2013 EXPO Honorary Chair
B.S.M.E., University of Idaho, 1986
B.S.Met.E., University of Idaho, 1987
Bob’s journey from intern to President at Wagstaff Inc. sent him around the globe where he built connections with aluminum plants in North America, South America, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, solving cast house problems that led to stronger processes and better aluminum products at the downstream extrusion or rolling mills around the world. Bob now leads a team of 40 Molten Metal Processing (MMP) experts across all four regions of Novelis in North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
Bob is Global Technology Leader, MMP for Novelis and has invented several leading edge processes for aluminum Direct Chill (DC) casting that have improved efficiency, reduced energy and saved customers throughout the aluminum industry millions of dollars in cost reductions. One only needs to look briefly into the patent literature and evaluate the key technologies in use today across the globe to understand the breadth of these advancements. Bob’s fingerprints can be seen all over the process. The best method of recognizing his value would be best found by touring any cast house or re-melt operation in the world and looking carefully into the methods and means of the solidification processes at play.
He has devoted the past 30 years to aluminum solidification innovation and metallurgy. Since some R&D projects require extensive time and money, some in excess of 10 years, Bob and his team are recognized as persistent and determined to keep looking for solutions as other distractions appear. “I’m an engineer at heart,” says Bob. “There is always some sort of math equation or physics problem we are playing with in the cast house, ultimately to further improve the process. When we find an opportunity for technological advancement in the laboratory, we stick with our beliefs to the end, whether that end is on successful introduction or whether it is through the death of one’s own idea which is replaced by someone else’s better idea.” This consistent unwavering drive for doing the right thing has earned Bob the reputation as an “incorrigible nonconformist” in business and technology.
Bob is well known for the notebooks he carries. An avid note taker, Bob is often found pulling out a notebook to help him with an impromptu teaching moment at a conference, in the plant or in the office hallway to help those around him understand the fundamentals at play.