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2016 YEOY: Daniel Sujo

Sujo_webDaniel Sujo was fortunate to have encouragement from his parents, both accountants, from an early age to study STEM subjects. With Spanish as his native language, Dan combined his love of science with his love of languages by studying English full-time for a year in an immersion program in Brighton, England.

Enrolling at the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO) in Guadalajara, Mexico, Dan pursued a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and focused on the key role of chemical engineering in sustainability. Dan became a chair of technical sessions at the 4th Conference of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, which attracted more than 200 student attendees and more than 25 speakers from the United States, Spain, Chile, Germany, and Mexico. Dan was heavily involved in many other aspects of this event, such as fundraising and logistics, as well as serving as master of ceremony and publicity lead. Ultimately, the Chemical Engineering Department of ITESO recognized him with an Outstanding Performance Award. At this event, Dan was able to meet the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Rowan University, Dr. Robert Hesketh, who recommended him for admission to the Master’s program at Rowan upon graduation from ITESO in 2005.

Receiving a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Rowan University, under the tutelage of Dr. Mariano Savelski, Dr. Stewart Slater, and Dr. Hesketh, Dan’s thesis solved industrial sustainability challenges at South Jersey companies in the fields of crystallization and water use minimization. Dan also guided undergraduate student teams to assist in developing sustainable solutions related to his thesis and he published a chapter of his thesis in a refereed journal on sour water reuse in refineries. In addition, he co-authored a techno-economic analysis of biofuels published by the Energy Charter in Brussels. These papers were accepted in several oral presentations and poster technical sessions at AIChE, ACS, and university conferences. Rowan’s Chemical Engineering Department recognized his work with the 2007 Graduate Student Award.

Dan started his professional career in Pennsville, NJ, at Siegfried (USA), an Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient manufacturer, as an Air Compliance Specialist in the summer of 2007. Dan immediately started to create value streams from existing business processes that obtained data to reduce the work load for air compliance. Shortly after, Dan was promoted to SH&E engineer, allowing him to get involved in the process safety aspects of the business under Dr. Michael Levis. A few months later, Dan was promoted to Process Engineer and was responsible for the production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients. He managed a critical technical transfer from Switzerland of a retroviral starting material that used extremely hazardous substances. Dan successfully managed to deliver the product in 4 months.

After 3 years at Siegfried, Dan moved to the role of process engineer at Ferro Corporation in Bridgeport, NJ, where he generated, analyzed, and implemented process improvements by formulating different production schemes to boost profitability and quality metrics.

In 2012, Dan joined Inolex, Inc. in Philadelphia, a cosmetic ingredient and specialty lubricants manufacturer, where he has been deploying new strategies by developing business cases for updating the facility and chemical equipment, instrumentation and control schemes, along with its management systems for quality, environmental and safety compliance. Dan was also recently recognized for his performance for the last two consecutive years.

Dan is passionate about developing our next generation of engineers. In 2013, he started an internship and co-op program at Inolex in which 14 engineering students complement their studies with a structured exposure to significant and meaningful in-plant experience. This program was awarded the 2015 Co-Op Employer of the Year by Drexel University. Besides his full time job, Dan is an adjunct professor at Rowan University where he has taught courses on Unit Operations and Green Engineering Design of Chemical Processes. Dan continues to be an active presenter and panelist in numerous events at local universities and student chapters such as AIChE, SHPE, and SWE. In addition, Dan mentors many students by reviewing their resumes or advising them on their professional career paths, while stressing the benefits of being active in technical professional societies such as AIChE and the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia. At the K-12 level, Dan has focused on attracting more women and minorities to the engineering field, developing and presenting workshops to showcase supply chain value engineering, especially as science fair topics.

Dan is a member of multiple technical organizations such as AIChE, SHPE, ACS, IChemE, NFPA, Institute for Sustainability, and the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia. In the Philadelphia area, Dan has been deeply involved with AIChE-DVS, where he has held numerous executive positions, currently serving as Immediate Past Chair. For his exemplary performance advancing the Chemical Engineering profession, AIChE-DVS recognized him with the 2014 Young Engineer of the Year Award, and the local Delaware Valley Section nominated him for the National AIChE Shining Star Award, which was awarded to Dan in April 2014. Also at the national level, Dan supports the AIChE National executive committees by developing metrics and big data analyses to measure the health of local sections and strategies to grow its membership.

Dan has worked towards social justice and equality, with special regard to people at the lower end of the socioeconomic scale who wish to better themselves and their families. Dan participated as a counselor at spiritual retreats, acted as a missionary in poor areas in Mexico, and financially supports volunteers who work on engineering projects to develop the local economy. He contributes to the PA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and to the local Community Supported Agriculture Program as an effort to revitalize and better his neighborhood.