• New President and Vice President for IFRF

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      Neil Fricker

At its 152nd Meeting in Velsen on December 8th, the IFRF’s Joint Committee has taken a number of decisions regarding the future of the IFRF. With immediate effect, and following the retirement of Nico Thijssen as President of the IFRF, a new President, Professor Mikko Hupa of Åbo Akademi, Finland has been installed.   Dr Richard T. Waibel of John Zink Company, Tulsa, USA was elected as a Vice President and a new member of the IFRF’s Monitoring Council. Dick will be the IFRF’s first non-European Senior Officer, and his election is the first step in a Joint Committee plan to strengthen the global balance of the IFRF’s Management Team.

152nd IFRF’s Joint Committee Meeting

Nico Thijssen and Peter Roberts

Mikko Hupa has served for some years as IFRF Vice President and a member of the IFRF’s Monitoring Council, which brings together all the Senior Officers of the IFRF. Mikko is Professor and  a Director of Research at  Åbo Akademi, Turku, Finland. Professor Hupa received his Ph.D. in 1980. Since 1988 Mikko has been the Director of Research for the five-year Finnish National Combustion Research Program LIEKKI (1998-1992) and further for the six-year LIEKKI 2 (1993-1998).  In 1992 Mikko was appointed Professor in Chemical Combustion Engineering, a chair donated to Åbo Akademi by the energy industry in Finland. In 1998 Mikko was appointed Professor in Inorganic Chemistry at Åbo Akademi. His  team is one of the four teams of the Åbo Akademi Process Chemistry Research Group, a joint research organization at the Chemical Engineering Faculty of Åbo Akademi. The Åbo Akademi Process Chemistry Group received  the status of a National Centre of Excellence in Finland in 1998 and Mikko is the chairman of the board of this Centre. Mikko’s recent research activities include fluidised bed boilers, pulping industry spent liquor recovery boilers etc. He has studied the formation/destruction of pollutants, formation and behaviour of inorganic combustion residues (ash) in combustion, and novel characterization of fuels for various combustion applications including pressurized combustion and gasification systems. In 1993 Mikko received the international Walter Ahlstrom Environmental  Prize together with two other well known IFRF Members, Dr. Gerard de Soete and Dr. Adel Sarofim.

Richard T. Waibel, PhD represents the US burner manufacturer John Zink Company, LLC based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he is the Senior Principal Engineer within the John Zink Burner Group. Dick has  a BS and PhD in Fuel Science,  awarded by The Pennsylvania State University, and was a Post Doctoral Fellow, at the Fire Science Centre, Chemical Engineering Department, University of New Brunswick, CANADA. His industrial background includes Flat Glass Melting Research at PPG Industries, Industrial Combustion Research  at the US Institute of Gas Technology  and Industrial  Burner Design and Development at John Zink. Dick is a longstanding Member of the IFRF’s American Flame Research Committee, where he currently holds the position of Chairman.

Drs Nico J W  Thijssen recently retired from the position of Research Director based at Corus RD&T’s IJmuiden Laboratory. He has an association with the IFRF going back over many decades, culminating in the 1990’s in his appointment first as General Secretary of the IFRF, and most recently as it’s President. Nico was instrumental in establishing the IFRF’s Research Station as a separate subsidiary company in the 1990’s, and still acts as Chairman of the Research Station Company’s Board. Following his retirement from Corus and IFRF, Nico has already found a new outlet for his energy and enthusiasm having taken up an elected position within the Boards controlling the Dutch Provincial and National Water system. The IFRF wishes Nico a long and active retirement.