KARI L. GAGNER
Communications Specialist and Event Coordinator
RESPONSIBILITIES: Kari L. Gagner is the Communications Specialist and Event Coordinator at the EERC, where
she is responsible for the development and maintenance of the EERC's Web site, including its design, organization, and content. In addition,
she coordinates and facilitates administrative activities associated with conferences, workshops, short courses, and other EERC outreach
activities nationwide. Ms. Gagner also manages the EERC's social media platforms; writes e-mail marketing campaigns, press releases, and event advertisements;
and creates promotional materials for conferences and other events to market the EERC and its programs.
PERSONAL: A native of Red Lake Falls, Minnesota,
she lives in East Grand Forks, Minnesota, with her husband Danny and their two children.
Professional Background: Gagner holds a B.A.
degree in Communications from the University of North Dakota (UND). Prior to her
position at the EERC, she worked at the Grand Forks Herald as the Online Consultant,
where she was responsible for the implementation of online advertising, promotions,
and partnerships, as well as developing plans and proposals for multiple online
campaigns. Before that, she spent 2 years as a Product Test Coordinator at Gardening
How-To Magazine, where she coordinated and oversaw the product testing process,
identified product sales leads for product testing, and developed and implemented
content for both the magazine’s Web site and weekly e-newsletters.
Quote: "The EERC has a work environment unlike
any other. The people here are friendly, the atmosphere is positive, and the innovations
that come out of this building are amazing. It feels great knowing I have a job
that is fun and that we are all working toward a common goal, to make the Earth
a better and cleaner place to live."
Michael J. Holmes
Deputy Associate Director for Research
RESPONSIBILITIES: Holmes oversees fossil energy research
areas at the EERC, including hydrogen production, advanced energy systems, and emission
control technology projects involving mercury, SO2, NOx, H2S,
and particulate. He is currently the project manager on two large consortium projects
(totaling $7.9 million) to perform long-term field testing of mercury control technologies
at lignite-fired utilities.
PERSONAL: A native of Mayville, North Dakota, he
loves spending time with his wife and children and enjoys outdoor activities, especially
hunting and fishing.
Professional Background: Holmes received an
M.S. in Chemical Engineering from UND in 1986 and a B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics
from Mayville State University in 1984. Prior to his current position, he was a
Senior Research Advisor at the EERC. He joined the EERC in 2001 after serving as
a Principal Research Engineer at McDermott Technology, Inc. (MTI). At MTI, Holmes
spent 15 years as a process development engineer for advanced energy systems in
support of the operating divisions of McDermott International, including Babcock
& Wilcox, Jay Ray McDermott Engineering, and Diamond Power Specialty Company.
Quote: "After living away from North Dakota
and family for 15 years, the EERC provided an excellent opportunity to come back
and work at a world-recognized research organization as well as be close to family.
I really enjoy the family atmosphere the EERC provides while working on projects
that focus on solving real-world problems facing the EERC’s industry partners."
Corey R. Irion
RESPONSIBILITIES: Irion prepares, reviews, negotiates,
and administers numerous types of agreements, including sponsored research agreements,
cash-equivalent agreements, subcontract agreements, proposal teaming agreements,
and confidentiality agreements in accordance with federal and nonfederal contractual
requirements, government and university regulations and policies, and EERC policies.
He also assists with intellectual property matters.
PERSONAL: A native of Edgeley, North Dakota, Irion
and his wife, Jess, have been married for 4 years. He enjoys downhill skiing, reading,
hunting, and fishing.
Professional Background: Irion received a B.S.
in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from UND in 2002. He then attended the UND
School of Law and served as an extern to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals during
his time there. In 2005, Irion completed his J.D. with distinction and was elected
to the Order of the Coif. Prior to joining the EERC, he was an Associate Attorney
with Pearson Christensen & Clapp, PLLP, in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Quote: "Working at the EERC provides unique
challenges and an environment that combines a business atmosphere and a world-renowned
RESPONSIBILITIES: Luo is a Research Scientist at
the EERC, where her work focuses on materials for renewable fuels and energy devices.
Dr. Luo's principal areas of interest and expertise include synthesis and characterization
of advanced materials for energy storage and conversion systems and hydrogen technology,
using modern analytical measures to determine the electrochemical behavior of materials,
and optimization of cell design and identification of advanced cell fabrication.
PERSONAL: Originally from Nanchang, the capital city
of Jiangxi Province in southeast China, Luo has classical tastes in music and plays
the violin. Luo and her husband, Jun, have one child.
Professional Background: Luo holds a Ph.D.
degree in Polymer Chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago;
an M.S. degree in Analytical Chemistry from Hunan University, China; and a Bachelor
of Engineering degree in Corrosion and Anticorrosion of Metals from Nanchang Institute
of Aeronautical Technology, China. She is also a member of the American Chemical
Society, Sigma Xi, and the Electrochemical Society.
Quote: "I am interested in green and sustainable
energy techniques. I especially appreciate the focus of research topics at the EERC
together with the freedom of thinking."
Brandon M. Pavlish
RESPONSIBILITIES: Pavlish works on projects involving
mercury control technologies, biomass for energy, and hydrogen production. Currently,
Pavlish serves as the principal investigator for a project working on determining
the feasibility of CO2 capture for North Dakota utilities burning lignite.
PERSONAL: A native of North Dakota, he and his wife,
Heather, have two dogs and a cat. Pavlish enjoys hunting, fishing, and building
Professional Background: Pavlish received a
degree in Chemical Engineering from UND in May 2006 and was then hired at the EERC.
He worked as a student engineer intern at the EERC during his 4 years at UND. This
cooperative internship provided him the opportunity to perform a broad range of
engineering functions and participate in projects involving hydrogen production
and mercury emission control technologies.
Quote: "Working at the EERC is a unique opportunity
in the sense that you are not just working for a company, you are working for the
world. By that I mean that you have the opportunity to work on projects which address
the major issues the world is facing, including anything from water quality to new
ways to produce clean and reliable energy. You are able to make a difference in
the world while still working from a business point of view."
Scott G. Tolbert
RESPONSIBILITIES: Tolbert's work at the EERC focuses
on hydrogen production and utilization. He also serves as a consultant to industry
on the topics of electrohydraulic machinery and ISO certification. Currently, Tolbert
works on coal gasification and gas cleanup technologies.
PERSONAL: Tolbert and his wife, Mary, have three
children. He enjoys hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.
Professional Background: Tolbert received an
M.S. in 1990 and a B.S. in 1985 in Industrial Technology from UND. Prior to joining
the EERC, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering
at UND. In addition to teaching, he served as an academic advisor and an Assistant
to the Dean. He has also provided his expertise as a consultant on electrohydraulic
machinery and ISO certifications for several manufacturing companies.
Quote: "The true gem of the EERC is the wealth
of knowledge that people are willing to share. It’s not a business model, but a
way of life. People truly believe in what they do."