EPA names new chief of staff
On Aug. 2, the United States Environmental Protection Agency administrator Mike Leavitt named Rich McKeown as his new chief of staff. McKeown will replace Tom Gibson, who stepped down Aug. 7. McKeown has served as senior counselor to the administrator since joining the agency in November 2003. Since that time, McKeown has provided direction to EPA’s assistant and regional administrators and helped craft the administrator’s 500-day plan.

Malvern hires Asian rep
Dr. Ren Xu, a widely respected specialist in the field of particle technology, has joined Malvern Instruments as applications and technical support manager for the Asian region. An author of numerous publications and patents and a serving member of ISO and ASTM standards committees, he joins the Malvern team from Beckman Coulter’s particle characterization business, where he led the product development and applications functions. Dr. Xu’s appointment coincides with the inauguration of Malvern’s new direct sales operation in China, which will provide sales and support functions for the company’s range of laboratory-based particle characterization systems and rheology products.

Veljovic named to lead firm
Vladan Veljovic is the new president and chief executive officer of Spaans Babcock Inc. He’ll be responsible for all operations and business development of the company in North America while working out of the Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada office. Spaans Babcock, based in the Netherlands, offers a broad range of products and services for the municipal and industrial water and wastewater market.

Zhang to direct research at Ionics
Ionics Inc., has appointed Li Zhang to the firm’s vacant directorship of research and development for Ionics Corporate Research Center. Zhang, a development engineer at the wastewater treatment and analysis firm since 1989, will manage and coordinate Ionics’ R&D activities with the company’s product engineering, process engineering, sales and marketing divisions.

Director to speak at event
Melissa Johnson, appointed by President Bush as executive director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, is scheduled as keynote speaker at the three-day Aquatic Health Conference sponsored by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF). The conference runs from Oct. 3-5 in Atlanta and will focus on the needs of public health officials, aquatic directors and academic and industrial researchers. Johnson, who will kick off the inaugural event with her keynote address, “Be Physically Active Every Day: Take the President’s Challenge,” hopes to promote fitness through aquatics.

Lovejoy promotes within
Lovejoy Inc., of Downers Grove, Ill., announced two key promotions. Kevin Remack, formerly a product manager, was promoted to director of product management. The company reinstated this position in its executive lineup to better service its growing global clientele and diverse parts inventory. With 21 years of service at the company, Remack started as a machinist and worked up through the company ranks. In his new position, he will develop and oversee strategies for products that the company presently represents and could supply to customers in the future. Remack earned his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Chicago. John Ernst was promoted to national sales manager. Ernst has been employed by the company for 14 years. He started with the firm as a sales representative in the Mid-Atlantic region and was later promoted to the Northeast Division manager and then Eastern Division manager. As national sales manager, Ernst will direct and oversee the sales and marketing activities of the company’s products by U.S.-based representatives and the North American sales force.

NGWA honor goes to Kill
David Kill became the latest National Groundwater Association’s (NGWA) McEllhiney Distinguished Lecturer. Kill is a regional market development manager for Goulds Pumps, ITT Industries. He’ll deliver a 90-minute lecture entitled “Well Efficiency is Not a Myth” at this year’s NGWA conference and exposition this November in Las Vegas. An employee of Goulds Pumps since 1996, Kill is a registered civil engineer in Minnesota and received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has lectured on groundwater, water well design, and pump selection and application including several courses given by the University of Wisconsin Engineering Professionals Development Department. Initiated in 2000, the lecture series honors William McEllhiney, the founding president of the National Ground Water Association in 1948.

Charles receives sales post
Dynasonics, of Racine, Wis., introduced Ken Charles as its new sales account manager. His responsibilities will include representative/distributor management and field product support. He brings a wealth of instrumentation knowledge and representative management from previous experiences as regional sales manager, district sales manager and sales engineer. Charles earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology management from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Roberts heads water section
Dave Roberts, P.E., has joined Black & Veatch as its national practice leader for Instrumentation and Control (I&C) Services for the Water Americas Division. Roberts will also oversee control system professionals in U.S. branches from the company’s Sacramento office. In the newly created position, he’ll provide a centralized focus and direction for the division’s I&C services including supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). He has nearly 20 years of technical and managerial experience in SCADA, instrumentation, control and electrical services for water and wastewater projects, having served as project manager for development of a raw-water SCADA system master plan for the Santa Clara Valley Water District and project manager for the Duff Water Treatment plant automation upgrade for the Medford (Ore.) Water Commission. A member of the American Water Works Association, Roberts earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in engineering from the University of California-Davis.

Key desalination expert succumbs to cancer
Kenneth Frank Jackson, a key contributor in the development of production size “spiral wound” modules utilized in reverse osmosis membranes for desalination died after a short battle with cancer on Feb. 18, 2004. He was 50 years old. Developing custom, spiral-wound RO membranes for end users of the industry, Jackson was innovative in the adaptation of computer technology to the RO membrane development and quality control process. He is survived by his wife Marie, four children; Christopher, Gregory, Cameron and Emily, their spouses, and four grandchildren. All who knew Ken Jackson admired his personal and professional integrity and his dedication to improving water quality technologies and capabilities.

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