2018 Speakers

The Smithers Rapra Image Sensors conference has attracted the highest calibre of business-oriented speakers from the carbon black industry.

  • Dr. Soumen Chakraborty

    Carbon Black Division Himadri Speciality Chemical Limited

    Dr. Soumen Chakraborty has a Bachelor and Master from IIT Kharagpur(Prestigious & Premier Institute in India) and PhD from Calcutta University on Polymer Science & Technology. His career spans 40 years of experience in tyres, rubber and chemicals, the last 20 years in Carbon Black . He has had more than 150 publications in all the leading national and international journals and has spoken at many Carbon Black conference i.e Asia -Pacific, Global, and Chinese carbon Black conference. He is a Fellow member of Indian Rubber Institute. 

  • Saeid Eshaghi

    Technical Manager Carbon Simorgh Co.

    Saeid Eshaghi is the technical Manager at CARBON SIMORGH (Manufacturer of carbon black in Iran). He has more than 15 years of experience in Maintenance Management; Project Management; Design and Manufacturing of fixed and rotary equipment; Condition Based Monitoring Systems and Vibration Analysis. He has spent more than 7 years of his career in Carbon Black Industry.

    Eshaghi received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran University and completed his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from KNT University of Technology. His M.S. Thesis was on modeling of combustion in a carbon black reactor.

    To enhance his management knowledge and skills, he continued his studies in the field of Management and currently is a Ph.D. candidate in Industrial Management at the AZAD University.

  • Vince Guercio

    President CTC International

    Vince Guercio has a chemical engineering degree and over 50 years experience in the international petrochemical, petroleum and natural gas businesses.  For the past 40 years, he has been an independent consultant providing commercial and technical advice about the interactions that occur at the refinery/LPG/petrochemical interfaces.  He specializes in the utilization of steam cracker byproducts such as butadiene, C5s and carbon black oil (CBO).  Due to his ethylene byproduct experience, in 1982 Vince became heavily involved in carbon black feedstock from naphtha crackers, FCCs and coal tar.  Since then, he has offered consulting services in the pricing, marketing, evaluation and acquisition of CBO.  Since 1988, he has published the CBO MONITOR which provides reliable market intelligence about worldwide CBO and carbon black.  Vince was educated by Catholic University of America, Princeton University and the U.S. Army.  His corporate experience includes Mobil Oil, Lummus and Foster Wheeler.     

  • Robert Hallam

    Technical Superintendent Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy Company

    Robert Hallam is currently the Technical Superintendent at Sid Richardson Carbon and Energy in Addis, Louisiana. He joined SRCE in 2014 at the company’s pilot plant located in Big Spring, Texas. Robert is an honors graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he received a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering in 2008. He began his career as a process engineer in the EPC industry specializing in the design of wastewater treatment facilities. In additional to his engineering experience, Robert is also an accomplished saxophonist, having earned a master’s degree in music performance from his alma mater in 2013.

  • Kevin Hocevar

    Director Northcoast Research

    Kevin joined Northcoast Research in May 2011 as a member of the Industrial & Basic Material team covering the Specialty Chemicals sector. Since that time, Kevin has leveraged his experience and knowledge to expand coverage into the broader Specialty Chemical and Building Products sectors. Prior to joining Northcoast Research, Kevin was a Risk Analyst at KeyBank Capital Markets from 2009-2011, American International Group (AIG) from 2008-2009 and Smith Barney from 2007-2008. Kevin and his team have developed an extensive array of industry contacts to draw from, including thousands of manufacturing, distribution and contractor professionals in the coatings, roofing, insulation, wallboard, carbon black, flooring, door, and plastic compounding industries.  Additionally, he has developed proprietary indexes that analyze monthly building products pricing in the home center channel, import data across multiple industries, a Carbon Black Shipment Index, and many more.  In addition to providing proprietary equity research and custom research data to institutional investors, Kevin has also been quoted in industry publications such as Plastics News and Bloomberg, and his proprietary U.S. Architectural Coatings Reports can be found in Coatings World Magazine, where it is published on a quarterly basis. Kevin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. Kevin has been recognized by StarMine in 2017 as a number two earnings estimator nationally for the Chemicals Industry.

  • Paul Ita

    Principal Notch Consulting, Inc.

    Paul Ita runs Notch Consulting, a Massachusetts-based research company dedicated to the market research needs of the global specialty chemicals industry. Mr. Ita focuses on raw materials for the global tire and rubber industries, with a particular focus on carbon black, silica, and rubber chemicals. Through Notch, he publishes the Carbon Black World Data Book and the Carbon Black Quarterly Newsletter.

    • USA
  • Axel Kindgens

    Chief Information Officer, Chief Digital Officer ARVOS GmbH, SCHMIDTSCHE SCHACK

    After a training as an electronic technician, Kindgen began his career in 1988 at Mercedes Benz in Kassel. He graduated as electrical engineer at the University of Kassel in 1996. After that he joined GE CompuNet in Essen as IT Consultant.  

    From 1999 onwards, he has held various IT management functions at Bombardier Transportation, Kassel/ Berlin. In 2009, he joined ALSTOM Power Energy Recovery GmbH in Kassel as Director IT. In 2011, he was appointed Head of Information Systems at ALSTOM Power Auxiliaries, Mannheim.  Since September 2014 he has been the Head of IT and Digitalization of the SCHMIDTSCHE SCHACK division, responsible for the global IT Strategy and Innovation, Demand Management and IT Sourcing, Project Management, IT Enterprise Architecture, Quality/ Risk/ Compliance, IT Operations and Support, M&A.

    Axel Kindgen is married and has two children. He also holds a degree in general management from afw Wirtschaftsakademie in Bad Harzburg.

  • Monique Lempereur

    Managing Director Continental Carbon Company Europe

    Monique Lempereur holds a master in chemistry from the Free University of Brussels. Ms Lempereur has spent most of her career with US multinationals having their headquarter for Europe, Middle East and Africa located in Belgium. She has worked, within others, for Phillips Petroleum, Albemarle and Cytec, moving progressively from technical positions towards commercial roles. In 2008 she has started her own consulting firm and acted as commercial executive director of Nanocyl, a world leader in nanotechnology. In 2014, she co-founded Continental Carbon Europe, a subsidiary of Continental Carbon Company. . As Managing Director of Continental Carbon Europe the primarily role of Ms Lempereur was to successfully commercialize the production of the new Kemya carbon black plant located in Saudi Arabia.

    Ms Lempereur received in 1997 the second prize as “Women in Business in Belgium”. She is a certified director and serves as well as Chair of European Women on Boards, the premier-tier association to promote gender diversity at board levels.  

  • Igor Leverberg

    CEO MAKROchem SA

    Mr Igor Levenberg has been active in the Carbon Black business for the last 30 years. Since 1995, he owns and manages MAKROchem Group, a business cluster operating in distribution and logistics of rubber raw materials. With several warehouses and transloading stations located in Europe, North America and scheduled openings in Asia accompanied by own bulk transport infrastructure, MAKROchem is a major player in CB logistics for both producers and consumers of CB globally.

    Mr Levenberg was born in 1969, holds Master degree in Economics followed by PhD in Chemistry. He is the author of a wide range of scientific publications dedicated to carbon black, with the most recent monography issued in 2017.

  • Binghong Li

    Senior Adviser China Carbon Black Institute

    Binghong Li, Professor, Ph.D., Graduated from Sichuan University, major in nanotechnology and nanomaterials, is mainly engaged in development of carbon nano-materials, including specialty carbon black, carbon nanotubes, fullerenes, graphene, carbon byproduct materials, carbon composites development and application. He has published more than 30 articles in academic journals at home and abroad, containing more than 12 SCI/EI papers, and applied 15 national invention patents, authorized 10.

  • John Loudermilk

    Chief Operating Officer Birla Carbon

    John Loudermilk is Chief Operating Officer, Birla Carbon, based at the company headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. In this role, Mr. Loudermilk is responsible for all aspects of the company’s business globally.

    Mr. Loudermilk joined the carbon black business in 2005 as Director of Global Operations. In 2008 he was appointed Vice President of Global Operations with responsibility for global manufacturing facilities along with corporate engineering, quality, and six-sigma. He subsequently took responsibility for the North America business and has led the technology and strategy efforts for the company during his tenure. In January, 2016, he assumed additional responsibility for the Europe and Africa region of Birla Carbon until his appointment as COO in September, 2017.

    Over his 25 years of experience in the chemical industry, he has also held a variety of leadership positions within Monsanto and Solutia Inc. with responsibilities across Business Management, Manufacturing, Procurement, Sales and Supply Chain.

    Mr. Loudermilk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

  • Dr Valeriy Martynenko

    Director Ukrainian Research Institute of Refractories

    Dr. Valeriy Martynenko is a director of the Ukrainian Research Institute of Refractories named after A.S. Berezhnoy, worked in the institute more than 40 years, carrying out researches in the field of alumina, zirconia and chromium oxide refractories and their industrial applications. He has published over 320 scientific works and 50 patents. He is a member of the American Ceramic Society, and Committee Member of the journals “Refractories worldforum” (Germany), “China’s Refractories” etc. 

  • Cuddalore Natarajan

    Consultant Ganpads Consulting

    C.P. Natarajan graduated with M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Madras, India & University of Pittsburgh, USA. He joined American Schack Company (ALSTOM Power Energy Recovery) and developed High Temperature Air Preheaters & Energy Recovery Systems. He organized Schack Carbon Black Conferences in USA (1996, 1998, and 2000).

    After 28 years of service, he retired as President of ALSTOM Power Energy Recovery, USA in 2001 and started GANPADS, providing consulting services on Industrial Energy Recovery & Emissions Abatement (Carbon Black production & Petroleum Coke Calcination)

    From the first Carbon Black world conference in 1993 till the recent 2018 Carbon Black China conference in Chengdu, China, Natarajan has made presentations at Carbon Black World, Carbon Black Asia Pacific and Carbon Black China conferences.

    Carbon Black Asia Pacific presented him in 2003 with LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD and in 2017, Star of Carbon Black Energy Recovery Research


  • Karsten Poulsen

    Global Technical Adviser FLSmidth A/S, Airtech

    Karsten Poulsen is a chemical engineer and holds a CEL certificate (Certificate in Entrepreneurial Leadership, DTU Business, Denmark). He has worked more than 25 years with air pollution control equipment including electrostatic precipitators, fabric filters, catalytic filtration and acid gas removal. Today he is a Global Technical Adviser with FLSmidth A/S, Airtech – air pollution control.

  • John Reese

    Chief Commercial Officer Monolith Materials

    John Reese is the Chief Commercial Officer for Monolith where he is responsible for customer and market related activities as well as project management for Monolith’s Olive Creek, NE facility.   This will include market segmentation, customer identification and acquisition and pricing strategies.  Prior to joining Monolith, Mr. Reese was the vice president of global strategic accounts and vice president of marketing for Cabot Corporation.  John brings over 20 years of experience in the rubber industry having spent time with Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 3M Dyneon and Cabot Corporation.

    Mr. Reese brings a broad knowledge of the global carbon black and polymer industries to Monolith.    During his career, he has been involved in bringing new products to market, opening new markets for existing materials and has extensive global negotiation experience.  He has a M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Roger Rothon

    Founder Rothon Consultants

    ROGER ROTHON is an independent Consultant, founder and director of Rothon research Limited and a visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University.

    He has spent over 40 years working in the fields of inorganic filler production, surface modification and filled polymer composites. His particular interests are in flame retardant fillers, surface modifiers and in silica and calcium carbonate fillers for rubber applications.

    He has a number of patent applications and many scientific publications.

    His current interests include techno-commercial studies for companies such as Smithers RAPRA and active research on the recovery and utilisation of nano-sized silica from geothermal power generation. 

  • Victor M Scalco III

    Global Commercial Strategic Business Development Manager-Gulftronic Electrostatic Separators General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS)

    Since 1997 Victor has been an integral part process design and developmental downstream solutions for hydrocarbon recovery.  Working in support of key players in the industry his current position allows for new development of filtration and separation systems.  He is principally involved in the technical development and training with EPC and FCC/RFCC Licensors worldwide.  Experience includes program development for commercial applications, scoping studies and commissioning.  He holds a MA Degree from the University of San Diego and has worked for more than 20 years in the design and implementation of hydrocarbon filtration systems

  • Martin von Wolfersdorff

    Principal Advisor Wolfersdorff Consulting

    Martin von Wolfersdorff is a consultant specialising in alternative rubber fillers and tire pyrolysis. He is in contact with over 320 tire pyrolysis companies globally and advises tyre manufacturing associations, tire manufacturers, tire collectors, refineries, pyrolysis technology providers & operators on the global tire pyrolysis industry and the marketing of recovered carbon black. Previously, Martin worked in the carbon black industry with Cabot, in the custom colour masterbatch industry with Americhem and in the white pigment industry with Huntsman Pigments. Martin holds a Dipl. Ing. (Univ.) degree in chemical engineering from the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany.