International Ozone Association

Pan American Group (PAG) 

2017-2018 Executive Operating Committee (EOC)


Eric Wert, PhD, PE, President

Dr. Eric Wert is the Project Manager of Applied Water Research at the Southern Nevada Water Authority.  His work has focused on the use of ozone for drinking water and water reuse applications in bench-scale, pilot-scale, and full-scale systems. He received his BS in Civil Engineering from West Virginia University, M.Eng. in Environmental Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Nevada.  Dr. Wert has been a member of the IOA since 2002.



Ben Kuhnel, PE, President-Elect

Ben Kuhnel is a consulting engineer working for Arcadis in Dallas, Texas.  He has worked on design, startup, and optimization of ozone projects at municipal water treatment plants for the past 12 years.  He is happy to join the IOA-PAG Executive Operating Committee to advance the external knowledge of “good” ozone and internal resources available to support our ozone community.



John Overby, Past President

John Overby graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Chemical Engineering. John’s life passion is to increase global awareness of the benefits of ozone. John’s journey in the world of ozone began with OREC, then through company acquisitions and evolutions, continued with such companies as Osmonics and GE. John spent four years in ozone applications by supporting the worldwide sales efforts until Osmonics/GE purchased Lakewood Instruments, a cooling tower control company, where John helped to expand ozone into the cooling tower industry. In 2000 John began working with GDT Technologies, promoting ozone mass transfer equipment; integration of gas into water with the Mazzei injector and degassing separator technology. In 2002 John joined Ozone Water Systems and continues to lead the industry, delivering turnkey ozone systems to customers worldwide.  John is a proud member of the Porsche Club of America. When not driving his car he can be found working or hiking down the Grand Canyon.


Nick Burns, PE, Secretary

Nick Burns is a consulting engineer with Black & Veatch located in Dallas, TX.  He started his career operating an ozone pilot plant and now is responsible for the testing, design, and commissioning of ozone facilities around the world.  Nick enjoys promoting the technology, continuously learning more about the uses, and conveying that information onto others.  Nick is currently working on ozone for water reuse applications and control of algal toxins.



Denise Funk, PE, BCEE, Vice President

Denise Funk is division director of Operations Technical Services within the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources in Georgia. She leads the department’s applied research program and directs a team of engineers focused on water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure improvement and process optimization.  Prior to joining Gwinnett County, Denise worked on municipal ozone design and optimization as an engineering consultant for many years.  She’s happy to be at a utility using ozone for both water and wastewater treatment!


Keisuke Ikehata, PhD, PE, P.Eng., Vice President

Dr. Keisuke Ikehata is the R&D Manager at Pacific Advanced Civil Engineering (PACE), Inc. in Fountain Valley, California.  Dr. Ikehata received his B.Eng. in Applied Chemistry from Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan, M.Eng. in Civil Engineering from McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  His research interests include aquatic chemistry and biology, xenobiotics toxicology and risk assessment, water and wastewater treatment technologies (including ozonation and advanced oxidation processes), water reuse, desalination, and environmental microbiology and biotechnology.  Dr. Ikehata has been a member of the IOA-PAG since 2006 and is currently the Chair of Technical Program Committee of the IOA-PAG.  He is also an active member of Japan Ozone Association (JOA)/IOA-Nippon Islands Group (IOA-NIG).


Saad Jasim, PhD, P.Eng., Vice President

Dr. Jasim serves as the Acting Research Director and Principal Investigator at the Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute, Hamad Bin Khalifah University, Qatar Foundation, Doha, Qatar. Working projects on the Reuse of Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) and treatment of Harmful Algal Bloom Cyanotoxins using Ozone and Advanced Oxidation Processes. Dr. Jasim serves on the Editorial Board of Science & Engineering Journal, and the Editorial Board for Water Process Engineering. He is the Pst President of the IOA-PAG, and currently he serves on the IOA-PAG Board of Directors and IOA International Board of Directors. 



Jim Klein, Treasurer

Jim Klein is the Regional Sales Manager – North America for AirSep Corporation, A Chart Industries Co., located in Buffalo, NY. Since becoming active in the IOA in the mid-1990s, he’s been involved in promoting the benefits of using oxygen produced by the PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption), as a feed gas for ozone generation. More recently, he’s also started to work with engineering and consulting firms and large scale oxygen (and ozone) users who’re a better candidate for a VPSA (Vacuum Pressure Swing Adsorption) Plant. As a result, Jim has the privilege to interface with engineers, manufacturers, and systems integrators involved in many different industries. He welcomes the challenge of collaborating on new ozone applications and looks forward to the opportunity to share his experience, especially with those that are new to the industry.


Daniel W. Smith, OC, FRSC, FCAE, Peng., PhD, Vice President

Having started studies of ozone in cold regions for water (1971) and wastewater treatment (1975), Dan became a member of IOA in 1979.  He has published many papers in IOA documents, served as President of PAG and on the Boards of PAG and IOA Int’l.  He was elected to the Academy of Canadian Engineering (1997), Royal Society of Canada (2004) and Officer of the Order of Canada (2013).

He served in the U.S. Public Health Service, was an Assistant Professor in Environmental Quality Engineering at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Head of the Northern Technology Centre, Environment Canada, Senior Engineer at R & M Consultants, Anchorage, AK, and Professor of Environmental Engineering and Science, University of Alberta.  He graduated 144 students with graduate degrees (39 Ph.D.s) and has published several award winning papers.


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