American Flame Research Committee Officers


Vance Varner Chairman

Vance joined John Zink Hamworthy Combustion in mid-2019 following 39 years with the Dow Chemical Co.
He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University and is a licensed PE in Louisiana. Following 20 years of process design, plant operations, and large project work, Vance became the Dow global subject matter expert for flares. Through the years, he was further involved with burners, fired heaters, heater safety, as well as retaining his expertise with heat transfer and ethylene production technology. He has authored several papers published with AFRC (5), IFRF, and AIChE. Vance is an active member of the API Standards fired equipment area and is the 537 Flare Standard task force chair.
His work with John Zink involves technical support for both new projects and existing systems involving flares and other fired equipment. Vance resides in Louisiana.

David Schalles Secretary

Dave joined Bloom Engineering in 1985 as a development engineer. He holds an MS in Chemical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University. He worked in Corporate and Pittsburgh District Sales starting in 1989, and became Pittsburgh District Sales Manager in 1998. In 2000 he was promoted to his current position and holds responsibility for R&D and Engineering Technology activities for the Bloom group of companies, and serves on the Board of Directors for Bloom Engineering Company. He participates in several industrial trade organizations such as Association for Iron and Steel Technology, Industrial Heating Equipment Association, American Society of Mechanical Engineers and currently serves as Secretary for the American Flame Research Committee.

Charles Benson Treasurer

Mr. Benson is a Managing Partner of etaPartners LLC. His work focuses on the development and application of advanced energy technologies. He specializes in controlling air pollutants, increasing efficiency, improving productivity, and utilizing alternative fuels. Mr. Benson holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and an ME in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida. Prior to founding etaPartners, he was a Principal of ENVIRON International Corp., Vice President of Arthur D. Little, Inc., and Managing Director at TIAX LLC. While at Exxon Research and Engineering Company, he led combustion R&D activities, developed industrial burners, designed fired process heaters, and consulted in combustion technology for Exxon's worldwide operations.

Jamal Jamaluddin Symposia Chairman

Goyer Management Meeting Organizer