ChemE Department Advisory Council


The mission of the Department Advisory Council (DAC) is to help the department fulfill its academic goals and responsibilities. The DAC will provide valuable input and recommendations to the faculty on mission, vision, outreach, development, research and curriculum of the department.

ChemE Department Advisory Council Members

Mike Bober
Engineering Consultant, retired from ExxonMobil

Mike Bober graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemical Engineering from Newark College of Engineering, Magna Cum Laude. Bober has worked for Exxon and Exxon Mobil from 1973 to 2011. He retired from ExxonMobil after 37 years of service. At the time of his retirement he was serving as an Engineering Supervisor with the Global Training Advisor division. Presently, Bober is actively consulting in the areas of training material development, organizational excellence through workforce skills, communications improvement, and use of dynamic simulators – all complementary activities.

David Bowman, M.D.
Faculty Practice Plan, Pediatrics Department, Howard University Hospital

Dr. David Bowman is a proud alumnus of Howard University. The Indianapolis native received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Howard University and went directly to medical school, earning his Medical Doctorate from Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center in DC, and from there he completed a two-year post-doctoral NIH-sponsored fellowship in HIV with the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative. With Baylor, he treated pediatric patients with HIV just months after the rollout of sub-Saharan Africa’s first national antiretroviral program at Princess Marina Hospital in Botswana.

Dr. Bowman joined the faculty of University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2005 where his initial focus was providing clinical care to perinatally-infected children with HIV in Baltimore and in developing countries. In continuing his passion for global health, Dr. Bowman provided technical advising on HIV and trained over 500 health care providers in Nigeria and Haiti on HIV prevention and management. His focus shifted to caring for adolescents and young adults with and without HIV in 2011 as he became the Medical Director for the Young Adult and Adolescent Community Health Services at University of Maryland. Dr. Bowman then rejoined Howard and directed the Student Health Center for a year. He is now working for the Faculty Practice Plan at Howard University Hospital in the Pediatrics department.

Cynthia DeBisschop, Ph.D.
Senior Cyber Security Engineer, MAR Division of Oasis Systems

Dr. Cynthia DeBisschop graduated at the top of her class with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University. Inspired by computational mentors in the oil and gas industry early in her career, she went on to obtain a doctorate in Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics from Northwestern University as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Dr. DeBisschop engaged in computational interdisciplinary research as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Delaware, as a professor at Old Dominion University, and as a research analyst for CNA Corporation. She taught fluid mechanics and heat transfer for one year to an impressive class of junior chemical engineering students at Howard University. Dr. DeBisschop is currently applying her interdisciplinary background as a cyber security engineer for the MAR Division of Oasis Systems, with a focus on industrial control systems. During her 25-year professional career, she has served students and clients in academia, government, and industry. Dr. DeBisschop is a past Chair of the AIChE National Capital Section and remains active with the section following six years of service in various executive committee roles. She is passionate about student success and currently serves on two advisory boards.

Andre Palmer, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical Engineering, Ohio State University

Dr. Andre Palmer’s research interests encompass the development of novel hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers for a variety of applications in transfusion medicine and tissue engineering. His lab is also developing non-heme based plasma expanders, red blood cell storage solutions and monocyte/macrophage targeted drug delivery systems. He is author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications. Among the awards he has received are the National Science Foundation Career Award and the Harrison Faculty Award for Excellence in Engineering Education from the Ohio State University College of Engineering.

Dr. Palmer currently serves on the International Scientific Advisory Committee on Blood Substitutes and is a member of the Bioengineering, Technology and Surgical Sciences Study Section at the National Institutes of Health. In 2015, he was inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and appointed chair of the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical Engineering at Ohio State University. Dr.Palmer’s research is supported by four NIH R01s and a Department of Defense grant.

Skip Thomas, M.S.M.E.
Business Development Manager, Gulf Coast Crude and Feedstocks, ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants Company

Skip Thomas works in the Logistics Business Development division of the Fuels and Lubricants Company as a Business Development Manager. In this position, Thomas leads commercial business development activities focusing on logistics for crude and other products feeding the ExxonMobil refineries in the Texas and Louisiana gulf coast.

Thomas received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University and his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He began his career in 1994 at ExxonMobil’s Baytown, Texas refinery where he held several positions in the Technical and Process Divisions of the refinery and in Refining Headquarters. After nine years in the Refining and Supply Company, he transitioned from his roles in manufacturing into more commercial positions, including assignments in the Lubricants and Specialties Company, Gas and Power Marketing Company, ExxonMobil Chemical Company and now the Fuels and Lubricants Company.

Craig Vaughn, Ph.D.
Intellectual Property and External Relationships Manager, BP Group Research

Dr. Craig Vaughn obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Howard University. Dr. Vaughn received a Master of Chemical Engineering Practice and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Vaughn began his 30-year professional career as a research engineer at Amoco Chemical Company conducting pilot plant experiments, reactive distillation research and plant support and optimization work. After an assignment as a process engineer at a chemical plant where he designed and implemented a major unit expansion project, he took a position as a product manager. As product manager, Dr. Vaughn managed business profit and loss. Returning to R&D, Dr. Vaughn became a research manager for a process and application technology group. In this role, Dr. Vaughn led a team of scientists and engineers and was responsible for all process and applications technology associated with the chemical product line. Following the BP merger with Amoco, Dr. Vaughn served as a business development manager for the US Olefins business.

Dr. Vaughn is currently the Intellectual Property and External Relationships Manager for BP Group Research, an international group comprised the BP Biosciences Center in San Diego, the Applied Chemistry and Physics center of expertise in Naperville, IL, UK and China and several large academic research collaborations. In this role, Dr. Vaughn is responsible for the Group Research IP strategy and IP processes, managing the patent portfolio, interfacing with BP Legal and external parties on IP, licensing and other contract matters.

Robert Lutz, Ph.D.
Program Director, Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program, NIBIB, NIH
Retired, Acting Chief, Drug Delivery and Kinetics Resource, Division of Bioengineering and Physical Science, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

Dr. Robert Lutz obtained all his degrees in chemical engineering, including his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. He has since worked in various technical (NIH) and academic positions. Dr. Lutz has been an active member of AIChE at both National and local levels. Dr. Lutz has published extensively in refereed journals.

Philip Chen, Ph.D.
Retired, Contamination Technical Staff, Contamination and Thermal Coatings Branch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Dr. Philip Chen obtained all his degrees in chemical engineering, including his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1985. He has since worked in various technical and academic positions. At NASA, Dr. Chen was responsible for contamination control engineering of GSFC spacecraft, experiments and sensors for shuttle-attached payloads and free flyer missions. Dr. Chen conceived and developed the contamination control design and associated elements for all of the above, including flight experiments.

Dr. Chen also provided support for tests, launch, and mission operations, initiated and developed new hardware and software to meet advanced spacecraft and sensor requirements. Dr. Chen supported COBE, UARS, HST, TOMS, NGST study team, GOES, TRMM, MAP, XDS, EOS-Terra, EOS-Aqua, EOS-Chem, STEREO/COR1, LOLA, LRRP, and LDCM, and Glory in contamination engineering. Dr. Chen has served as the Contamination Working Group Chairperson for the NASA/HQ Space Environments Effect Program.

Violettee Brown, M.S.E.E.
Principal and CEO, Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC

Violettee (Vi) Brown obtained her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering from Howard University and her Master of Business Administration from Arizona State University. Brown started Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC in 2001 and specializes in business and engineering consulting services to government and private clients. Brown serves on several advisory committees and boards. Brown is a Fellow, Past National President, and Senior Life Member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

Herb Quaintance
Engineering Consultant, retired from E.I. Dupont

Herb Quaintance received his Bachelor of Science from Howard University in 1976. He also earned a Master of Engineering in Process Monitoring & Controls and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake. He worked in the petrochemical industry for over 30 years, retiring from E.I. DuPont after 25 years of a successful career as a Senior Project Manager with many successful multi-million dollar projects.

Since his retirement, Quaintance has done consulting work for several other companies including Bayer Technology and Puffer-Sweiven, Inc. He is very active with the Howard University alumni club in Houston, where he chairs the student recruitment program. He has also coordinated the Howard University Student Recruitment Booth at the 3-day college fair at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans for the past 5 years. Quaintance is the Chair for the Dr. Joseph Cannon Chemical Engineering Academic Endowment Scholarship Fund, started in 2016 to give scholarships to needy Chemical Engineering students.


Meet Bison STEM Scholar Jordan Smith

Tue, October 1, 2019

Chemical Engineering Sophomore Jordan Smith is passionate about climate change research and finding renewable energy solutions. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Smith made the move to Washington, D.C. after he was selected as a Howard University Bison STEM Scholar.Read More >>

Thomas Brings Home a Win from 2018 Annual AIChE Meeting

Mon, December 10, 2018

Chemical Engineering Junior Jamaka Thomas won second place in the Food, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology category at the 2018 Annual AIChE Meeting for her research submission titled: “Enrichment of Oat Protein by Means of Gravity and Electrostatic Forces.” Thomas co-authored her submission with Chemical Engineering Graduate Student Dinara Konakbayeva.Read More >>


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