Delivering productivity & process improvements: Q&A with Bill Norris
Bill Norris is a combustion, incineration, air pollution control, and waste heat recovery expert and thought leader at OBG. With more than 30 years of experience in the design, engineering, fabrication, installation, and operation of a wide variety of combustion, air pollution control, and waste heat recovery processes and systems, Bill has provided practical mechanical, chemical, electrical and controls engineering, from concept through commissioning and operations. These solutions have been delivered to industrial, chemical, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, and manufacturing clients around the world.
We sat down with Bill to learn more about OBG’s advanced manufacturing business and how its air pollution control team innovates to bring productivity and process improvements to clients.
Q: How did your prior experience prepare you for the work you do at OBG?
A: Prior to joining OBG more than a decade ago, I spent a little over 20 years designing, fabricating, installing, commissioning, and troubleshooting a wide variety of combustion and air pollution control equipment. The lessons I learned building hundreds of these systems, and making them perform as-promised, I can now use to assist our clients in selecting and applying the best solution for their specific application.
Q: You’ve worked to bring productivity and process improvements to clients for more than 30 years. How is OBG using advanced technology to compete in the industry?
A: There are many software tools available to engineers today. What makes a difference with our clients is how OBG combines the use of these tools with our subject matter expertise. The true value of any engineering tool comes from knowing how and when to apply it, and how to interpret the results.
In my area of expertise, OBG has developed a unique mass & energy balance software program that allows us to quickly and efficiently perform complex incineration and air pollution control calculations, equipment sizing, and costing for any application. This saves time and money for our clients and reduces risk throughout the life cycle of a project, from the feasibility stage through project completion.
Q: Can you talk about some of the interesting projects you’re working on?
A: One of our current projects focuses on improving the reliability of the air pollution control system that is tied directly to an industrial company’s production of environmental catalysts, which are used to reduce automobile pollution. Successful implementation of this project will allow our client to produce larger volumes of catalyst, meeting the market demand and reducing many tons per year of problematic emissions, both from their manufacturing plant and from the overall transportation sector.
Another project involves a chemical manufacturer who is expanding its process with a new product. In this project, we were able to refine and improve the production process in order to minimize the size, and reduce the capital and operational costs, of the required air pollution control system handling the process emission exhaust.
Q: How are you contributing to OBG as a thought leader in air pollution control?
A: I stay actively engaged in the market, focusing on innovation and process efficiency. As an example, I am currently the Technical Chair for the International Thermal Treatment Technologies (IT3) and Hazardous Waste Combustors Conference, where we bring together end-users and technical experts annually to focus on market trends, technology, research and applications.
Q: How are OBG’s integrated solutions making a difference?
A: Our expertise in combustion and air pollution control develops projects that involve multiple skills from across OBG. Many projects touch on environmental compliance, design, mechanical, chemical, electrical, structural, and controls engineering, as well as construction and commissioning services. This integrated project approach sets us apart from competition and provides our clients with a single source to design and execute their projects.
Bill Norris is widely published in air pollution control and frequently participates in conferences throughout the U.S. and internationally, most recently the International Conference on Thermal Treatment Technologies & Hazardous Waste Combustors (IT3/HWC) and International Conference on Solid Waste Technology and Management. Bill can be contacted at Bill.Norris@obg.com.
Recent Insights by Bill Norris
Learn more about how OBG brings the latest thinking to some of today’s most challenging areas—from advanced water treatment to sediment management and emerging contaminants; resilient energy, water, and coastal infrastructure; and smart manufacturing—in our Insights from OBG Thought Leaders video.