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Engineer Manager

Seneca, South Carolina, 29678, United States
February 04, 2018

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Travis Yarlagadda

*** ******* *****

Seneca, SC *9678



Strategic manager and M.S. Chemical Engineer with 16 years of overall business experience in engineering, manufacturing, and R&D. Currently managing a team of technical staff with 7 years of people management experience. Certified as a Six Sigma Black Belt; have utilized DMAIC and Lean projects coupled with extensive statistical analyses to upgrade, debottleneck, and revamp production facilities. Have demonstrated the ability to understand and leverage technology within multiple industries. Have driven interdepartmental initiatives by gaining alignment with functional directors and deploying resources where needed. Experienced in assembling effective teams through strategic recruiting, empowering employees, and role model leadership. Recognized for innovations and technical merit, including four patents.


M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona – 2005. GPA 3.67/4.00

Thesis: Development of Composite Polymer Fibrils and Gold Nanowire Linking from a Nanoporous Membrane Template Synthesis. Thesis Advisor: Joseph Wang.

B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma – 2001. GPA 3.52/4.00


BASF 2016 - Present

Process Technology Manager

Member of site leadership team. Currently manage technical staff for heterogeneous catalyst production & metals services (refining) team members include process engineers and chemists. Manage team resources for fundamental process and product technology knowledge within each area. Team is responsible for process support, product failure investigations, change management, emissions control, KPIs, and recipe management. Built team cohesion with accountability to stakeholders; established on-call service agreements for night and weekend production. Coordinated team’s first offsite team building event in 2017.

Led intercompany taskforce on product launch. Investigated new zeolite formulation and use within in selective catalytic NOx reduction system. Determined root cause of zeolite quality issue to be linked to morphology; implemented improved seed qualification process and crystallinity testing to debottleneck key product supply issue for $500M business.

Established site product transfer process to align expectations, enhance communication between multiple sites/teams, and to document product pipeline. Participate in strategy alignment with global product steering group. Established product transfer tracking system including product introductions, site-to-site transfers, reformulations, pilots, scale-ups and plant trials.

Support PSM and RCMS programs onsite through construction of a process safety information database and risk prioritization matrices. Facilitated PHA leadership training for team and coordinated full PHA schedule (22) for site. Prioritized identified hazard lists from the plant safety concept, explosion protection documentation, and PHAs from each area to understand process safety risks, prioritize actions and allocate resources. Continuously support safety initiatives onsite through weekly safety contacts and by sponsoring associate driven shift safety committee.

Leading operational excellence (OpEx) initiatives for site with $4.2M in savings for 2016 and $6.3M in savings for 2017.

Thermo Fisher Scientific 2013 - 2016

Manager, Media and Process Development

Managed three departments: Media and Process Development, Process Control, R&D. Continuously collaborate with functional directors to increase process and product reliability for approximately 3,000 SKUs of culture media. Reduced scrap by $400K in 2013, $350K in 2014, and $300K in 2015 by coaching and mentoring technical teams to drive product and process improvements. Certified as a Practical Process Improvement (PPI) Process Manager.

Media and Process Development - Responsible for formulation development of dehydrated culture media (DCM) for use within DCM and/or prepared media manufacturing. Development requires chemical and microbiological analyses. Projects include reformulation initiatives, product failure investigations, pilot processes, inspection plan optimization for raw materials and intermediates, and sourcing initiatives for a combined savings of $500K.

Process Control - Responsible for leading process improvements to reduce pre-pack scrap and increase production yields within plated and bottled media. Projects include all product technology and process specific quality failures (i.e. performance, appearance, contamination) for a combined savings of $1M. Examples include Have facilitated interdepartmental taskforces for Trek integration, excess moisture, plated media contamination.

R&D - Responsible for custom product implementation, and technology transfers and developments through global R&D initiatives.

Henkel 2009 - 2013

Principal Scientist

Promotion after two years. Managed a product development team to enhance aesthetics and efficacy of antiperspirants, and reduce costs of the formulations. Reformulation efforts include bench-scale development, Design of Experiments, stability testing, consumer and clinical testing, pilot plant scale-up development, process development for national home use studies and over the counter (OTC) drug compliance. Partnered with project management and marketing teams to drive innovations to market through stage-gate process. Participated in monthly steering team reviews to report on project progress and for gate decisions.

Antiperspirant Cooling Technology – Functional improvement design of Right Guard Powerstripe. Envisioned and executed project, improved with multiple DOEs to release first “cooling on demand” technology for antiperspirants. Entrained cooling agents are released when the user sweats. Considered one of the top innovations for Henkel Beauty Care 2012.

Antiperspirant Surface Crystal Mitigation – Envisioned and produced superior formulations across Right Guard Powerstripe that improved visual aesthetics of the antiperspirant and improved sensory attributes of the antiperspirant. Mitigated scale-up concerns of new formulation, which incorporated a new polymer wax that could not be melted within plant reactor due to heat limitations. Pilot plant experiments demonstrated wax could be injected in molten state without compromising wax base. Installed 1/20 - scale melt tank with temperature control system to maintain safe temperature window - Cost of goods savings $150M/year.

Antiperspirant Active Optimization – Qualified and optimized a new active within Right Guard antiperspirant sticks – cost of goods savings $134M/year. Strategized and developed a cleanout plans through FDA draft guidance. Saved an additional $178M/year by driving supplier competition on all antiperspirant actives.

Patents and Inventions (4 Patents, 16 Published Patent Applications)


oSchwarzkopf & Henkel, Innovation Award (Dec. 2009) – $1,400.

oTechnical Merit Achievement Award (Nov. 2009), “For Developing (and Supporting) an Innovative Way to do Difference Testing for Key Sensory Attributes for Personal Care Products” – $150.

oTechnical Merit Achievement Award (Nov. 2010), “For Development of Technology of a Functioning Power Stripe for Right Guard Solid Antiperspirants” – $150.

oTechnical Merit Achievement Award (May. 2011), “For Developing Time Release Cooling Technology for Antiperspirant Products” – $150.

oTechnical Merit Achievement Award (Nov. 2012), “For Right Guard Triode, New Platform for Invisible Solid Antiperspirants” – $150.

Celanese 2007 - 2009

Reliability Engineer

Promotion after one year. Managed an engineering team to increase process & mechanical reliability for site. Capital expenditure (CapX) lead; planning subsequent CapX expenditures with project engineering, maintenance reliability and process engineering. Enhancing Site’s mechanical integrity program, maintenance training, filing systems, lean contract maintenance, and freeze protection program. Routine participation within Change Management Program, Root Cause Analysis, Process Safety Management, and safety committee. Decommissioning and demolition of onsite equipment.

Six Sigma Black Belt – Completed DMAIC and LEAN projects contributing over $1 million in continual improvement savings. Restructured site’s water filtration system by enhancing water quality for boiler feedwater consumption and decreased site’s energy and water treatment chemical consumption. Coached several green belts on their six sigma projects and statistical analysis.

MON Project Completion – In compliance with new EPA emissions regulations, successfully completed project with Project Manager, and extensive onsite team to install and maintain a hazardous air pollutant reduction system.

Process Engineer

Responsibilities included: Recipe development for adhesive chemistries (surfactants, catalysts, oxidizing/reducing agents, monomers, dextrin), PLC & Wonderware maintenance. Batch to batch repeatability (pH, Viscosity, Particle Size, Grit, Solids) through OSR calculations and utilization of Weibull Distributions (Barringers) to manage and improve process reliability, new recipe implementation. Working directly with process development on new product implementation and product transfer. Developing energy isolation implementation and updating P&ID’s for two reactor site. On-stream reliability calculations with for each reactor onsite.

ISO 9001:2000 Certified Lead Auditor – Onsite representative, facilitated internal and external audits.

PI Project Implementation – Celanese Meredosia had no data archive system, project managed the installation of the system with process engineering and the IT department. System is currently being developed to archive all needs including required emissions data.

Intel 2005 - 2007

Process Engineer

Lead process engineer at factory OC8 for 2 CVD processes. Coordinated training for 6 process engineers and 12 technicians, taught classes on different CVD processes, gas interaction within a plasma environment, necessary chamber setup, and part selection for different films. Weekly inter-factory equipment matching with Statistica; daily SPC chart review – analysis of film trends between preventative maintenance; coordinated shift passdowns through Fuzion; Discovery queries to identify groups of nonstandardized production; Klarity and scanning electron microscopy imaging for defect analysis; LabWindows analysis of signals to determine variation of operation. Recognition from factory management team for process optimization of CVD equipment (high precision maintenance improvements.

Arizona State University 2003 - 2005

Research/Teaching Assistant

Designed and performed experiments within analytical chemistry lab while investigating literature for thesis. Optimized testing with alumina and polycarbonate nanoporous membranes, potentiostat with 3 electrode system, and electron microscopy (TEM & SEM) for following directions in research: DNA-guided assembly of gold nanowires via a polycarbonate template based synthesis, Conducting-polymer/nucleic-acid composite nanowires, carbon nanotube-conducting polymer composite nanowires.

Novellus Systems, Inc. 2001 – 2003

Field Service/Process Engineer

Process installed and maintained fleet of physical vapor deposition (PVD) and plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) tools at IBM site. Validated process capability and coordinated preventative maintenance scheduling with customers. Experienced with 200mm and 300mm equipment. Mechanically Installed and process verified PVD tool for Novellus at IBM site and process verified production tool – Total Value of Project - $8MM.

Novellus Company Award for “In Recognition of Outstanding Performance,” 1st quarter 2002. Investigated effects of TaN/Ta barriers for Cu adhesion on SIO2 using HF etching techniques and SEM imaging analysis.


Calciners, electric arc furnace, top blown rotary converter, induction furnaces, scrubbers, dryers, spray dryers, filters, mills, liquid batch reactors, autoclaves, packaging lines, strippers, gaseous batch reactors, heat exchangers, pumps, mixers, fillers, cooling tunnels, conveyors, meters, transmitters, deionization tanks, boilers, deaerators, tempered water systems, traps, reverse osmosis units, ultra low pressure vacuum pumps (cryo, turbo), storage vessels and tanks, agitators, valves (automated/control), control systems (cards, PLC ladder logic), centrifuges, robotics, distillation columns, abatement units, compressors, radio frequency generators (for plasma enhanced chemical reactions).


Compliant Pro, MasterControl, Design Expert, Optiva, DMS, Lotus Notes, SIMs, Statistica, Accolade, AU, PGR’s, PI, Minitab, Seimens 505, Wonderware, SuperSMITH Weibull (Barringers), SAP, Bizflow, Visio, Aspen, SPC++ data collection, Fuzion Passdown Reporting, Klarity defect analysis, Discovery queries, JMP 5.1 Design of Experiments, Excursion Prevention monitoring, MathCAD 11


Process Safety Fundamentals, Control of Exothermic Reactions, Leading Performance and Development, PPI Process Manager Training, Developing Emerging Leaders, Developing Frontline Leaders, Leadership Training for Managers, Fierce Conversations, Numbers Count (Finance), Chemistry & Formulations of Color Cosmetics, Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry, Certified Black Belt, Certified First Responder, Barringer Analysis (Weibull), Siemens PLC training, Wonderware programming, Lean Manufacturing, Metals/Dielectric Thin Films Process, Advanced RF Systems, Advanced Vacuum Systems, Semiconductor Device Physics, Control of Hazardous Energies, REAS’05 Seminar at Arizona State University.


1.Yarlagadda, Travis. 2012. Personal Care Product Dispensers and Methods of Packaging a Personal Care Product. U.S. Patent 8,235,615, filed December 23, 2009, and issued August 7, 2012.

2.Yarlagadda, Travis. 2013. Personal Care Product Dispenser Systems. U.S. Patent 8,393,813, filed December 23, 2009, and issued March 12, 2013.

3.Yarlagadda, Travis, Moore, S., Zander, T., Nofen, E., Saiid, M., Decker, G., Romaine, M., Proulx, C., Stanton, C. 2014. Detergent compositions dispersed in personal care products comprising a sorbent carrier. U.S. Patent 8,790,670, filed December 28, 2012, and issued July 29, 2014.

4.Zander, Tasha, Yarlagadda, T. 2015. Controlling a release of a cleaning agent by sorbing the agent on silica particles. U.S. Patent 9,187,722, filed May 16, 2013, and issued November 17, 2015.


1.Wang, J.; Dai, J.; Yarlagadda, T. Langmuir [21(1), 2005, 9].

2.Yarlagadda, T.; Wang, J.; Yan, H. REAS’05 Symposium Publication at Arizona State University. DNA-Guided Assembly of Gold Nanowires via a Polycarbonate Template.


Founding Incorporator (2010) and President of Sustainable Seniors (2012 – 2013)

oFund raising organization for seniors within community; raise and maintain awareness of senior citizen’s needs within community. Facilitate monthly board meetings, experienced on aspects leading a business team. Recruited threw new board members and raised $30,000 in funds for seniors in need.

Scottsdale Leadership Class 25

oEight-month prestigious community leadership class, nominated by executives of Henkel.

Certified Professional Tennis Coach (2009 – 2012) – Professional Tennis Registry

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