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 Diane Saber – Curriculum Vitae

 

DIANE L. SABER, Ph.D.
President and Founder
REEthink, Inc.

 

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Diane Saber is an environmental microbiologist, scientist and project manager with over 30 years of experience in executing and managing a wide range of individual and collaborative projects in the areas of waste to energy systems and hazardous waste treatment.

The past 20 years have been devoted to research and projects special to the natural gas industry; the past 9 years have been focused on pipeline quality renewable natural gas (biomethane) for introduction to the pipeline grid, and for vehicle fuel use.

Areas of research and expertise also includes development of forensic chemistry techniques for hazardous waste source identification, greenhouse gas tracking and abatement, biotechnology applications environmental restoration, biorefining and advanced techniques pertaining to microbial-induced corrosion.


PATENTS

#8,143,019 “Portable Microbiological Testing Device for Gases”
#4,713,340 “Biodeterioration of Pentach Porophenal”

 

EDUCATION

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Yale University, New Haven, CT
Ph.D., Microbiology,University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
M.B.A. minus thesis, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rutherford, New Jersey
B.A., cum laude, Biology, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota

 

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

Dr. Saber is the founder of REEthink, Inc, a high talent research and consulting company devoted to renewable energy and environmental issues specific to the natural gas industry. REEthink was founded in July, 2010.

She was previously the Director of the Environmental Science & Forensic Chemistry Center at the Gas Technology Institute (GTI), where she managed up to 18 staff members, including 7 Ph.D. level scientists. Her responsibility was oversight of staff, research, budgets, project execution and marketing for this Center focused in two areas: 1) service orientated projects, and, 2) applied research. She was at GTI for over 16 years.

Dr. Saber is a nationally recognized expert in the area of production and characterization of biomethane, having conducted the largest collaborative research projects in this area to date. In 2008, the industry-funded (22 natural gas companies world-wide) report, Pipeline Quality Biomethane: North American Guidance Document for Dairy Waste Conversion was produced; this served as a template for the further study funded by DOT/PHMSA, Pipeline Quality Biogas: Guidance Document for Dairy Waste, Wastewater Treatment Sludge and Landfill Conversion. She was also the co-author and sole industry contributor of the Canadian Gas Association publication, Biomethane Guidelines for the Introduction of Biomethane into Existing Natural Gas Distribution & Transmission Systems (2011). These reports serve as seminal works in the development of pipeline quality biomethane in North America, with particular insights into trace constituents in biogas/biomethane and natural gas, including biologicals. She was also responsible for the creation and management of a wide variety of projects associated with biomethane, including analytical techniques, database construction and company-specific specifications.

Dr. Saber has served on the Task Force for revising and updating the American Gas Association’s (AGA) Report 4a (Fall, 2009). This work product covers the analytical profile, testing and verification of natural gas in North America. She was responsible for language regarding biomethane.

She acquired over $12 million dollars through industry collaborative research, DOE and the California Energy Commission for the advancement of the technique of forensic chemistry for use by the natural gas industry. Forensic chemistry is the ability to discern trace amounts of compounds in complex mixtures, in air, water and soil; forensic chemistry is now considered routine in the area of source attribution. These techniques were extended to work in biogas/biomethane trace constituent analysis in 2006.

Dr. Saber is highly regarded in the areas of biological applications to environmental remediation. She has management multi-million dollar projects with multiple investors, including Superfund (RCRA) and NPL projects: site investigation, RI/FS and remediation.

Dr. Saber’s work in the biodegradation of pentachlorophenol and associated graduate work helped to coin the phrase “bioremediation”. She co-founded the company Biotrol (Chaska, Minn.), a remediation company devoted to soil washing, biotreatment and solidification of pentachlorophenol-contaminated wastes.

 

SUMMARY OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

 

PRESIDENT REEthink, Inc. Founded July, 2010

DIRECTOR Environmental Science & Forensic Chemistry Center 2003 – 2010
Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, IL

• Responsible for up to 18 staff members, including 7 Ph.D. level scientists.
• Oversight of staff, research, budgets, project execution and marketing for this Center.
• Executed complete reorganization/restructuring of the Center in Nov., 2003. Center was previously funded exclusively through the DOE (FERC).
• Diversified project portfolio to include private sector (gas utilities), cooperative work with Universities and State agency programs (California Energy Commission, NYSERDA, DOT/PHMSA).
• Strengthened core programs and obtained name recognition in specific areas of expertise (pipeline quality biomethane, forensic chemistry, microbial induced corrosion).
• Invested in advanced instrumentation and new skill set among professional staff.
• Executed a plan to broaden the expertise of the center, to include environmental programs across the sectors at GTI. These included initiatives into Greenhouse Gas Management, CO2 Sequestration, Enhanced Methane Recovery, Biogas Upgrade and Landfill Upgrades.
• Extended outreach to other business units within GTI; cooperative research ensued.
• Restored reputation as a leader in excellent basic and applied research for the Center, performed work on-time and within budget.
• Investigated research opportunities within DOE, DOD and NSF. Established contacts in Washington, DC and regionally.
• Executed programs with international researchers to augment program needs.
• Organized and executed 3 major conferences on Environmental Research (Energy and the Environment), as part of the Natural Gas Technology Series. Last conference (October, 2006) resulted in an international attendance of 275 and encompassed a broad perspective of continuing and emerging technology to meet environmental needs.
• Project managed GTI’s largest self-perform, cooperative project since FERC funding ended, involving 22 investors world-wide. Project was devoted to the understanding dairy waste biomethane and preparing a Guidance Document for pipeline introduction.

HIGHLIGHTS:

• INITIATED research program which seamlessly transitioned team from FERC funding to private sector work, thereby securing future work within a growing market
• DETERMINED the true strengths of the research group, providing a clear base from which solid research programs may be constructed
• INSTIGATED a program of combining research talents with common goals, thereby enhancing work products while raising communication within the group
• INVESTED in state-of-the-art equipment (GC-IRMS) for isotopic chemistry projects, based upon trends within the arena of “environmental work”
• EXPANDED program base to include the new areas of renewable natural gas, forensic science, air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide sequestration, PCB research, tools for MGP remediation, microbial induced corrosion and emerging nanotechnology-based instrumentation – the Center obtains funding through research and services to the natural gas industry.

 

PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST/ Gas Technology Institute, Environmental Science Business Unit 1994 – 2003

• Initiated, developed, secured funding for and executed research in the field of environmental forensics – projects totaled over 7 million dollars in research over the 9 year period. This program had far-reaching ramifications to the field of hazardous waste treatment. Established GTI as a research leader in this area.
• Initiated and developed area of litigation support to the natural gas industry in the area of hazardous waste treatment.
• Responsible for developing new clients within private sector; established program for outreach to natural gas utilities within US and Canada.
• Assumed responsibility of project management of on-going research projects, initiated by others.
• Responsible for marketing of on-going and past research initiatives, including waste-to-energy initiatives.
• Developed extensive network of partners for research within US and Canada.
• Advanced outreach of anaerobic digestion systems to new markets (pharmaceutical, specialty chemical, agriculture).
• Became primary contact between industry and the research group.
• Represented IGT/GTI at major conferences, became primary point of contact for the group.

HIGHLIGHTS:

• INITIATED a program which utilized analytical techniques to “fingerprint” the sources of waste in the environment. This technique is being used routinely as part of waste cleanup programs today throughout the US and abroad.
• SECURED funding from the private sector, by marketing members of the natural gas industry.
• INDEPENDENTLY obtained contracts for GTI in new areas of research.
• IMPROVED management of projects and work products through oversight and involvement.
• COORDINATED teams of researchers outside of GTI, to augment projects and enhance research quality.

 

TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, Governmental Sector – Environmental Center 1990 – 1994
Fluor Daniel Corporation, Irvine, CA and Chicago, IL

• Served as Remediation Director, Technical Lead, Principal Scientist and Project Manager for large-scale projects within the Environmental Center as well as other Business Units (Hydrocarbon, Pharmaceutical, Infrastructure, Chemicals), internationally for both private and government clients.
• Functional Leader for the design, implementation and evaluation of biologically-based technology systems for soil and water clean-up: in situ and above-ground designs.
• Responsible for critical input and evaluation of proposed remediation projects and process designs.
• Directed projects in areas of waste treatment and pollution prevention
• Served as liaison between Fluor Daniel and universities, clients, private institutions, and companies involved with bioremediation and pollution prevention technology.
• Responsible for business development activities including review and selection of subcontractors and prospective teaming partners. Direct knowledge of key companies and individuals in this industry.

HIGHLIGHTS:

• DIRECTED an internal project ($400 K) for review and recommendation of technology-based companies for acquisition in the area of biotechnology.
• INVESTIGATED technology companies for potential partnership on large, integrated projects.
• INTEGRATED research in area of biotechnology for application to other diverse business units within Fluor.
• DEVELOPED a Center of Excellence in the area of Environmental Biotechnology, as a resource for Fluor international operations.


DIRECTOR EBASCO Corporation, Santa Ana, CA

Environmental Services 1987 – 1990

• Responsible for technical review and Project Management of biotechnology projects
• Integrated remedial programs, using innovative and traditional cleanup technologies.
• Worked with governmental Superfund, REM III and ARCS contracts in EPA regions IV, VI and IX.

HIGHLIGHTS:

• DEVELOPED approach for combining technologies for site cleanup, known as “technology train”.
• WORKED closely with the EPA and local governments for acceptance of new approaches to site remediation.
• INTEGRATED advanced biotechnology applications to environmental arena.
• ADVISED Administrator Reilly on biotechnology applications for environmental work as a member of a Steering Committee.


REPRESENTATIVE RESEARCH PROJECTS WHILE AT GTI:
PROJECT MANAGER and TECHNICAL LEAD

• “Pipeline Quality Biomethane: North American Guidance Document for Dairy Waste Conversion”
• “Pipeline Quality Biogas: Guidance Document for Dairy Waste, Wastewater Treatment Sludge and Landfill Conversion””
• “Successful Integration of Biomethane into a Natural Gas Pipeline System”
• “Developing an In-Line Devise for Biocleaning of Biomethane”
• “Biodiversity and MIC Analysis”
• “Analytical Techniques for Biomethane”
• “GC/IRMS as a Source Identification Tool for Urban Background Concentrations of PAHs”
• “Tracking Methane Emissions Through Forensic Chemistry”
• “Biocatalytic CO2 Sequestration”
• “Elucidating Sources of VOCs to Indoor Air Near Former MGP Sites”
• “Monitoring Natural Attenuation”
• “Age Dating of MGP Waste Using Isotopic Chemistry”
• “Linking MGP Fuels to MGP By-Products Through Forensic Chemistry Techniques”
• “Methane Leak Detection By Application of Biosensors”
• “Tracking Methane Emissions Through Environmental Forensics”
• “Elucidating the Effect of Treatment with Oxidative Agents on Metal Mobility in Sediments”
• “Monitoring Natural Attenuation through Forensic Chemistry”
• “Site-Specific Risk Assessment for Mercury Contaminated Sites”
• “Indoor Air Monitoring Using Isotopic Chemisty Techniques”
• “Correlation of Data: Real-Time Monitoring Vs. Laboratory High Quality Analysis of Mercury Vapor in Indoor Air”
• “Estimating the Quantitative Relationship Between Microbially-Induced Corrosion (MIC) Rate and the Microbes Typically Found in Natural Gas Pipelines”
• “Metabolic Engineering to Develop a Pathway for the Selective Cleavage of Carbon-Nitrogen Bonds”
• “Evaluation of Risk Based Management Strategies For Naphthalene Contaminated Sites
• “Developing & Demonstrating Rapid Quantitative PCB Analysis in the Field”
• “Black-Powder” Contamination in the Gas Industry: Survey and Best Practice Manual”
• “Methods Development for Perimeter Air Monitoring During MGP Site Cleanups”
• “Mercury Vapor in Indoor Air: Testing and Correlations Between Monitoring Techniques”
• “Characterization and Inventory of Methane and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in California”
• “Sequestration of CO2 Emissions through Biocatalytic Mineralization”