AFS Announces Executive Leadership for 2021-2022 Year

The American Filtration and Separations Society (AFS) is pleased to announce the executive leadership team and rising board of directors for the coming year. Their terms begin this month.

Jeni Wong, Key Account Manager at Johns Manville, who has served as both 2nd Vice Chair and 1st Vice Chair, will assume the role of Chair for the coming year. Jeni leads key accounts for filtration and separation at Johns Manville and manages the glass and synthetic product lines (with a focus on air applications) globally.

Kenneth Winston, General Manager at Javelina Filtration & Separation in Houston, TX, who has served as 2nd Vice Chair, will now serve as 1st Vice Chair. Kenneth also serves AFS as President of the Southwest Chapter. A specialist in filtration and separation for the water, refinery, natural gas, energy and chemical markets, Kenneth holds a process engineering degree from Texas A&M Kingsville and an MBA from Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand.

Mary Jo Surges, Vice President, Filtration Division at Eaton in Eden Prairie, MN, has been elected 2nd Vice Chair, having previously served as a board member. At Eaton, Mary Jo leads engineering, human resources, finance, operations, sales and marketing in global leadership with accountability for Europe, Asia and Americas with 1,000 employees, seven manufacturing plants and P&L responsibility.

Shagufta Patel, Ph.D., Engineering Manager, Parker Hannifin, who has completed her term as Chair, will now serve AFS as Immediate Past Chair. Shagufta manages the engineering team at the HVAC Division of Parker Hannifin where she leads the product engineering efforts for the HVAC market. Shagufta has authored several technical publications and holds multiple patents.

Jim Walker, President and CEO of Cerex Advanced Fabrics in Cantonment, FL, will continue to serve AFS as Treasurer. Jim has been at the helm of Cerex since 1994 and during that time has guided strategic planning and executed vision for the company. He started with Cerex as plant manager in 1990.

The following AFS members have been elected to the Board of Directors from September of 2021 through September of 2023:

Neil Burns, Founder and Director, Croft Filters Limited, Warrington UK. Neil has more than 34 years of experience developing and delivering high quality filtration solutions to a range of industries both in the UK and worldwide. 

John Hancock, Sales Manager at Cerex Advanced Fabrics in Cantonment, FL. John manages the Filtration Business Unit and works with engineering teams to grow Cerex's market share through unique product design and performance attributes.

Brian Lane, Independent Consultant, retired from Parker Hannifin Filtration. With more than 30 years of filtration experience, Brian led Parker Hannifin’s global engineering and product development activities and has been a sponsor and active member of AFS for more than 10 years, including giving plenary talks at the 2017 Fall Conference and AFS FiltCon 2021. 

 Wenping Li, Ph.D., R&D Director, Agrilectric Research Company in Lake Charles, LA. Wenping oversees product development and application, product quality and filtration lab management for Agrilectric and has over 20 years of practical industrial filtration experience. She holds two patents and has published in more than 40 publications.

Jon Rajala, Ph.D., Senior R&D Product Engineer at AAF Flanders in Louisville, KY. Jon manages test labs and product development projects for AAF Flanders. He is active in ASHRAE leadership as chair of the TC 2.4 Programs Subcommittee and the SSPC 52.2 Research Subcommittee, and he leads the standards activity committee among AAF employees.

Chris Wallace, Vice President of Technology for Filtration Technology Corporation (FTC) in Houston, TX.  Since joining FTC in 2003, Chris has been involved in production engineering, application engineering, research and development, and technical sales of filtration and separation products for liquid/solid, gas/solid, liquid/liquid, and gas/liquid applications. Chris is past Chair of AFS and serves as an instructor of the AFS short course “Introduction to Liquid Filtration.”

Lin Zhao, Ph.D., Associate Research Scientist with Dow, Inc. in Pearland, TX. Lin’s work is focused on solid-liquid separation with practical industrial experience on most filtration and centrifugation operations. Lin serves as an instructor of the AFS short course “Basic Solid/Liquid Separation.”

The above newly elected board members will join the following board members who are serving the second of their two-year term that ends September 2022:

Tinoush Dinn, Ph.D., Senior Engineer in Solids Processing at BASF in Beachwood, OH. Tinoush is a member of BASF’s Global Process Research & Chemical Engineering team and has expertise in solids processing and solid liquid separation, including filtration, centrifuge, flotation, sedimentation and membrane separation processes.

Bruce Korb, Director of Key Accounts with Berry Global in Old Hickory, TN. Bruce is responsible for the business development, sales and key account management servicing the fluids purification industries, including biopharmaceutical, food & beverage, oil & gas processing, microelectronics and process markets.

Sneha Swaminathan, Ph.D., Global Technology Manager at Hollingsworth & Vose in West Groton, MA. Sneha has authored three technical publications and holds two issued patents and seven patent applications. Sneha is an active voting member in industrial standard committees for liquid filtration including as NFPA and SAE and is also a reviewer for Textile Research Journal, JEFF and Journal of Industrial textiles.

Len Castellano, Chief Engineer at Parker Hannifin Filtration Innovation Center in Columbia, TN. Len has held leadership roles for many years dedicated to improving and centralizing R&D efforts for legacy and new product development across various technologies for Pall Corp. and Parker Hannifin. Additionally, Len has led teams dedicated to implementing strategies to improve process efficiencies.

Martin Lehmann, Ph.D., Principal Expert Research Network and Public Funding with MANN+HUMMEL Group in Ludwigsburg, Germany. Martin has contributed and pioneered in leadership roles to advancing simulation and to strategic product development in air filtration. He is an internationally known expert on multi-scale simulations and loading kinetic of fibrous filter media. Martin has served several terms in the scientific committee, on the board and co-chaired five AFS conferences. Martin has authored or co-authored more than 80 publications at conferences or in journals.

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