Metro New York Section, American Institute of Chemical Engineers

Candidate Biographies - 2017 Election

Please vote for only four Directors.
[Note: Bios for existing Officers and Committee Chairs are condensed since they should be well known to active members.]

Only the office of Director is on the ballot this year.


Directors (Vote for four)

A) Marco J. Castaldi (Associate Professor, City College of New York)
Dr. Castaldi is an Associate Professor in the Chemical Engineering Dept. at City College of New York (CCNY), and also Program Director of Earth System Science and Environmental Engineering, and the Earth Engineering Center at CCNY.

Prior to joining CCNY, he was an Associate Professor at Columbia University’s Earth & Environmental Engineering Dept. Prof. Castaldi has approximately 90 peer-reviewed research articles, 40 peer-reviewed conference papers, three book chapters and eleven patents in the fields of catalysis, combustion and gasification. He was the Editor of the North American Waste to Energy Conference Series, Co-Editor of the Waste to Energy text (Woodhead Publishing), and Editorial Board Member of Waste and Biomass Valorization (Springer) and Catalysts.

Prior to his academic career, Prof. Castaldi worked first as Manager of Fuel Processor Component Development for Precision Combustion Inc. (New Haven, CT). Marco is Past Chair of the Materials and Energy Recovery Div. of ASME, Past Chair of the Research and New Technology Council of AIChE and recent Past-Chair of the North American Catalysis Society’s New York Metropolitan Section.

A Native New Yorker, Marco received his B.S., ChE (Magna Cum Laude) from Manhattan College. His Ph.D. is in Chemical Engineering from UCLA, and he has minors in Advanced Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics.

B) Brian Cocolicchio (Adjunct Instructor, Rockland Community College) (Incumbent)

Brian is an Adjunct Instructor in the Science Department at Rockland Community College, where he teaches chemistry, physics, engineering, and the occasional math class. Previously, he worked for seven years as a quality and process improvement engineer for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Quest Diagnostics, and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Co.). Prior to that, he worked for seven years as an R&D engineer for a NASA subcontractor at Kennedy Space Center, International Fuel Cells (United Technologies), and for a fuel cell start-up company.

As a member of AIChE, Brian was the National Membership Chair from 2000-2001, and the Chair of the Tappan Zee section from 2003-2004. Brian became a Director with the Metro New York Section, AIChE in September 2015. He has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Florida State University, an M.S. in Industrial Chemistry from the University of Central Florida, and an M.S. in Applied Statistics from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

C) Marc Haller (Senior Vice President, Liberty International Underwriters)

Marc Haller is currently employed as SVP, Product Line Manager at Liberty International Underwriters, where he specializes in the underwriting of complex Energy and Power Generation property-insurance programs. Mr. Haller has been an active member of the Metro New York Section of AIChE since 1985. Marc holds a B.E. in Chemical Engineering from Manhattan College, and an M.B.A. in Finance and Operations Management from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of New York, a member of the advisory committee of the NY PowerCon, and a member of the SFPE (Society of Fire Protection Engineers), New York Metro Chapter.


Marc enjoyed a number of challenging and entrepreneurial ventures in the energy field during his career, including:
• Various positions with American International Group (AIG) in the area of energy property insurance, including loss control engineering, underwriting, branch management, natural catastrophic management, and Energy and Power Generation Product Line Management.
• Business Development Manager for ZeTek Power Corp., the U.S. subsidiary of a U.K. development-stage Fuel Cell Venture.
• Financial Analyst and Project Developer for York Research, an Independent Power Producer.
• Energy Investment Banker at Chase Securities in New York City.
• Various Process & Design Engineering positions with Mobil Oil Corp. (now ExxonMobil)
• Various Engineering and Project positions with Consolidated Edison of New York.


D) Gregory Hounsell (Independent Chemical Engineer)
Greg Hounsell is an independent chemical engineer, providing consulting services in general process engineering, process safety and process simulation.

Greg developed his technical capabilities over a 35 year career at Pfizer Inc., first as a manager for ten years in the Brooklyn manufacturing facility, overseeing the production of synthesis and fermentation-based food additives and antibiotics, and then as a design engineer and project manager in the Global Engineering Department. His engineering activities included providing process consulting support to sites worldwide, process support to capital projects, and design management on various projects. Greg was instrumental in the development of Pfizer’s process safety management culture, guidelines, and design approaches. He served for twenty years as liaison to AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) Technical Steering Committee.

Since Pfizer, Greg has been acting as a part-time Instructor at the engineering departments of various universities – Stony Brook, New York Institute of Technology, and Columbia (pending). He also has been doing some consulting in process simulation for air pollution control applications.

Additionally, Greg presently serves as a part-time staff consultant at AIChE. That work currently involves coordinating the development of the examination used in the CCPS process safety credentialing project and operating as a subject matter expert in developing process safety education modules for chemical engineering undergraduate students.

Greg has degrees in chemical engineering (B.E., Cooper Union, and M.E., Manhattan College). He is a licensed Professional Engineer in NY State, and a CCPS Certified Process Safety Professional.

E) Chris Maier (Refinery Consultant, retired) (Incumbent)

Chris’s career spans nearly 40 years of experience in the technical, economic and commercial aspects of the world-wide downstream petroleum industry. He has a track record of analytical ability, innovation and growth that has progressed from process design and service, through product sales and marketing, into market analysis, project evaluation and commercial consulting.

As Chair of the Tappan Zee Section in the late 1990s, Chris was instrusmental in creating and organizing career mentoring programs for ChE students and peer career guidance workshops. He became a Director of the Metro New York Section in September 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) from the City College, and an M.B.A. from Manhattan College.

F) Roland Stefand (Entrepreneur and President, the Chemists’ Club of New York City) (Incumbent)

Roland is Founder, Director, and Managing Partner of three specialty products companies: Poly-Chem Systems, Inc, Carpet Recovery, Inc., and iAllNatural LLC. He is also President of the Chemists’ Club of New York City, created in 1898 and focused on the continued growth and vision of the chemical and allied industries.

He completed his doctorate studies at Columbia University (Chemical Engineering) with a research thesis titled “Polymerization in Confined Space”. Roland also has two master degrees from Columbia University, and a bachelor degree from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.