4 Minutes with… Gregory T. Benz, President, Benz Technology International

benzTell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.  

Provides consulting services in the field of fluid agitation. Such work has enables successful, economical and scalable mixing equipment designs for cellulose hydrolysis reactors, for example. Also source economical major process equipment from developing countries, and aid in licensing in China.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months?

Continue to aid more customers in their goals. Troubleshoot mixing problems in facilities that have improperly designed mixing equipment. Provide advanced pollution control equipment. Provide properly vetted major process equipment.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years? 

Cost of production per BTU below petroleum. Lower capital cost also.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change?

Sell it on its merits rather than by political pressure or subsidies.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

It is inevitable that we will run out of fossil fuels someday. We need to transition before that happens.

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, OH

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

BSChE, University of Cincinnati. I chose that school because it had a reasonably good reputation, and because my parents could not contribute any money to my college education. I had to pay all of it myself. I did this by a combination of summer jobs and co-op jobs. UC was an inexpensive school.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?  

My Father-in-law Richard Durchholz. He was one of the best engineers I have known. Also, one of my former bosses, Wayne Ramsey. He gave me the opportunity to prove myself. I learned to think strategically from both of them, as well as a strong ethical code.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity? 

Keep on striving.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?  

Travel, camping, work on our tree farm.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island?

How about 10 book? I would like the series of “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever” and it sequels series.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

The “killing” books by Bill O’Reilly

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?  

Glacier National Park. Second favorite, Shanghai, China.

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