First lab managers conference held in Omaha

By Susanne Retka Schill | January 03, 2009
Web exclusive posted Dec. 12, 2008 at 10:05 a.m. CST

Nearly 100 fuel ethanol laboratory managers gathered in Omaha, Neb., Dec. 2-3 for the first Fuel Ethanol Laboratory Manager Conference sponsored by Midwest Laboratories Inc., Midland Scientific Inc. and Novozymes.

Sterling Greni of Midland Scientific opened the conference, discussing the possibility of forming an association of lab managers in the fuel ethanol industry.

The presentations were led by Kevin Smith, the whiskey technical resource at Jack Daniel Distillery, who is responsible for maintaining yeast and lactic cultures and optimizing fermentation. He gave a presentation on the functions, responsibilities and typical analyses of a distillery laboratory.

Jerry King, quality control officer of Midwest Laboratories, outlined test methods, compliance and best practices in the laboratory. The day closed with a roundtable discussion covering trends in instrumentation, optimizing antibiotic usage, training and other topics related to the responsibilities of a fuel ethanol plant laboratory manager.

With a strong positive response to this conference, the organizers said future conferences will be planned with more specific topics related to fuel ethanol laboratory managers. To learn more about the presentations visit: