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John F. D. Peterson Award Winners

Recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry. Submit Nomination
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Bob Hoeft

Bob Hoeft

2017 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

I am pleased to announce that the 2017 John F.D. Peterson Award is being presented to Bob Hoeft. Bob Hoeft is a 34 year retired veteran of GE Energy having been involved with the design and field support of GE’s heavy duty gas turbines.

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After his retirement in 2004, Bob continued to support GE as a consultant for 8 years.

Bob holds a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. Following graduation in 1967 he held a position with The Boeing Company where he was involved with engine airplane matching studies and off design performance of aviation gas turbines. He joined General Electric in 1971 as a gas turbine design engineer where he designed gas turbine blades/buckets and rotors. Bob later served as Manager of Gas Turbine Rotating Components Design, Manager of GT Product Machine Design with responsibility for the rotating and structural components for the gas turbine product line. In 1991 Bob was named Manager of Gas Turbine Service Engineering where he was responsible for technical support and problem resolution for the installed gas turbine fleet worldwide. Bob also served as F class Turbine Technology manager and last served as Gas Turbine Chief Engineer responsible for insuring design integrity as well as providing technical support for Services, Sales, and Marketing activities that leveraged his extensive experience in design, lifing methods, manufacturing processes and the maintenance/operation of heavy duty gas turbines.

Throughout Bob’s GE career he was actively involved in customer support activities. The hot gas path Maintenance Factor methodology was developed by Bob during his Service Engineering assignment where this came out of customer requests for a better understanding of how the specifics of a turbine’s operation impacts maintenance requirements and life cycle costs. At that time, Bob authored the revision of GER3620 that incorporated the maintenance factor discussion. Later, as GT Chief Engineer, Bob developed the rotor maintenance factor methodology which he again included in GER3620. For GE, the Maintenance Factor approach became a key tool for the Service organizations in its O&M aftermarket business operations as well as with new unit sales proposals. For the Users this was tool that could assess the impact of operational changes on maintenance costs. Bob was heavily involved in the early Frame 6 fleet issues, where he led root cause and corrective action teams addressing issues relating to stage 1 bucket creep rupture, stage 2 bucket tip shroud lift, IGV bushing wear, rotor vibration, Nozzle deflection and oxidation.

Bob was a strong supporter of Gas Turbine User Groups where he saw them serving an important role for equipment operators in sharing experience and presenting a unified voice in dealing with the manufacturers concerning issues and need for corrective action. The Frame 6 Users Group is a prime example of how effective a User Group can be in achieving fleet reliability through a firm turbine supplier interface. Bob often was a presenter at Users Conferences where he learned that you had better come prepared which for him meant no smoke and mirrors, get into the details of the physics behind the root cause conclusion, and present fact based evidence that the corrective action addressed the root cause.

Today, Bob shows up as a consultant on LinkedIn but his priorities involve lake living, travel and having fun with his eight grandchildren.

Bob Schwieger

Bob Schwieger

2016 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

I am pleased to announce that the 2016 John F.D. Peterson Award is being presented to Bob Schwieger of Combined Cycle Journal.

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A little biographical information on Bob. Bob was born in the Bronx in 1943, where he spent most of his life before moving to Las Vegas to start CCJ. He earned his BMarE, 1964, State University of NY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler and a Certificate in General Advanced Mathematics, 1968, Carnegie Mellon University. Bob started his engineering career on merchant ships as a Third Assistant Engineer, oceans, unlimited horsepower.

After suffering from a bout of scurvy, he moved over to the land-based nuclear power side, where he learned his favorite saying, “Electricity too cheap to meter.” He spent time at the Atomic Energy Commission and at Westinghouse Electric Corp in their Advanced Reactors Division. Fearing he would cause some kind of nuclear outfall, Bob switched gears and moved into the publishing realm where he headed up magazines like Power Mag and Electrical World. He has published hundreds, if not thousands, of magazine articles focusing on power-generation technology, edited books on acid rain, fluidized-bed combustion, and other topics, and presented numerous times on power-generation equipment during his four decades in publishing.

Bob started Combined Cycle Journal in late 2003 to serve the information needs of end users at gas turbine facilities. Always a believer that good information is a terrible thing to waste, he began attending user groups, meeting wonderful friends like Mike and Wickey along the way, hammering away at that laptop taking notes, and asking “typical Bob questions.” Certainly he has been a fixture at the Frame 6 User Conferences over the years. It is with great pleasure that we present the 2016 John Peterson award to him.

Wicky Elmo

Wicky Elmo

2015 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Wickey D. Elmo the 2015 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Wickey D. Elmo, with Goose Creek Systems, Inc., the 2015 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Philippe Pasteur

Philippe Pasteur

2014 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Philippe Pasteur the 2014 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Philippe Pasteur, with GE Power & Water., the 2014 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Philippe brings 28 years of experience in the gas turbine business to his 6B Product Manager role. He began his GE career in 1999 with GE Energy Products – Europe in the Turbine Department as a Project Manager, progressing through various roles within Engineering and GSCM (including rotor cell Deputy Leader). In his most recent role as Black Belt Bourogne/Chonas & VCP Leader for GSCM, he led and mentored Lean Six Sigma projects in support of the Variable Cost Productivity strategy. Prior to joining GE, Philippe held several positions in the Engineering Department of Alstom.

Philippe received his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Besançon and a Masters degree from the Administration & Management French Institute. He is based in Belfort France.

Jeff Gillis

Jeff Gillis

2013 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Wickey D. Elmo the 2015 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Jeff Gillis, with ExxonMobil Chemical Co., the 2013 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Jeff is currently a Senior Staff Engineer with ExxonMobil Chemical Co. in Baytown, Texas, where he oversees a fleet of cogeneration and mechanical drive gas turbines including three GE Frame 6B units. He graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1982. During his college career he also worked as a coop student for Mobil Oil where he helped build some of the first ”express lubes” in the country, and too at Exxon Chemical Co. where he got his first exposure to rotating equipment.

Jeff continued working with Exxon after graduation first in Linden, NJ, and then in Baytown, TX, where he has specialized in engineering, operation and maintenance of pumps, large turbo-compressor trains, and gas turbines.

Scott Berry

Scott Berry

2012 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Scott Berry the 2012 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Scott Berry, currently with Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) located in Richmond, Indiana, the 2012 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Scott was born and raised in Richmond, Indiana. After graduating from high school, he joined the Navy’s nuclear power program and served as a Nuclear Electronics Technician (Reactor Operator). Upon completion of service, Scott worked in the electrical controls industry for five years before accepting a Combustion Turbine Operator/Technician position with Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA) at its Richmond (Indiana) Station in 1994.

As a Combustion Turbine Operator/Technician, Scott maintained the electrical and mechanical systems on IMPA’s Frame 6 units and operated them mostly during the peaking season. In 2000, he was promoted to Plant Superintendent of Combustion Turbine Facilities, overseeing the operations of IMPA’s two peaking stations in Richmond and Anderson, Indiana. While in this role, Scott managed the replacement of the inlet guide vane metallic thrust washers simultaneously on all four of IMPA’s units without removing the turbine rotor. By doing this work without removing the turbine rotor, he was able to save IMPA nearly a million dollars while keeping the outage time of the units at a minimum. Scott credits the Frame 6 Users, especially John Peterson, with their much appreciated assistance going into the IGV thrust washer project. After seven years as Plant Superintendent, Scott was promoted to Generation/Compliance Engineer for IMPA, a role in which he oversees IMPA’s compliance with reliability standards (NERC) and environmental regulations. Additionally, in 2011, Scott earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University after attending college at night for many years. He was later promoted to Senior Engineer, Compliance.

Soon after joining IMPA, Scott began attending the Frame 6 Users conference for the valuable information he would gain from them. During that time period, various companies would host the conference and bear the cost of the meeting. When the industry experienced retail wheeling and as the nation was recovering from 9-11, companies found it difficult to bear the substantial cost of hosting a conference and the conference ceased for a few years. In 2004, Jan Polewaczyk of Foster Wheeler Martinez gave Brian Walker the job of putting together a Frame 6 Users conference. Brian contacted Scott along with other previous users to form a steering committee and a conference was held in Las Vegas. Scott counts as one of his contributions that in 2005, he was instrumental in bringing Goose Creek Systems, Inc. (Wickey Elmo) to the attention of the Steering Committee. (GCSI now coordinates the conferences, allowing the group to meet every year without the need for one host to shoulder the increasing costs). In 2010, Scott resigned from the steering committee due to the time requirements of his compliance position.

Scott has been married for 24 years to his wife, Denise. They have two daughters, Brianna (12 yrs old) and Marissa (10 yrs old).

Larry Flashberg

Larry Flashberg

2011 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Larry Flashberg the 2011 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Larry Flashberg, currently with Saguaro Power Company, located in Henderson, Nevada, the 2011 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Larry grew up in the Phoenix area, yet decided to obtain his higher education in California. He graduated with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Santa Barbara. His first job was back in Arizona testing Frame 5 gas turbines in Yuma… in the summertime. With no inlet cooling, the ambient temperature correction factor was HUGE!

Larry has varied work experiences with diverse power technologies including Coal, Gas, and Oil Fired conventional units, Trash Burning and Nuclear power plants, Geothermal and Hydroelectric facilities, and, of course, Simple Cycle and Combined Cycle Combustion Turbine units. He had responsibility for one of the first conversions of a Mark II to a Mark IV control system on a Frame 7B machine. Prior to that, he had Maintenance Engineering responsibility for a fleet of seventeen Frame 5 gas turbines.

In 1989, he had his first experience with the Frame 6 Users Group in San Diego. Shortly after that, he had his first experience with investigating the wreck of a Frame 6 machine whose first stage bucket became liberated. The Frame 6 Users Group suddenly became very important. With the growth of the Independent Power Industry and the associated growth of the Frame 6 fleet, Larry became the Technical Liaison for a fleet of combustion turbines, which included eighteen Frame 6 machines.

Support for the gas turbine industry includes co-authoring an ASME paper on Gas Turbine Performance Degradation and by serving for many years on the ASME Power Test Code Committee (PTC-22) for Gas Turbine Testing.

Currently, Larry serves as the General Manager at the Saguaro Power Company in Henderson, Nevada (a two unit Frame 6 Combined Cycle facility). But, some of the most memorable years of his career has been attending some sixteen Frame 6 User Group meetings, with half of those assisting the group as a Sponsor or as Co-Chairman.

Michael A. Popp

Michael A. Popp

2010 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Michael A. Popp the 2010 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Michael A. Popp, currently with Chevron, El Segundo CA, the 2010 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Mike was born in Omaha, Nebraska but raised in Torrance, California. He completed his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology at CSULB and graduated in 1981. The following year he was hired by Chevron and has been employed there ever since.

Mike began his career at Chevron Refinery, El Segundo in March 1982. He was hired into the Machinist three year apprentice program and graduated in 1985 as a fully fledged Machinist. Over the next 6 years he worked as a mechanic repairing all types of rotating equipment both in the field and at the machine shop. He was the mechanical seal room technician for the last two years that he was in the shop.

His career path changed in 1991 when he became a fixed equipment inspector. This lasted about 4 years. In 1995 he was promoted into the Reliability Group as a Rotating Equipment Reliability Analyst at the FCC and was responsible for all aspects of rotating equipment.

In early 2000 Mike was transferred to the Cogeneration facility and placed right into a Major Inspection. Being new new to the gas turbine world and having to learn somewhat on his own. Since then he has been involved with Chevron’s 3 GE Frame 6 B gas turbines.

From the start he registered with the Frame 6 Users Group and has been an active member ever since. “Users Conferences’ were a must for me. I was grateful for all the information and support I have received from both fellow users and GE. I can’t say enough about the people in the Users Group Steering Committee who support it.”

During the next 10 years Mike was directly involved with the planning and execution of CI’s, HGP and Major Inspections on all 3 of Chevron’s units. He was also responsible for parts ordering and component repairs. “Getting involved with all the inspections and repairs both in the field and at the repair shops has helped me understand how gas turbines work. I wouldn’t have exchanged my experiences over the past 10 years with anybody.”

Mike has been married for over 30 years to his wife Anna. Together they have raised three sons, and two grandchildren. Their grandson David is still living with them.

Other than the Gas Turbines Mike’s interests include his family, photography, photo repair and the Angels.

Jan Polewaczyk

Jan Polewaczyk

2009 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Jan Polewaczyk the 2009 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Jan Polewaczyk, formerly of Foster Wheeler Martinez, currently with Contra Costa Water District, the 2009 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Jan was born in Chicago and graduated in 1978 from California Maritime Academy with a BS in Marine Engineering. He was with Chevron Refinery from 1978-80 serving as a Design Engineer. From 1980-82 he was Assistant Engineer at Chevron Shipping. From 1982-86 he was an Assistant Engineer with MEBA/Marine Engineers Union.

He joined Foster Wheeler Martinez in 1986, holding ever increasingly responsible positions until 2006, when he retired as Plant Manager. He currently is employed as the Maintenance Superintendent for the Contra Costa (California) Water District.

Jan describes his family life as being single but with a “strong commitment to a beautiful woman” and having two sons (ages 26 and 14) and one daughter (age 16). His interests include Nascar racing (X-oval track/road course racer) and, most importantly, family “stuff”. He is a self-described, “committed gear head, engine builder, fabricator of Beasts” all while striving to maintain ”a large carbon foot print.”

Jan’s philosophies are family first, Pirate rules second. Freedom and HP are good — taxes and politicians are bad.

Jon Dockins

Jon Dockins

2008 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Jon Dockins the 2008 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Jon Dockins, Praxair (retired) the 2008 recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

Jon is retired from Praxair where he was Plant Manager at Praxair’s S&L Cogeneration facility for 15 years with responsibilities for operations and maintenance of the GE Frame 6 gas turbine, Deltak HRSG and auxiliary equipment. S&L Cogeneration Co. is a joint venture to supply electric power and steam to the Praxair and Sterling Chemicals Texas City, TX facilities.

He has been a member of the Frame 6 Users Group since 1991.

His previous experience includes eight years at Praxair’s Deer Park, TX facility as General Superintendent of Engineering and Maintenance and eight years as Senior Engineer for Energy Systems at the Union Carbide, Chemicals and Plastics plant in Brownsville, TX. He is a 1975 graduate of the University of Arkansas (MSME & BSME), a member of ASME and a Texas PE (inactive). Jon has recently retired from Praxair and is living in the Clear Lake area south of Houston, TX.

Dr. Roointon E. Pavri

Dr. Roointon E. Pavri

2007 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards DR. Roointon E. Pavri the 2007 John F. D. Peterson Award.

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Dr. Roointon E. Pavri, GE Energy (retired) recipient of the 2007 Frame 6 Users Group “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

This year the 2007 award is presented to Dr. Roointon E. Pavri. Dr. Pavri personifies “extraordinary contributions” to this group. Over his long career, Roointon has imparted valuable information, has provided technical leadership, and has done so in a professional and helpful manner.

He graduated in 1972 with a Doctorate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. While employed at General Electric (GE), he worked in numerous engineering roles in Schenectady and Atlanta. In time, Roointon became an icon with many GE customers for his wealth of knowledge and technical leadership in resolving complex gas turbine application issues. In 2004, GE awarded Roointon the coveted Edison Engineering Award.

Most recently, Roointon provided his technical leadership in the Conversion, Modifications & Uprates Application Engineering Group. Dr. Pavri’s specialty, has been his extensive knowledge and experience with Gas Turbine Emissions, and with the different options available, to reduce emissions, for all GE Heavy Duty gas turbine models. After 33 years, numerous technical publications, and two patents, Roointon recently retired from GE Energy.

Charlie Zirkelback

Charlie Zirkelback

2006 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

It is with great pleasure and a deep sense of gratitude that the Steering Committee awards Charlie Zirkelback the 2oo6 John F. D. Peterson Award

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Charlie Zirkelback recipient of the Frame 6 Users Group 2006 “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.

The 2006 John F.D. Peterson Award goes to Mr. C.E. (Charlie) Zirkelback. Charlie is a Corporate Fellow Emeritus with Union Carbide Corporation, he received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University, and his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. He is a registered Professional Engineer, a past member of ASME, and is a member of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma.

Charlie joined Union Carbide Corporation in 1966, retiring from UCC in 2003. His expertise is in maintenance and performance of rotating machinery, specifically in: specification, evaluation, installation, preventive/predictive maintenance, protective monitoring, failure analysis, trouble shooting, repair, and remedial design. He has authored several papers and has contributed to discussions in these areas. His work focused on improving: on steam time, reliability, safety, efficiency and production capacity at UCC operations world-wide.

Charlie was a member of the IGTI , Industrial and Cogeneration Committee from about 1980 (it was then known as the Process Industries Committee) to 2003. He has written and presented ASME papers, has served in “round table” discussions, and has reviewed numerous ASME papers over the years. He also coauthored a chapter in “Sawyer’s Gas Turbine Handbook”, on Monitoring and Control. He has been active in GTUA and the Frame 6 User’s Group.

He is presently President of “Z – MechTech, Inc”, a one man organization, dealing with Rotating and Recip Machinery technical problems, on a Consulting basis. He has served as City Councilman, in Port Lavaca for 14 years (8 of those years as Mayor Pro-Tem) and with other civic groups such as Chamber of Commerce and Lions club. Married 40 years to wife Maria (a High School Spanish Teacher), they have two Daughters, Anne Marie Odefey, an Attorney and partner in the Law Firm of Roberts, Roberts, and Odefey; and Dr. Nicole Martin, Aeronautical Engineer with Lockheed Martin.

John F. D. Peterson

John F. D. Peterson

2005 Recipient of the John F. D. Peterson Award

John F. D. Peterson, BASF Corp, recipient of the first “John F. D. Peterson Award” recognizing extraordinary contributions to the Frame 6 Users Group and the combustion turbine industry.