CG Thermal Leadership
Richard Chandler, President
After commissioned service in the US Army and an MBA degree, Chandler began his career in industry with the Graphite Products Division of Carborundum Company. Shortly afterward, this was renamed the Metaullics Systems Division, with Chandler as General Manager. One of the major products produced by this Division was graphite heat exchangers of all major types including shell and tube, cross-bored block and cubic heat exchangers. Also, this Division was responsible for designing and introducing to the chemical process industry the revolutionary SiC-tubed heat exchanger now sold by CG Thermal under the Umax® name. In 1993, the Division was spun off from Carborundum Company, and acquired by a group of investors including Chandler. The heat exchanger business achieved unprecedented growth and success under this group, including establishment of a plant in China to serve that fast-growing market. The business was acquired by Carbone Lorraine in 1998.
In 2010, Chandler led a group of key past employees of the Metaullics Systems Division to re-constitute this business, and bring to the CPE the same commitment to design excellence, quality and customer care that led to the division’s previous success. Product offerings of the new company, CG Thermal LLC, include a complete line of graphite and ceramic heat exchangers, fluoropolymer-lined components, AirBTU VPRR high-temperature gas recuperator, and Process System Design for harsh and corrosive process streams.
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Greg Becherer, Senior Vice President
Greg began his career as an Application Engineer with BW Rogers Co., a distributor of many lines of equipment for the CPE. He then moved The Carborundum Company in 1987, where he learned the application and design of graphite heat exchangers from the bottom up. After the Division was sold to Carbone, Greg took on the job of Sr. VP, Sales and Marketing of the AstroCosmos Division, becoming an expert in the applications of reactive metal heat exchangers and process equipment, in addition to graphite and ceramics.
Greg has been involved in almost every aspect of the graphite and ceramic corrosion resistant heat exchanger market, including design and application engineering, development of advanced design heat exchangers, and the full range of sales, marketing, and international business development activities. With his extensive CPE experience, and a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Greg is a recognized expert in corrosive heat transfer applications.
Greg is a principal and charter member of CG Thermal LLC, and brings his considerable technical expertise and knowledge of the needs of the CPE to our customers.
Joan Bova, Vice President, Sales and Engineering
Joan is responsible for domestic sales, including sales support, project management, and worldwide marketing activities. She has experience across many market segments with harsh and corrosive process streams and high-temperature heat transfer requirements.
She enjoys meeting customers to understand their processes and help evaluate options or upgrades more fully. Joan works with both engineering and production to ensure the customer receives the best possible product to meet their requirements.
Joan holds a degree of Mechanical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame.
B. David Hudson, Principal Member
After receiving his B.S.M.E. and M.B.A. degrees, David began his career with the Pfaudler Company, where he had complete engineering responsibility for thermal and mechanical design of their glass and alloy heat exchangers. After the Metaullics Heat Exchanger Division (then owned by BP America) was merged with Pfaudler, David took on additional responsibility for the design and sizing of graphite and ceramic heat exchangers.
In 1987, David joined the Metaullics Systems Company as Engineering Manager for the Heat Exchanger Group. In that position, he was instrumental in the design of the award winning Hexoloy® ceramic heat exchanger, and improvement of the Impervite® graphite product line.
In 2010, he joined the CG Thermal start up company, providing complete engineering design for the new company. In total, David has a life time career of 50 years experience in mechanical design and thermal sizing of corrosion resistant heat exchangers for the chemical processing industry. David is a principal and charter member of CG Thermal LLC.
Aaron Viet, Engineering Design Manager
Aaron became part of the CG Thermal design team in 2014, bringing with him over a decade of graphite equipment design. A graduate of Virginia Western University he has been involved with all aspects of graphite equipment design since 2006. Prior to joining CG Thermal in 2014 he had been the Design Engineering Manager for Mersen USA (formally Carbone of America) since 2010.
Aaron is the acting Chairperson for the ASME Sub-Group of Graphite Pressure Equipment where he has been a member since 2010. He is also a member of the ASME Section VIII main committee and part of NBIC Subgroup graphite working group. His working knowledge of code design rules, extensive hands-on design experience, and practical approach brings high value to all of our projects.
Robbie Stefka Jr., Plant Manager
Robbie is a Cleveland native and proud graduate of Cleveland Central Catholic High School. Robbie worked for several years at a large warehousing company, and learned every aspect of the business and focused on exceeding customer expectations.
Robbie started with CG Thermal in 2011 as a Production Associate. He was quickly promoted to Shop Lead and Shop Foreman then to Production Manager prior to taking on his current role as our Plant Manager.
Over the years, he has worked on just about every type of graphite heat exchanger in existence. With an eye for graphite, he can quickly troubleshoot and execute the most advantageous repair. He is a wealth of knowledge when building OEM units as well. By creating a unified production team, shop throughput and overall quality has excelled under Robbie’s leadership.
Robbie enjoys working together with every department of the company in order to make sure that our customers get the best product on the market.
Caleb Krichbaum, Quality Manager
Caleb received his BSME from the University of Akron in 2017. While attending school, he worked three co-op rotations for Babcock & Wilcox. While there, he helped research the viability of solar boiler systems, and the prevention of corrosion in boiler systems. After graduation, he joined CG Thermal’s team as a quality and project engineer.
At CG Thermal, he works with production and sales to guarantee our customers receive the quality products they need. Since becoming a part of CG Thermal, he has implemented in-house testing improvements to create a more efficient shop floor, as well as improve the products delivered to our customers. He also maintains our quality system, and its compliance with ASME Section VIII. He ensures all parts used in fabrication have the necessary testing and certifications for ASME, and verifies the accuracy of the documentation.
Robert Grooms, Engineering Manager, Process and System Design
Robert graduated in 2020 from Cornell University with a BS in chemical engineering. At Cornell, Rob studied thermally degrading tracer molecules used to solicit thermal properties from geothermal reservoirs.
Before joining CG Thermal, Rob interned at the Idaho National Lab in Idaho Falls, ID. There he designed a system to quantitatively test thermal energy storage devices and analyzed the impact of integrating thermal energy storage systems into nuclear power plants. Later, he worked as an R&D intern for Duracell in Bethel, CT, where he optimized the formulation of lithium coin cell cathodes for use in high-discharge rate battery designs.
After graduation, Robert was hired as a Thermal and Process Design Engineer at CG Thermal, where he spearheaded many marquee projects, showcasing his knowledge and expertise in chemical processing. As a result, Rob was promoted to Engineering Manager, Process and System Design in the Spring of 2022 to help guide our ever-growing systems group.
Ethan Schrader, Product Manager, AirBTU VPRR
Ethan Schrader joined the CG Thermal team in 2022 as Project Manager of System Design. After graduating with a BSME degree from Michigan State University, Ethan spent a year working as an R&D Engineer at Clover Imaging in Mt Pleasant, MI. His experience in SOLIDWORKS modeling, and training in both CFD and FEA, have made Ethan an invaluable part of our team.
In January of 2023, Ethan was promoted to the role of Product Manager, AirBTU VPRR, overseeing the basic engineering coordination, implementation, and completion of projects related to the AirBTU VPRR product line. Ethan will continue to be an integral part of the systems team.
Ethan’s role includes ensuring quality of each unit produced, as well as consistency with customer expectations. Ethan frequently communicates with the sales department, fabricators, and the end users to make sure each project is completed and up to the strict quality standards set forth by CG Thermal.