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.

Joseph Smith Treasurer

Joseph D. Smith was trained at the Advanced Combustion Engineering Research Center at Brigham Young University where he received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1990.

He has over 25 years’ experience in the Chemical and Petrochemical Industry working for the Dow Chemical Company in the environmental research group, Cabot Corporation as global process development leader and the John Zink Company as research director for flare technology and CFD. He has served on the faculties of Tennessee Technological University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign, and University of Tulsa. Since 2011, Smith has held the Wayne and Gayle Laufer Endowed Energy Chair at Missouri University of Science and Technology where he conducts research on Hybrid Energy Systems involving renewable energy technology.

He co-founded Elevated Air (www.elevatedanalytic.com) where he currently serves as Chief Technology Officer focused on developing and applying advanced sensor technology to monitor and control gas flare emissions. Smith serves as an expert witness for flare performance and combustion technology and has published over 70 papers, has given more than 100 conference papers and currently holds twelve patents. He contributed chapters to the John Zink Combustion Handbook, Industrial Burner Handbook, Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook (9th edition) and Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Recently he published a book on the Application of CFD in the Process Industries.

Jamal Jamaluddin Symposia Chairman

Jamal retired from Shell Global Solutions (US), Inc. in late-2014 as Advisor, Combustion and Heat Transfer Engineering, after almost 25 years with the Company. He currently serves as the Principal Technical Expert at Comprehensive Heater Support, LLC, in Sugar Land, Texas.
Jamal received his Ph.D. from the University of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia in 1985. He started his career in the USA as a Research Associate at the Advanced Combustion Engineering Research Center (ACERC), jointly hosted by Brigham Young University and the University of Utah, then moved to Babcock and Wilcox Company as a Senior Research Engineer at their Alliance Research Center. He later joined Shell at their Westhollow Research Center. His assignments within Shell included eight years as Heat Transfer Expert at the Deer Park refinery. His responsibilities included combustion-related research, as well as design, operation, troubleshooting and maintenance of all types of combustion and heat transfer equipment.

He has over 50 publications in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings, and has authored or co-authored over 100 Shell reports, internal standards and best practices. He has served as a reviewer of technical papers for ASME J. of Heat Transfer, AIAA J. of Thermo-physics & Heat Transfer and Industrial Combustion (Journal of the International Flame Research Foundation).

Jamal has been active both in API and AFRC. He served as the Chairman, API Sub-Committee on Heat Transfer Equipment (SCHTE); and also as the leader of the Fired Heat Transfer Team and the Heat Transfer Technical Discipline Network within Shell.

Goyer Management Meeting Organizer