager of BS&B’s Specialty Valves Business, has more than 20 years of experience operating globally in the pressure relief device business. Joe was born and educated in Dublin, Ireland and after receiving his Mechanical Engineering Degree from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1994, moved to live and work in Germany and then Finland.

In 1996 Joe returned to Ireland and began his career with BS&B, as an inside sales engineer in Limerick. Joe was transferred to Houston in 1998, to run the BS&B’s Graphite Manufacturing Facility and expanded it to Monterrey, Mexico. From there Joe became responsible for the NAFTA Region Capital Project Sales and began developing the Buckling Pin Device market for BS&B Specialty Valves Business Unit, and positioned BS&B as the largest buckling pin device manufacturer in the world.

Joe is currently focused on globally growing BS&B’s Specialty Valve portfolio, and expanding BS&B’s Service business within the US Gulf Coast.

Joe has provided pressure relief solutions to the Oil and Gas industry in 6 continents and more 40 countries, is respected by his peers in industry and BS&B’s customers through many years of experience and relationship building. Joe has been invited to speak at several conferences around the world, including ACHEMA in Germany, the Queensland Gas Conference in Australia and Gastech in Japan.

Joe Pirkl


When it comes to the American petroleum industry, valve expertise is synonymous with the name Joe Pirkl. With decades of experience in the field and working with several valve manufacturers, Joe has built an impressive wheelhouse of technical and real-world skills. He’s augmented his knowledge with countless hours of hands-on maintenance and repair of valves and actuators, spanning the most common makes and models in the industry both in North America and Internationally.

Joe is the resident professor of ValvePro® for the Petroleum Extension Program at the University of Texas and has certified hundreds of valve maintenance technicians across the country. He’s a strong leader with a strong presence that instills confidence and determination in those who work around him and demands nothing but the best from his students and colleagues. He’s currently based at Sealweld’s office in Houston, Texas.

Joe will be presenting on "An Overview of Real Life Experiences that Drive Innovations in Sealing Valves in Challenging Conditions" during the Valve Asset Management Workshop on Wednesday, June 21st.

John Holstrom




Bachelor of Science degree, Southern Illinois University, School of Engineering, Carbondale, Illinois, Industrial Design

Job responsibilities, background experience:

20 years with Henry Pratt Company as a product engineering design associate, engineer, and manager

  • Working on major valve, control system and actuator development projects
  • Working on R&D activities
  • Managing the companies R&D mechanical engineering test lab

15 years as a consultant and technical specialist on nuclear safety related valve issues

  • Major contributor and developer of the ACE™ valve operability evaluation software tool
  • Major contributor to several Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and Nuclear Maintenance Application Center (NMAC) valve and actuator application guides
  • Consulting on motor operates valve (MOV) and air operated valve (AOV) programs for many nuclear power plants world wide
  • Managed, supervised, performed, and analyzed INSITU and laboratory testing of nuclear safety related valves

11 years with Val-Matic Valve and Manufacturing Company as a engineering project manager

  • Working on major valve, control system and actuator development projects
  • Working on R&D activities
  • Managing the companies R&D mechanical engineering test lab

Specialties:  quarter turn valve design, component (valve) operation and system calculations and evaluations, actuator design, valve thrust and torque testing and analysis, safety related valve functional assurance programs, dynamic test data reduction and reconciliation, effective design engineering

Josh Erd

Nippon Pillar



Josh Erd is the National Sales Manager for Nippon Pillar Corporation of America, a global leader in the manufacture of Low Emission valve packing, mechanical seal and other sealing solutions. Josh has extensive industrial experience and is currently responsible for all North and South American downstream sales and marketing initiatives.     

Josh has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from Brigham Young University and is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. 



Kaleb Pergande


Kaleb Pergande is an Engineering Manager at Emerson Automation Solutions where he leads new product development teams focused on Fisher sliding stem valve products.  He has supported the Fisher brand of Emerson products for more than 10 years in areas of product engineering and marketing management and business development.  He holds a B.S.M.E from Iowa State University. 

Kaleb will be presenting An Overview of Fugitive Emissions Packing Standards during the Fugitive Emissions workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Kees Meliefste

The Dow Chemical Company

  • Working for The Dow Chemical Company for 27 years located in Terneuzen; The Netherlands.
  • Started as Instrument Engineer for the Design Engineering Department.
  • Currently working for the Engineering Solutions Tech Center.
  • Leader of the Global Automated Valve Technology Team and the Supplier Management Team for Automated Valves.
  • Member of the Global Safety Instrumented System Technology Team.
  • Member of the WIB Working Group Final Elements
  • Member of the Valve World Steering Committee 2014, 2016, 2018 in Düsseldorf.

Kerry Pritchard-Millen


Kerry Pritchard-Millen is Program Piping Engineering Lead for Jacobs Engineering and is Executive Director of the Society of Piping Engineers & Designers. Kerryhas 30 years experience in the engineering contracting, industry with experience mainly Package Management, Materials, Design, EPC, Planning Scheduling and Management in the engineering field, for projects in the Oil & Gas, Petrochemical and Mining sectors. Specialising in North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, MENA Region and Caspian Solutions, as well as Materials, Valves, FIV,AIV and Offshore Fabrication.

Kerry will be moderating the Valve Design workshop at 10:30AM on Wednesday, June 21st.

Lee Krywitsky


Lee Krywitsky is an inventor with experience in industrial product innovation & commercialization: over 22 patents issued to date.
Entrepreneur: started up an industrial product development company, grew the business & mentored the team to become a successful SME, whose products have been in service for over 20 years, in critical applications involved in the transfer of hazardous substances; used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide.

New Product Development experience: served 10 years as a Director at Centre for New Venture Development at the University of Calgary. The Centre was influential in aiding, at the time, local businesses with resources found on the University's campus and offered students practical experiences aiding local entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses. At Sealweld he continues to develop, offer & support valuable customers with 'zero harm' technologies in the 'critical' fluid & gas transfer industries.

- Product development
- Innovation
- Technology commercialization

Lee will be presenting on "An Overview of Real Life Experiences that Drive Innovations in Sealing Valves in Challenging Conditions" during the Valve Asset Management Workshop on Wednesday, June 21st.

Loyd Hilliard


Loyd Hilliard currently serves as the Severe Service Business Manager and FIELDVUE Champion (SIS) for Puffer-Sweiven, a Local Business Partner for Emerson Automation Solutions. Loyd has 20 years of experience with sizing, selecting, and specifying control valves, actuators and instrumentation. His last ten years has been focused on solving control valve and SIS related issues for severe/critical applications in the oil and gas, power, chemical and petrochemical industries. Loyd holds a B.S.M.E from Texas A&M University.


Loyd will be presenting during the Partial Stroke Testing workshop on Wednesday, June 21 at 10:30 am

Luca Vertova

Emerson Automation Solutions

Luca Vertova is the engineering director for Vanessa triple offset valves at Emerson Automation Solutions. He holds a Mechanical Engineer degree from Politecnico di Milano, Italy. He has 25 years of experience in the design and development of triple offset valves. He joined Vanessa Engineering in 1993, and started leading the Vanessa engineering office in 2000. He is a member of ISO TC 153 (Industrial valves) and CEN

Luca will be presenting on Double Positive Isolation with Triple Offset Valves during the Valve Design workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Mark Rowitz


Mark Rowitz began preparing for his professional career by enlisting in the U.S. Army and then studying chemical engineering at Cleveland State University. He has worked in the safety relief valve industry for 20 years. Before rejoining LESER, the Cleveland, Ohio native was the Global Aftermarket Manager for a competing safety valve manufacturer. In his new role, he would like to: develop LESER's global aftermarket strategy to capture missed opportunities; grow LESER's reputation of being the preferred company to turn to for expedited  valves, parts, service, and support requests; strategically grow the LARC network; and provide maintenance and repair training for customers and valve technicians. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and participating in sports, such as working out, playing soccer, and hiking.

Mark will be presenting on "Total Cost of Ownership for a Safety Relief Valve" during the Valve Asset Management Workshop.

Michael Kitchens


Michael Kitchens graduated from the University of Texas-Austin in May of 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Shortly thereafter he joined Bray where he served as a valve and controls design engineer.  He has held several positions at Bray, but for the last 4 years has served as the Research and Development Lab Manager responsible for validation and testing of Bray’s valve and control products.  In this role, he helped establish Bray’s extensive lab capabilities including cryogenic, severe service, life endurance, and fugitive emissions testing.  Recently Michael served on the API 641 task force, where he helped create the new “Type Testing of Quarter-turn Valves for Fugitive Emissions” standard.

Mitch Anderson


A valve and actuator industry veteran of over 10 years, serving roles in engineering, manufacturing, and quality assurance.  Mr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Texas A&M University.  He has been a committee member for development of API, ISO, and ASME standards.  Mr. Anderson currently holds the role of Technical Director – Butterfly Valves for Bray International in Houston.

Paul Heald

Bonney Forge

Paul Heald joined Bonney Forge in 2009 as Vice President of Product Engineering and he is also responsible for Specialties and China Operations. He spends his time interfacing with both domestic and international operations and sales to supply products
and services to exceed customers’ expectations. His broad responsibilities include engineering, operations and sales.

Prior to Bonney Forge, he began his career 33 years ago as a Design Engineer at Fisher Controls and PECO and since as Engineering Manager/Director at other valve companies including, Valve Technologies, Tyco and MGC where he successfully
managed diverse design, manufacturing, operations and specialty sales groups both domestic and international for varying types of valve products including ball, control, gate, globe, check, regulators and relief valves.

Beginning in the early 1990’s as an active voting member on varying industry standards committees his participation has continued to increase through the years. He is an active voting member on API Subcommittee on Piping and Valves (SCOPV) and steering committee for API TVP, ASME B16 and Fugitive Emissions Summit Americas steering committee and the Board of Directors for MSS. Additionally, he has presented previously at IVS and Valve World.

Paul will be presenting on "Critical Valve Service" as part of the Casting & Materials Workshop.

Rich Davis


Rich holds the position of Business Development Manager Western Hemisphere and China for Flexitallic LP. Rich is a 40 year veteran of the fluid sealing industry and most recently has provided consultation services to leading petrochemical organizations in the areas of product development, customer specification and approval, quality systems, supplier approvals and process improvement.  Rich is a member of the API Subcommittee on Piping and Valves and also Heat Transfer.  He is also a member of the ISO Standards, ASME and the Instrument Society.  Rich held the position of Chairman of the first Fugitive Emissions Standard written by the ISA.  He has held leadership positions in the development of fugitive emissions and other standards in those groups. 

Rodney Roth

A.W. Chesterton

Rodney Roth is responsible for A.W. Chesterton’s (AWC) Global OEM Valve program, AWC’s
Knowledge Provider Program for Stationary Equipment/Consultative Technical Services
and AWC’s Strategic Accounts Initiative.

Rodney has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing, design, R&D, engineering,
sales and marketing of stationary sealing solutions to include packing and
gaskets. Rodney has extensive experience in the recommendation and design of engineered
sealing solutions for use in all types of valve and flange applications with a
focus on Low E sealing Technology for valves and large diameter critical flange sealing.

Rodney will be moderating the Fugitive Emissions Workshop on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 and presenting on "Drill & Tap: Upstream/Midstream & Downstream" during the Fugitive Emissions Workshop at 2:00PM on Wednesday, June 21st.

Ron Merrick


Ron Merrick has forty years of experience in specifying valves and other piping materials. He is presently a Senior Fellow and Director of Piping Material Engineering at Fluor Enterprises in Sugar Land, Texas, with responsibility for Fluor’s corporate master piping material catalog. This catalog supports Fluor’s business units involved with fluid flow, with line classes designed for hydrocarbon processing, chemical process, utility, power and mining. He has been a piping materials engineer for Fluor since 1975, in Houston and Saudi Arabia, and involved with plant design for locations in Alaska, Continental U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, and the Middle East. These plants cover markets as diverse as hydrocarbons, basic and specialty chemicals, power, and gas processing. He is also Fluor’s engineering specialist in piping shop fabrication. Merrick is the author of several articles on valve selection, and of the book Valve Selection and Specification Guide. He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University, and is a registered professional engineer in Texas and other states. He is the past president of the PVF Roundtable, an organization devoted to the Pipe, Valve and Fitting industry. Other professional involvement includes membership in the API Refining Division, as past chairman of the Subcommittee on Piping and Valves subgroup Manufacturers & Contractors subcommittee, and as a US delegate to ISO TC 153 SC1Design, manufacture, marking and testing of valves.

Ron will be presenting a plenary on Risk Evaluation: Inpsection of Valves at 8:30AM on Wednesday, June 21st.

Ross Waters


As the President of CGIS, Ross Waters has dedicated 35 years of his life to serving and improving the valve industry. Ross started CGIS, a valve distribution company, in 1980 in a small office in Vancouver, Canada. Thirty-five years later, the business has grown internationally and now serves clients and industries worldwide. Ross is the driving force behind increasing awareness of Severe Service Valves and is part of a MSS task force writing its definition. He has attended numerous conferences around the world presenting his paper, “Defining Severe Service Valves” and is well onto establishing himself as the leading expert in Severe Service. Ross is also an avid member of ASTM International G04 and has served as an expert witness.

Ross will be presenting on "A Once in a Lifetime Event Opens the Door to New Technologies" during the Valve Design Workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Sandro Esposito

Setpoint Integrated Solutions


Sandro Esposito is the director for digital technologies & innovation at Setpoint Integrated Solutions, a leading process automation and valve automation supplier in the gulf coast.  He graduated from the Ahuntsic College in Montreal,QC, Canada with honorary academic mentions. He has worked for 23 years in the control valve and process automation industries where he managed the development and commercialization of smart valve positioners and valve diagnostics software. He holds several patents and has published multiple papers in leading industry publications.

Sandro will be participating on the panel as part of the Control Valve Reliability Prediction workshop on Tuesday, June 20th at 10:30AM.

Sean Croxford

Farris Engineering

Sean Croxford is the Business Unit Manager of Farris Engineering Services (FES), a provider of engineering and software solutions for the design, auditing and management of pressure relief systems.   Sean overseas a team of engineers who audit, size and XXX relief systems using FES’s patented software program, iPRSM, for clients in the refinery and chemical processing industry. FES has offices in Brecksville, OH, Webster, TX and New Delhi, India.    

Sean’s knowledge in relief system requirements, as well as with pressure relief equipment, has uniquely positioned him as a reliable advisor to those in industry who work in areas related to relief systems. Sean has published (4) technical papers over the past 5 years and has established Farris as the PRV supplier of choice by providing a high degree of technical expertise to their clients and to the engineering communities they serve.  He is a technical subject matter expert for pressure relief system design and a ‘go-to’ person for applications engineers when they have issues with complex sizing scenarios such as super-critical or 2-phase flow.  Sean is also an active voting member of the API 520 & 521 committees. 

Sean began his career with Farris in 2003 as a Regional Sales Manager and quickly became instrumental in assisting developing the technical capabilities of the iPRSM software. In 2008 Sean was transferred to the Houston office as the Sales Manager for FES and was promoted to Business Unit Manager in 2009.

Prior to joining Farris in Ontario, Canada, Sean worked for Control Valve Equipment (Consolidated/ Masoneilan representative), where he was the Service Manager for 6 years, after graduating from Lambton College with and Electrical & Instrumentation Engineering Degree.

Shawn Statham

Emerson Automation Solutions

Shawn Statham is currently Emerson Automation Solutions’ Global Product Manager for Actuated Safety Systems responsible for the development and implementation of innovative OEM solutions for application in Safety Instrumented Systems. Shawn’s career in the valve, actuation, and controls, industry spans over two decades serving mainly the Oil & Gas, Petro Chemical, and Chemical industries, specializing in the field of Safety Instrumented Emergency Shutdown Systems. Additionally, he has authored and contributed too many technical articles in the field of SIS. He continues to work closely with certified functional safety professionals, control system engineers, and automation experts, around the world. Mr. Statham is passionate about improving safety and reducing risk through innovation and thought leadership in the field of high integrity safety shut down systems.

Stan Allen


Stan Allen is a 39-year veteran of the valve industry, serving in various research and development, design engineering, application engineering, technical services, test lab management, and field service management roles working with various valve types. Stan holds a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Arkansas, is a registered professional engineer, and is a member of the Arkansas Academy of Mechanical Engineers. He has contributed to the development of NACE, API, MSS and AWWA standards relating to valves. Stan currently serves as Global Director of Valve Application Engineering for Bray International in Houston.

Stan will be presenting on "Factors in Valve Trim Selection for Optimal Performance" in the Casting & Materials Workshop, "Valve Design & Reparability" in the Valve Design Workshop and "Keeping Our Air Clean: A Valve Manufacturer's Perspective" during a Fugitive Emissions Workshop.

Stan Hale

Valve Technology Consultants, Inc.

Stan tested his first valve with full diagnostic instrumentation in 1985 at a nuclear power plant in Virginia. Since then, he has provided valve testing, engineering and analysis support for most nuclear power plants in the US and many worldwide. Stan has designed and installed automated, on line monitoring systems for safety-critical valves used in upstream-offshore and downstream oil & gas facilities and helped end-users solve the most challenging valve performance issues.  Stan is a long term member of the ASME nuclear power O&M code committee on motor-operated valves and member of the ISA sub-committee on partial stroke testing of automated valves. Stan received technical training in the US Marine Corps as a fighter aircraft systems troubleshooter and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Kennesaw State University. Stan is currently president of Valve Technology Consultants, Inc.

Stefano Martinelli


Stefano Martinelli is currently the Service Product Manager of Actuation and Controls, a business division of Pentair Valves & Controls, a leading manufacturer of valve actuators and control solutions. He is responsible for the value creation through the development of advanced service solutions and the enhancement of the global service network. Mr. Martinelli holds a M.Sc. degree in Management Engineering from the University of Parma.

Stefano will be presenting on Smart Actuators: A Predictive Strategy to Achieve Cost Saving Targets during the Actuation & Automation workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Steve Bulter


Steve Butler has been working in the petrochemical industry for over 25 years in the fields of static equipment, rotating equipment, reliability, and safety. He is currently employed by the Shell group of companies as their Valve, Piping, and Gasket focal point for the Americas. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN in 1989. He is a registered professional engineer in several states.

Steve will be presenting on Current FE Requirements in API 622, API 641 & API 624 during the Fugitive Emissions workshop on Tuesday, June 20th at 10:30AM.

Steven Hocurscak


Steven Hocurscak has been with Metso Flow Control for 11 years, and currently serves as the North American Oil & Gas Business Manager.  He holds an engineer degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  Steven has been published multiple times on topics ranging from control valve sizing, noise generation, cavitation and flashing. 


Steven will be presenting during the Actuation & Automation workshop at 10:30am, Wednesday June 21st.

Todd Harrison


Todd Harrison graduated with a BS in Industrial Distribution from Texas A&M and a MBA from University of Houston.  Todd has been in the valve industry for the past 16 years.  Within the valve industry he has held various sales and marketing roles in the gulf coast market.  Todd is an active member of the Houston ISA.  At Metso, Todd holds the current role of Strategic Account Manager.

Todd will be moderating the Actuation & Automation workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Tony Foster

Emerson - Virgo

Tony Foster is Director of Marketing and Business Development at Emerson Automation Solutions where he responsible for the Virgo valve product lines. He holds three engineering degrees and an MBA. He has spent over 20 years with process automation companies in various roles including engineering management, product management and global marketing.  Tony has an extensive background in new product development both from the engineering and marketing prospective.  Using this technical background, he has launched engineering and business solutions into multiple markets around the globe to help solve customer pain.  He currently holds 4 US patents and has won multiple product design awards.

Tony will be presenting on "Selecting the Right Valve for Your Application to Reduce Cost and Increase Performance" during the Performance & Validation Workshop on Wednesday, June 21st. 

Vahe Najarian


Vahe Najarian, Eng. is the Corporate Manager of Research and Development at Velan Inc., Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He earned his Bachelor degree of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. He has over 20 years of machinery and valve experience including research and development, design, manufacturing, project management, customer service and engineering technical support. This includes 12 years of extensive valve testing, qualification and development experience in an applied valve laboratory environment. Vahe also represents Velan Inc. at MSS (Manufacturers Standardization Society), and has participated in standard writing task force groups at both MSS and API (American Petroleum Institute).

Vahe will be presenting "Planning for the Next FE Qualification Challenge, from a Valve Manufacturers' Perspective" during the Fugitive Emissions Workshop on Tuesday, June 20th.

Ville Kähkönen


Ville Kähkönen works as a Global Business Manager of Valves for the Oil & Gas industry at Metso Flow Control. In addition, he is a Functional Safety Engineer TÜV Rheinland # 7374 /13. Ville has experience in different roles from research & development, engineering and product marketing for control and on/off valves. He holds a Master’s degree in materials science and industrial management from Helsinki University of Technology. He can be reached at

Vince Mezzano


Vincent E. Mezzano is a Fluor Fellow and is Fluor’s subject matter expert in control valves, on/off valves, actuators and relief valves. He experience includes delivering cost effective, fit-for-purpose valve sizing on projects including upstream, LNG, refining, petrochemical and specialty chemicals in global locations including the United States, Trinidad and Tobago, South America, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other Middle East countries.

Vince is the Chairman of ISA SP96 Valve Actuator Committee, Chairman of ISA SP 75.05 Control Valve Terminology, ISA SP 75.24 Control Valve Actuator Sizing and Selection, ISA Standards and Practices Board Member, Co-managing Director of ISA SP 75, and an active voting member of ISA SP 75 Control Valves. He is also an active member of the PIP Process Control Team.

Vince is also a member of Micro Motion’s Customer Advisory Board.

Vince has been at Fluor for 29 years. He is based in Sugar Land, Texas.

Vince will be presenting during the Partial Stroke Testing workshop on Wednesday, June 21st at 10:30AM.

Zachary Leutwyler

Kalsi Engineering


B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, 2002

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, 2004


Kalsi Engineering, Inc., Sugar Land, TX

2004 to present:  Senior Specialist

University of Houston, Houston, TX

2002 to 2004: Research Assistant

Flowserve, Dear Park, TX

1997 to 2000: Valve Technician

Zachary Leutwyler is a senior specialist at Kalsi Engineering, Inc. with more than fifteen years of experience in the valve industry.  His graduate work was focused on computational, thermal, and fluid sciences and included a computational study of the compressible flow field and the flow-induced resultant force and torque on various butterfly disc geometries using two- and three-dimensional computational models. His thermal science background includes conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer.  His background in fluid mechanics includes gas dynamics (theoretical and computational), boundary-layer theory, turbulent flow, potential flow, viscous flow, and fundamental fluid mechanics.

Mr. Leutwyler’s experience includes performing root-cause investigations, developing dynamic and kinematic equations of motion to predict transient performance of valves/actuators, developing analytical models to predict valve and/or actuator capability, developing and executing test procedures, performing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis of butterfly, check, and globe valves of different shapes and other piping system components, performing finite element analyses (FEA) and coupled fluid-structure and thermal interactions analyses, designing test fixtures and analyzing valve modifications. 

His recent projects included performing root-cause investigations of various valve failures including main seat leakage in main steam safety relief valves (MSRV) related to marginal seat contact aggravated by thermal and mechanical loading, pilot seat leakage and setpoint drift failures in MSRVs due to marginal seat contact pressure that was sensitive to side loading and thermal distortions, and butterfly disc-pin lose due to disc flutter resulting from upstream disturbances.  The root-cause investigation of the pilot-operated MSRV main seat leakage included developing a 3-D model of the valve and performing a thermal structural analysis of the valve during system startup.  The analysis modeled the initiation and progression of the thermal distortion due to small seat leakage consistent with marginal seating capability at low system pressure.

Recent project experience also included the following: (1) modeling and analysis of swing disc type Main Steam Isolation Valves (MSIV) and Main Steam Check Valves (MSCV) under power uprate conditions using RELAP to predict disc impact velocities under pipe break and spurious closure; (2) developing methodology for stroke time predictions of a containment purge butterfly valve operated by pneumatic scotch yoke actuator under design basis conditions; (3) performing flow-loop testing on globe, butterfly, and tapered plug valves to develop valve performance prediction modeling coefficients for KVAP (the leading valve and actuator analysis program in the U.S. and Nuclear power industry); and (4) testing diaphragm actuators to determine effective diaphragm area.

Mr. Leutwyler’s experience in CFD related to valves is extensive single phase incompressible and compressible flow and two phase cavitation flow.  He has also performed experimental compressible and incompressible flow loop tests on many different types of valves, and validated CFD predictions against the test results.  His background in CFD includes modeling with several turbulence models including common two equation Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) based models like the K-e and K-w and higher order hybrid models (Detached Eddy Simulation (DES)), which combine two equation predictions in the boundary layer with higher order Large Eddy Simulation (LES) models away from the boundary.