ChE Seminar Series: Kevin E. Buettner, Ph.D.

Date(s) - 04/16/2024
9:00 am - 10:00 am

HPNP 1404


Title: “An Industrial Perspective on Lab Safety”

Kevin E. Buettner, Ph.D.
Lead Pilot Plant Engineer Process Innovation And Scale-Up
Exxonmobil Technology and Engineering

ExxonMobil has had a long relationship with the University of Florida as a member of PALS (Partners in Academic Laboratory Safety). The goal of this seminar is to discuss the intent of PALS and to create an open dialogue about safety culture. As someone who graduated from the University of Florida and joined ExxonMobil in a computational role, it might seem strange to see Kevin giving this seminar. However, career progression led him into a role as the lead of a 24/7 pilot plant operation that has a team of 30+ people. In both the computational and pilot plant roles, the assessment and mitigation of risk were necessary and important, but it was not until being at the pilot plant that he began to understand the conversations and openness needed to ensure “Nobody Gets Hurt.” This talk will include some strategies ExxonMobil uses in building a safety culture in hopes of providing some information that is relatable and applicable.

Kevin E. Buettner is a lead pilot plant engineer within Process Innovation and Scale-Up at the ExxonMobil Technology and Engineering Company. He is a chemical engineering alumnus of the University of Oklahoma (2013) and the University of Florida (2018, Ph.D.) where he was a member of Professor Jennifer Sinclair Curtis’ research group focused on model development for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of granular flows.

After joining ExxonMobil in 2018, he has made significant contributions to the process development and scale-up of “new-to-the-world” process technologies focused on complex fluidization systems. This has required the development and expansion of fluidization modeling capabilities to impact reactor design, and the operation of a new pilot plant to validate the reaction and hydrodynamic models required for novel process scale-up. Kevin currently serves as the Chair for AIChE’s Particle Technology Forum (PTF) Area 3B and is an active referee for AIChE Journal, Chemical Engineering Science, and Powder Technology.