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Welcome to the 5 new CACHE trustees who joined in 2023!

John Hedengren (Brigham Young University), Conchita Jimenez-Gonzalez (GSK), Jim Pfaendtner (N.C. State University), Cristina Thomas (3M, retired), and Victor Zavala (University of Wisconsin) joined the CACHE Board of Trustees in 2023.

John Hedengren

John Hedengren leads the BYU PRISM group with interests in combining data science, optimization, and automation. He earned a doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin and worked 5 years with ExxonMobil Chemical prior to joining BYU in 2011. He served as a Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Distinguished Lecturer for 2018-2019 and completed a sabbatical in 2020 to collaboratively develop combined physics-based and machine learned methods for optimization and automation. The online courses on programming, optimization, dynamics, control, and machine learning are accessed by 10,000 learners each day. The Temperature Control Lab (TCLab) is used at 70 universities and by 3000 professionals to learn programming, data science, dynamics, and control.


Conchita Jimenez-Gonzalez

Conchita Jimenez-Gonzalez is an R&D EHS & Sustainability Head at GSK and leads the global team that enables Research & Development to operate safely and sustainably. This includes embedding a safety culture, sustainability principles, and proactive risk management into R&D. Previously she has held Director roles in Pharma & Consumer Supply Chains, New Product Development, Engagement, Planning, Analytics, and Reporting, and Operational Sustainability & New Product Support. She holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University where she is also an Adjunct Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Raleigh NC; an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from ITESM, Monterrey, México and a B.S. in Chemical and Industrial Engineering at the Chihuahua Institute of Technology, México.


Jim Pfaendtner

Jim Pfaendtner is the Louis Martin-Vega Dean of Engineering at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. He joined N.C. State from the University of Washington, where he served as the Connie and Steve Rogel Endowed Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He also held appointments as professor of chemistry, associate vice provost for research computing and senior data science fellow at the university’s eScience Institute, and at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a senior scientist. His research has focused on using computer simulations to understand and control molecular scale driving forces for a wide range of applications spanning biotechnology to advanced materials.


Cristina Thomas

Cristina Thomas has more than 30 years of technical and leadership experience in research and development organizations.  She joined 3M in 1992 as a Senior Research Engineer in the Life Sciences Sector laboratory after completing undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics in Venezuela and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1992 from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Prior to 3M, she worked in the Venezuelan oil industry and at IBM. At 3M Cristina initially contributed to new technology and product development projects by applying and leading computational materials modeling and commercializing products for pavement markings, windshield sealants, and window films and attachments (solar control and safety), among others. Later, she had a variety of managerial and technical leadership roles. She has a passion for organizations that move new technologies and new product platforms into markets, for organizational change management and for women in science, including their development and leadership.


Victor Zavala

Victor Zavala is the Baldovin-DaPra Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Computational Mathematician in the Mathematics and Computer Science Division at Argonne National Laboratory.  He received the BSc degree from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City, Mexico, in 2003, and the PhD degree from Carnegie Mellon University, in 2008, both in chemical engineering. He is on the editorial board of the Journal of Process Control, Mathematical Programming Computation, and Computers & Chemical engineering. He is a recipient of NSF and DOE Early Career awards and of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). His research interests include statistics, control, and optimization and applications to energy and environmental systems.

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