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Dr. Peter van Vuuren joins SpectraSensors

At SpectraSensors Inc. (SSI), leaders believe the best way to understand the needs of their customers is to work with one. SSI will tap the talents of one of its most visionary customers in Dr. Peter van Vuuren, who came aboard as a consultant in December.
“After working as a senior engineer with ExxonMobil Chemical for nearly 27 years, Van Vuuren is in the best position to offer feedback about our products from the customer’s point of view," said George Balogh, chief executive officer of SSI.
SSI is one of the world’s foremost developers of advanced electro-optically based sensors used to detect trace amounts of moisture in natural gas pipelines and petrochemical industries. SSI’s tunable laser gas analyzers help its customers, including Fortune 100 companies ExxonMobil and Chevron Texaco, prevent corrosion and poisoning of the catalyst while also providing life-saving technology to prevent pipeline explosions and costly repairs.
Van Vuuren brings with him the insight he gained as ExxonMobil’s representative to the Industrial Advisory Board at the Center for Process Analytical Chemistry at the University of Washington in Seattle. The renowned engineer will help forge SSI’s growing global market in travels between his native South Africa, seminars in Europe and SSI’s sales office in Houston, where he maintains a residence.
Van Vuuren, a standard-setter in chemical analysis, received the UOP Technology Award for his work on New Sampling/Sensor Initiative (NeSSI), which markedly enhances the reliability of sample conditioning systems.
“From an engineering and technical standpoint, Van Vuuren will be able to help us fine tune our designs to best fit the needs of our customers," said Dr. Alfred Feitisch, vice president of business development and technology. "His expertise will also help us continue to expand into other applications for trace gas and moisture analysis in the process market.”
Van Vuuren, who received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Cornell University, spent two years as a visiting professor of chemistry at Virginia Polytechnical Institute. He went on to work for five years as a principal engineer at Bendix EPID, before joining ExxonMobil in 1980. A past chairman and a member of the Scientific Board of the International Forum for Process Analytical Chemistry, he was elevated to the grade of Fellow after being recognized for his outstanding achievement in scientific and engineering fields by his peers at ISA, a global nonprofit organization that sets the standard for automation.