Advisory Board


The mission of the Advisory Board is to help the Chemical Engineering Department achieve its academic mission. The advisory board is comprised of members from academic institutions, consulting firms, private practice, and industry. The members of the Departmental Advisory Board

  • Function as constituents representing employers of our graduates
  • Advise the department on mission statement, program educational objectives and outcomes  
  • Serve as a lobby group to promote chemical engineering education
  • Support department research activities
  • Assist the department in communicating with local industries
  • Assist the department in fund raising activities


The board shall consist of professionals from all pertinent Chemical Engineering disciplines with experience in the public and/or private sector. At the advice of the department faculty, six members were selected and were appointed by the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department for a three year term (renewable).


The advisory board will meet a minimum of once per year, for about one day. Prior to each meeting, the Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department will issue an agenda for distribution to all board members and to the Chemical Engineering faculty.

Advisory Board Members



Jay Bizarro

Jay Bizarro was recently President and CEO of Nylon Corporation of America (NYCOA) in Manchester, NH, from 2016 through 2023. NYCOA is a manufacturer of specialty grades of nylon 6, copolymers and terpolymers that are based on nylon 6, long chain polyamids, poly-ether block flexible nylon materials and amorphous nylon chemistries.  Prior to that Jay had a 29 year career at specialty chemical company International Specialty Products, based in Wayne, NJ, and then Ashland, who acquired ISP in 2011.  Jay Bizarro has filled many roles during his career, starting out as an environmental engineer responsible for permitting and installing control equipment, followed by a stint doing public advocacy work while permitting a facility seen as controversial at the time.  Jay then transitioned into operations leadership in 1996, where he has spent the majority of his career in positions of increasing responsibility, such as Production Manager, Business Unit Director of Operations, Operations Manager, and Plant Manager.  Jay was promoted to VP of Texas Operations in 2011.  During his 20-year manufacturing career, he lived in Kentucky, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Texas.  When he left Ashland, he was Plant Manager of the company’s flagship operation in Texas City, TX, as well as being responsible for 10 other manufacturing sites around the world.  Jay Bizarro has also had business experience woven into his career, heading up ISP’s $300 Million Elastomers business for 3 years as its VP and General Manager.  Currently, Jay is consulting through his firm Last First Solutions, LLC, based in Texas.

Jay Bizarro is a graduate of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, and earned his Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree in Chemical Engineering.



Austin Boesch is co-founder and CEO of Zepteon Inc which has a novel purification technology used to enhance the potency of antibodies for cancer, infectious disease and autoimmunity. He also spends time consulting for startups and venture capital firms and developing new technologies for further company creation. 

Austin has over 18 years of experience in the biotech industry working in R&D at small and large companies building and leading teams for both drug design and discovery as well as process development and manufacturing. He has worked with multiple drug modalities including proteins, conjugated proteins, lipid and protein-based nanoparticles, mRNA and ex vivo / in vivo cell therapies. In his last role at Tidal Therapeutics, he led the nanoparticle targeting and mRNA payload research efforts for in vivo CAR-T therapies against cancer which led to a $470M acquisition by Sanofi. Prior to Tidal, he led R&D efforts for multiple clinical candidates at Repertoire/Torque Therapeutics. Before working at startups, he worked at Wyeth/Pfizer performing process development and engineering for clinical and commercial drugs and Millipore developing drug processing tools such as virus filters and chromatography resins. During graduate school he explored alternative career paths through a fellowship at a venture capital firm, Flagship Pioneering, performing explorations and hypothesis testing for potential company creation and consulted for a hedge fund, Aperimus Capital, evaluating potential investment opportunities through a technical lense. He also was an Innovation PhD Fellow which enabled him to pursue coursework at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and pursue building a company while in graduate school. 

Austin holds a Ph.D. in Engineering Science with a focus in Bioengineering from the Thayer School at Dartmouth, a Masters in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UNH. As an alumni, he was previously on the Dean’s Council at the Thayer School and is currently the Thayer representative on the Dartmouth Alumni Council.


Gary Bowlin

Dr. Bowlin is a Professor and Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence at The University of Memphis in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, where he has been a faculty member since 2013.  Dr. Bowlin’s research has and continues to focus on the application of electrospun templates for tissue engineering and tissue regenerative applications, all in the pursuit of saving lives and improving the quality of life.  Dr. Bowlin’s laboratory has published extensively with over 115 peer-reviewed manuscripts.  Google Scholar data shows his group’s published works have been cited over 9,700 times, resulting in an H-index of 43.  To date, Dr. Bowlin has been granted 10 U.S. Patents and 32 foreign patents for his advancements in these different areas of research.  These patents have helped to start five different companies and several commercially available and FDA cleared products.  The most recent technology is being developed by Sweetbio, Inc., started March 2015 in Memphis, TN, for improving dental reconstruction procedures.  Another company started, St. Teresa Medical, Inc. is currently undergoing clinical trials for CE Marking.  He was recently awarded the Billy R. Martin Innovation Award in 2013 as well as being inducted as a Fellow into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.  He is also the Inaugural and current President of the International Society for Biomedical Polymers and Polymeric Biomaterials.

Dr. Bowlin received his B.E. from Youngstown State University (1988) and M.S. from the University of New Hampshire (1990) in Chemical Engineering.  From 1990-92, he worked as a Process Engineer for NUCON International in Columbus, OH.  He then obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Akron (1996) in Biomedical Engineering and subsequently completed an American Heart Association sponsored post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Surgery at Akron City Hospital.  In 1997, Dr. Bowlin started his first faculty appointment at Virginia Commonwealth University and rose to the rank of Professor and held the Louis and Ruth Harris Exceptional Scholar Professorship.  In August 2013, he relocated to The University of Memphis to continue his research and entrepreneurial endeavors and continued training of the next generation of Biomedical Engineers.


Joanne Donoghue

Ms. Donoghue graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1991 from the University of New Hampshire. She has a broad range of R&D experience having spent over 15 years at premier research institutions. From 1995 to 2003, she held research and engineering positions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution working in mass spectrometry, including the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometer facility. From 2004 to 2006, she held laboratory management positions in radioisotope and cellulosic ethanol technology laboratories at Dartmouth College. Since 2006, Ms. Donoghue has worked at Mascoma Corporation, a start-up cellulosic ethanol company located in Lebanon, NH. She is currently the operations director and has been involved in all aspects of operations including recruiting, laboratory/office start up and expansions, office and lab consolidations, and project management of a multi-million dollar laboratory and office building. She now oversees management of the laboratory spaces and operations, corporate administrative services, purchasing and safety. Ms. Donoghue also serves on the Small Business Advisory Council for Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire.


Rick Pierro

Rick Pierro is co-founder and owner of Superior Controls and has over twenty years of control systems experience. Mr. Pierro is currently serving as President of the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Boston Area Chapter and has served on the ISPE Board of Directors since 2004 as Chairman of Student Affairs. He is a Trustee for the New Hampshire High Technology Council and is Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the University of Massachusetts- Lowell, Chemical Engineering Department. Mr. Pierro's longtime support of the UMass Lowell's Francis College of Engineering earned him the "Francis College Distinguished Engineering Award" in 2003. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Acumentrics Corporation, a leading fuel cell development and manufacturing company, and E-Trolz, a leading provider of technology for electrophysiological medical devices.

Prior to Superior Controls, Mr. Pierro held various positions in project engineering, sales, and sales management. His work experiences include serving as an automation engineer at a systems integrator, where he designed and implemented PLC-based control systems for both the chemical and food and beverage industries.

Mr. Pierro graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Chemistry in 1981 and received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Lowell in 1983. He researched and wrote his thesis on the testing of advanced PID tuning techniques for process control applications, and also taught several process control courses. He later completed several business courses at Harvard Business School. He is a frequent guest speaker on topics ranging from biotech automation, batching, and FDA validation requirements such as 21CFR Part 11, Process Analytical Technology, and GAMP.


Denise Saltojanes

Denise Saltojanes is an active early investor and co-chair of Golden Seeds-Boston, a leader in seed and series A funding for female led startups.  She is also an investor with NuFund Venture Group-San Diego and plays an active role in the Angel Capital Association’s Data Analysis Group.  Denise enjoys working on all aspects of deal flow and due diligence practices leading to investment.

With a broad background in medical and technology development and financial analysis, Denise Saltojanes holds a multifaceted skill set from her 25+ year engineering-based finance career. During her time with the US Air Force, she successfully modeled and defended $6B of Congressionally approved appropriations and was responsible for numerous financial agreements regarding technology and materiel transactions with America’s foreign allies. Denise served as Vice President of Investment Banking at Medical Capital Advisors where she was an integral part of the firm’s merger and acquisition team and led the valuation process. As a Senior Executive at Cambridge Polymer Group, a biopolymer research and development company in Boston, she supervised daily operations as well as coordinating marketing, financial strategy, and new business development and licensing agreements. Additionally, Denise has held financial positions at the Orthopedic Biomechanics and Biomaterials Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and started her career as a process engineer at General Electric. 

Denise is also an active philanthropist for the promotion of women and diversity in leadership roles, animal welfare, and expanding access to the arts.  She is an active board member for the Advisory Board for the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at University of New Hampshire (“UNH”) and the Corporate Board of Advisors member for Chemical Engineering Dept at UNH.  Denise actively promotes interdisciplinary learning and career goal-setting as well as STEM education for first generation college students.  

She received an B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from University of New Hampshire, a MBA from Babson College, and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from UNH.