A special plenary session on Diversification was held during the 83rd Annual Congress in 2010 with two invited international guest speakers, namely Dr Peter Rein (currently residing in the UK) and Dr Vadim Kochergin (USA).

Dr Peter Rein

Studied chemical engineering at the Universities of Cape Town and Natal, and spent 31 years working for Tongaat-Hulett Sugar, in R & D, in Operations Research, in Production and in Technical Management. He was Technical Director at Tongaat-Hulett Sugar, and Head of the Technical Management Department from 1992 to 2000. Dr. Rein has served as President of the South African Sugar Technologists’ Association, Congress organiser and Executive Committee member for Sugar Industry Technologists Inc, and Chairman of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT). He joined Audubon Sugar Institute, Louisiana State University, in February 2000 as a full professor and Head of the Institute. He retired in March 2007 from LSU and now lives in England and operates as a consultant to the sugar industry. He won the Sugar Industry Technologists Crystal Award in 1997, he was the first recipient of the SPRI Technology Award in 1998, and received the South African Sugar Technologists Gold Medal in August 2000. He was made an Honorary Life Member of the International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists in February 2005. Dr Rein authored a new text on sugar processing entitled “Cane Sugar Engineering”, published by Bartens, Berlin in February 2007 that has quickly become the leading authority on modern sugar technology.

Dr Vadim Kochergin

Is a licensed Professional Engineer holding PhD in Chemical Engineering with 25 years of extensive experience in Research and Development in sugar, sweetener and synthetic vitamin industries.  He demonstrated strong leadership and team-working skills in managing a part of DOE-sponsored program on separation technologies for production of fuels and chemicals from renewable resources. Special expertise includes unit operations involved in all aspects of new process development and implementation, such as: membrane filtration, industrial chromatography, solvent extraction, ion exchange, distillation, filtration, crystallization, bulk solids handling. Dr Kochergin developed several new technologies applied commercially in sugar and pharmaceutical (vitamin) industries. He co-authored a proposal on new separation technologies for biorefinery applications that was awarded a $1.9 million grant by DOE in 2000. Currently the principal investigator or collaborator in several grants (total of $1.5 million) related to improvement of sugar cane mill operations and integration of biomass conversion technologies into existing cane sugar industry infrastructure.