Neil Yeoman is a 2001 retiree from Koch-Glitsch, LP and a chemical engineering enthusiast. For almost all of his 15 years with Koch, from early 1986 until his successor was hired shortly before his retirement, Neil was the company’s Director of Research and Development. Among other things he did at Koch, Neil was the inventor and/or developer, or one of the inventor / developers of Flexeramic® (ceramic) structured packing, HcKp™ high capacity random packing, Fleximax® high performance random packing, the MaxFrac® high capacity tray, the BiFrac® high capacity tray, Flexipac® HC™ super high capacity structured packing, and KG’s unique then state-of-the-art vapor distribution technology.
Before Koch, for almost 26 years, from 1960 to 1986, Neil worked for Scientific Design Company (SD) in a variety of positions, including seven years as a Process Manager, four years as a Senior Process Manager, a little over a year as VP & Director of Administration, and seven years as VP & Chief Chemical Engineer. Among other things he did at SD, Neil designed 21 process plants and process plant revamps that were eventually built, mostly from positions of technical charge. All were successful. Nine of those projects were first-of-a-kind. Some of these were based on the dozen or so new chemical processes Neil helped develop, of which about half were eventually commercialized. For about twenty years Neil was the editor and primary author of the SD process engineering manual.
Before SD, from 1957 to 1960, Neil worked for General Foods at Maxwell House Division Research, mostly in plant improvement projects. Overlapping this period and his early years with SD Neil was an active member of the Army Reserve. Commissiioned in 1956 under RFA 55 he served six months on active duty in 1958, mostly as a platoon leader in an engineer camouflage company, and then seven plus years in the ready reserve with an engineer combat battalion in a variety of positions including platoon leader, battalion communications officer, company commander, and battalion adjutant. He was promoted to first lieutenant in 1959 and captain in 1963. Having completed his military obligation Neil was transfered to the standby reserve in 1966 and honorably discharged not too long thereafter.
Neil has been a member of the Design Practices Committee (DPC) of Fractionation Research, Inc. since the DPC’s founding in 1976, serving eight years as chair, from 1981 to 1989, and as secretary since 2002. He was also one of the founders, in 1990, of the Separations Division of AIChE, and, in 2010, of the Virtual Local Section of AIChE, and he has served as treasurer of each since their foundings.
Neil served two 3-year terms (2005-2007 & 2009-2011) as a national director of AIChE; he was on the Institute’s Membership Committee from late 2004 to early 2008, and again from 2009 to 2011; and he has been on the AIChE Admissions Committee since late 2005, currently (in 2016) Immediate Past Chair. He was AdCom Chair for two years (2014-2015) and Vice Chair for two years (2012-2013) before that. Other current activities include the AIChE Equipment Testing Procedure Committee (on a limited basis) since 2011 and the Licensure and Professional Development Committee since 2014. Neil was on the AIChE Career & Education Operating Council from 2008 through 2010 and on the Nominating Committee in 2005, 2006, and 2012. In 2008 he was the driving force behind the Blue Ribbon Committee that brought forth the new Institute awards for industrial achievement, an activity with which he is still involved. Neil also served on an Institute level committee formed to review the AIChE Fellows program (2008-2011) and he was a member of the Blue Ribbon Committee on AIChE Government Relations (2010-2011).
Neil has a B.Ch.E. from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and an M.S. from Columbia University. He is a Fellow of AIChE; a(n officially inactive) registered professional engineer in Kansas, Louisiana, New York, and Texas; and a listed inventor on 28 US patents. In 2007 Neil was the winner of AIChE’s Award in Chemical Engineering Practice; in 2010 he received the Gerhold Award of the Separations Division for his lifetime of contributions to separations technologies and also the Separations Division’s inaugural Service Award (now called the Founders Award); and in 2013 Neil received AIChE's Van Antwerpen Award for his service to the chemical engineering profession. Also in 2013 Neil shared the Gary Leach Award with several others for the creation of AIChE's Virtual Local Section.
Neil has been serving his community in a variety of ways since moving to Merrick, NY in 1962. His current activities include the Historical Society of the Merricks, whose treasurer he has been since its 1975 founding; the Solid Waste Advisory Committee of the Town of Hempstead (since 1988); and the South Merrick Community Civic Association, whose treasurer he has been since 2006 and whose webmaster he has been since 2007. The Town of Hempstead has about 760,000 residents. Neil was the founder, in 2004, and is the current leader of the roughly 60 member Senior Observers Club at Nassau Community College where he has been an auditing student (senior observer) since a little before his retirement. Most recently Neil has been appointed to the Bellmore Merrick Community Reconstruction Committee of the New York State Rising Program, a New York State sponsored volunteer citizens committee charged with helping NY State decide how best to use federal funds to ameliorate the effects of weather events like Superstorm Sandy in his local area. For his extensive community service Neil was voted Merrick's 2015 "Man of the Year" by the Merrick Chamber of Commerce.