Conversion of Biomass Waste to Jet Fuel
Russel Ferne graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a Civil specialty in 2011. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. He has 11 years of structural engineering experience on large projects in industries such as pharmaceutical, microelectronics, industrial, food manufacturing, and mining. These industries have given him vast experience in high-seismic design, complex structural steel design, deep foundation design, and many other aspects of structural analysis and design.
Russel grew up in the Denver area but since graduating, he has lived in Greenville, South Carolina with his wife. He enjoys spending time gardening, cooking, and studying astronomy and physics.
Sujatha (Su) Hedrick graduated from Florida State University with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering in 2009, and from University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Master of Science in Engineering Mechanics in 2005 and from Madras University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 2002. Su is a licensed Professional Engineer in (8) states and is a Project Management Professional, with over fourteen (14) years of experience in structural engineering and more recently in project management. Su’s experience is multi-industrial, including but not limited to Oil & Gas, Power and Mining. She has also acted as a field engineer to support construction, as well as QA/QC engineer to oversee solar panels module/rack fabrication and assembly. As a member of the Halker team since October 2021, she manages all aspects of the projects group but also serves as the interim Structural Director.
Su’s hobbies involve hiking, reading and traveling the world. She has lived in Colorado since 2007 and is married to a fellow structural engineer and a Colorado native.
Austin Dean graduated from Colorado School of Mines in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. He has experience in engineering design projects for well pad facilities, gathering systems, and midstream natural gas facilities. Starting his career at Halker in 2014, his roles and responsibilities have spanned Process Engineering, Project Engineering, Project Management, and Facilities Engineering. He specializes in jet pump artificial lift surface facilities and dynamic hydraulic modeling. Austin brings an E&P perspective to the Halker team, with a focus on project economics and larger implications of design decisions.
When he is not in the office, you can usually find Austin on the golf course, searching for a poker game, or enjoying time with his wife and two young children.
Matthew (Matt) Koch has 7 years of environmental engineering experience in the areas of regulatory compliance, process design and evaluation, waste management, site characterization, due diligence, groundwater studies, and hazardous waste investigations. He has served as project manager and principal engineer, serving clients in the construction, agricultural, solid waste, commercial development, wastewater treatment, mining, and oil & gas industries. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering and a minor in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a licensed professional engineer in the states of CO, NM, and WY.
Adam Zwickl is a licensed engineer and graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2005. He has 17 years of experience in Engineering consulting firms working in the Oil & Gas and Nuclear industries working on a diverse set of projects. His experience spans Advanced Biofuels, Upstream, Midstream, and Gas Treating. He has brought his diverse experience to Halker’s Mechanical Department since 2019 ensuring that the Mechanical group provides clients with sound engineered designs and precise deliverables. Adam also serves as a PE/PM on various projects to help with their execution along all aspects of EPC including Procurement and Commissioning.
Adam grew up in Louisville and has lived all around Colorado. Adam’s hobbies involve all things outdoors with his wife and three children including hiking, camping, fishing, and skiing. Adam is a loyal fans of the Nuggets and Broncos.
Noelle Ford graduated from the University of Colorado (Go Buffs!) with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Her oil & gas career began in 2009 with a recruitment firm specializing in the oil & gas and mining sectors. One of Noelle’s first placements as a recruiter was for Halker Consulting and 10 years later, that individual is still an active member of the team. She eventually joined Halker as the resident human resource and recruiting specialist in 2014 and has been a part of Halker’s growth and success over the last 5 years. Noelle brings a great balance of professionalism and a sense of humor to the office culture, which makes her both approachable and respected among her team mates.
Noelle is a Colorado native and enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She loves seeing movies, plays and travelling around the world.
Emily Strengers graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering in 1998 (Hookem’ Horns!). She has over (20) years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry, has been involved in projects ranging from offshore platforms to onshore crude units, LNG facilities, gas plants, cokers, and polyethylene units, and has worked in 6 different countries around the world. As a member of the Halker team since 2019, she has brought her extensive experience to aid in project management, client and staff training, FEED studies, construction support, and facilities operation for both upstream and midstream projects.
When asked about the advice she would give to young engineers she said, “Talk to the construction and operations guys in the field who have been doing the hands-on work for years. They have insights and knowledge you can’t gain just by looking at the numbers and the design on paper.”
Originally from Houston, Emily is a native Texan and in her free time she loves scuba diving, travel, and spending time with her family. As the proud mom of two active boys, there is never a dull moment and each weekend is filled with camping, swimming, biking, and fun.
Jeff Wellen graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in business and economics in 2002. Jeff is a licensed professional engineer with over 19 years of project management, project engineering, and mechanical engineering experience. Most of his professional career has been in the Oil & Gas industry with a wide range of experience across various types of projects including gas treating, LNG, well pad sites, cryogenic processing, biofuels, and more. He has also worked as a field engineer to support construction, as well as in a fabrication shop to oversee module/pipe-rack assembly. As a member of the Halker team since January 2018, his breadth of involvement in various projects provides Jeff a strong basis to lead a project management team through the trials and tribulations when executing any type of project ranging from technical studies to full EPC projects in the rapidly evolving midstream and upstream industry sectors. Jeff was named an Engineering News Record (ENR) Top Young Professional in 2018 for the Mountain States Region.
In his free time, Jeff loves all things outdoors including hunting, camping, and ice fishing. He has lived in Colorado since 1980 with his wife and twin daughters, who also love to go fishing and camping and root for the Broncos. Jeff’s biggest piece of advice for new college grads interested in joining the energy industry is to always work hard to grow and maintain a professional network!
Paul Brennan is an industrial automation specialist, PLC programmer, business manager and product development professional. He graduated from Colorado Mesa University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. Paul now has over 25 years of experience providing industrial automation solutions and large-scale automation integration projects for oil & gas, water/wastewater, irrigation, and greenhouse industries in the US and Eastern Europe. Paul’s career has been spent developing leading edge, revolutionary automation products, and in the process, he has obtained several US Patents. Paul has notably designed products such as PADPro, PADManager, PROView and QLogiX for upstream oil & gas facilities, utilizing state of the art technologies with PLC’s and high-powered single board computers to provide advanced data collection and data processing at the well head.
Paul has a knack for being able to create logical solutions for industrial processes, dedication to hard work, and his relentless drive distinguishes him as an industry leading expert. He describes his greatest achievements around his ability to identify, manage and drive talented individuals and contractors towards a common team goal. In his spare time, Paul is a hot rod enthusiast and enjoys building and restoring classic cars. You can also find him outdoors year-round hunting, fishing or playing golf.
Daniel Sirridge graduated from Kansas State University with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2003. Starting his career in architecture, he worked on various project types ranging from religious and educational projects to large government projects. In 2009 Dan continued his career, transitioning to the Oil and Gas Industry, starting work at Halker Consulting. Through the years, Dan has been a key contributor and design-lead for many various upstream and midstream oil and gas projects. These project types include: salt water injection facilities, well-pad facilities, compressor stations, and plant retrofits.
In Daniel’s free time he enjoys being part of a pool team, playing disc golf, and enjoying Colorado and everything that the state has to offer.
Jeremy Montoya graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with an Electrical specialty focus in 2010. Jeremy is a licensed professional engineering in multiple states and has over a decade of experience in consulting engineering and has working in nearly every sector or the business, from oil and gas to food and beverage, mining, pharmaceuticals, commercial and residential applications. Jeremy started his own company, Selah Engineering and Design, in 2020 amidst the global pandemic and created a successful business that supported clients in a variety of sectors. Jeremy longed for a true multidisciplinary team through this time, which opened the door in 2021 for a partnership between Selah and Halker. In this partnership, Jeremy stepped into being the EI&C director at Halker, while continuing to support existing clients via Selah. As director, Jeremy brings a passion to build up and support staff as they provide quality engineering and design services to every client we have the opportunity to work with. With an eye for detail, value and confident support- our EI&C group will continue to grow and be recognized for their expertise, attentiveness, and quality deliverables in every project. Jeremy has also volunteered engineering services abroad, helping with the design of water/wastewater treatment facilities in Kenya, as well as master plans for facilities in Mexico.
Jeremy and his wife Audrey have 2 children and love traveling and doing anything outdoors. Jeremy loves to hike, play basketball, or ride his electric skateboard.
Dan Grant has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Northern Arizona University. He is a licensed professional engineer in 22 states and brings over 30 years of experience to projects and clients. Dan completed his PMP and has worked as an engineer and project manager. His diverse career spans numerous market sectors, including energy, oil & gas (upstream, midstream, downstream, and water disposal processing), pipeline and terminals, mining (above ground and underground), chemical and pharmaceutical, water and wastewater and pumping stations, industrial manufacturing, clean rooms, 24/7 and mission critical operations, data centers and control facilities, and power (substations and transmission & distribution). In the renewable energy sector, Dan’s experience covers client-side and utility/grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated PV power generation sites. At Halker, Dan previously served as the EI&C Director and now supports clients and projects as a team and technical resource. He’s knowledgeable in wide aspects of electrical design and engineering, including power system analysis, motors and VFDs, harmonics, grounding and bonding and lightning protection, cathodic protection, heat trace, relay protection schemes, electrical area classification and API RP500, and power generation.
In his free time, Dan can be found writing a series of science/medical thrillers and he’s the bestselling author of The Singularity Witness, The Singularity Transfer, and Thirteen Across. A mentor once gave him this advice: strive to be brilliant because anyone can be average. He brings that mindset and passion to his engineering projects and clients, striving to provide the best engineering solutions and services possible.
Tor Vestad is a graduate of Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical engineering in 2003 and a Masters in 2005. He has 14 years of experience in the Oil & Gas industry working on a diverse set of projects. His experience spans Advanced Biofuels, Low Carbon Power, Refineries, Upstream, Midstream, Gas Treating and Acid Gas removal. He has brought his diverse experience to Halker’s Process Department since 2021 ensuring that the Process group provides clients with soundly engineered designs and deliverables.
Originally, from Yakima WA, Tor grew up on an apple and pear orchard and came to Colorado to attend CSM where he met his wife and settled down.
Matt Halker, founder and CEO of Halker Consulting, earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. Matt is a Registered Professional Engineer (PE) in the state of Colorado, and several other states. He is an E&P professional with engineering and construction experience in the oil and gas industry, spanning the Gulf of Mexico to the Rocky Mountains. He began his professional career as an offshore engineer for Vastar Resources before he moved to Durango and managed compressor and pipeline projects throughout the SW Colorado area. Beginning in 2003, Matt became a project engineer for CBM gas field operations at Thunder Creek Gas Services, working on various pipeline and compressor station projects in Gillette, WY. Matt resigned and made his next moves as an entrepreneur in 2006. Halker Consulting and Dry Creek Petroleum were founded in 2006 as mechanisms to work engineering consulting and oil field operations opportunities. Halker’s consulting and engineering services became Matt’s full-time pursuit after 2008.
Since 2012, Matt has founded multiple companies including EIS, SWEVCO-SABW, Slipstream Environmental Services, and most recently Halker Smart Solutions. Throughout his career he has managed many aspects of oil and gas business including commercial M&A, operations, engineering, construction and commissioning. A few notable projects include a helium recovery plant, a solar powered-pump off a separator solution, a microscale-liquid hydrocarbon recovery project, the first Econode production facility, and an aboveground, downhole casing R&D simulator.
Despite market fluctuations, Matt’s commitment to grow and execute Halker’s mission has remained strong. Today, Halker’s full-service Energy engineering services encompass multiple aspects of upstream and midstream projects including feasibility studies, project management, economic analysis, oil, gas and water handling facility design, pipeline design, among many other oil & gas, power and renewable engineering activities. Matt is always looking to the future of energy and will continue to be an innovator and industry thought leader.
Matt, Gretchen and their 4 children live in Colorado and enjoy indoor and outdoor activities, including team sports, off-road motorcycle riding, skiing, hiking and road tripping.
Andrew Depperschmidt is a graduate from the Colorado School of Mines with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He has experience in a variety of construction and facilities projects including both upstream and midstream natural gas and crude oil processing. He joined Halker in January of 2015 as the Mechanical Department Manager and has since taken on several different responsibilities with the firm, including General Manager and Vice President. Over the course of his time with Halker, he has overseen the company’s growth, helped develop the management team, and helped structure operational processes around project execution for maximum quality. He’s inspired by Halker’s outstanding team daily and takes pride in being people-focused while driving the company’s progressive and forward-looking culture.
Andrew and his wife have four children. Their family loves doing things together, whether it’s running a 5K or spending the day sailing at the reservoir. Andrew enjoys trying new things and is always learning a new hobby or building a new project around the house. His favorite hobby, though, is undertaking new entrepreneurial opportunities. He’s also a loyal Denver Broncos fan – go orange and blue!
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