John P. McAlister – CEO

BioPic_JohnPMcAlisterDr. John McAlister is an experienced senior executive who has worked extensively in the high technology and life science industries. With a doctorate in Biochemistry, extensive experience developing and commercializing productivity solutions that combine scientific research and technology, and more than a decade as the Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of public companies, Dr. McAlister brings a unique combination of knowledge and skills to organizations on the cutting edge of innovation.  He joined Thermaquatica as CEO in 2011.

Ken B. Anderson – CTO

BioPic_KenAndersonDr. Ken Anderson is founder and Chief Technology Officer of Thermaquatica. He developed the OHD concept, and has served as PI on four grants funded by the Illinois Clean Coal Institute to explore the concept and develop the fundamental technology. He is an organic geochemist with more than 20 years of experience in coal science and related areas. He currently holds the rank of full professor in the Department of Geology, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). Dr. Anderson received his Ph.D. in coal chemistry from the University of Melbourne, Australia, in 1989. Prior to joining SIUC, he was a research scientist at Argonne National Laboratory, in the coal chemistry research group from 1994-2003, and he worked for Amoco Oil Company from 1991-1994, conducting proprietary research on coal liquefaction and heavy oil processing. He holds five patents, some of which are in commercial application.

John Yingling – CFO

Mr. John Yingling, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Treasury Professional, is an experienced finance executive with thirty-five years of diverse corporate accounting, mergers and acquisitions and finance experience in a variety of industries under public and private equity ownerships. Mr. Yingling was Corporate Controller and interim CFO for Tripos from 1995 through 2007 where he had responsibility for the cash and financial management for this international public company. With the sale of Tripos to a private equity firm, Mr. Yingling was appointed CFO and assumed responsibility for all financial, legal, and quality assurance of the successor company, Certara.  Mr. Yingling’s extensive experience with finance and management in startup and growing science and technology firms is an invaluable asset to Thermaquatica, and he has taken responsibility for all accounting, financial management, and administrative aspects of the business.  

Francois D. Botha, Ph.D. – VP of Business Development

Dr. Francois Botha joined Thermaquatica in 2015 as VP of Business Development.  In the period 2001 to 2015, he was employed by the Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI), first as Program Manager, where he oversaw and managed research and commercialization projects related to coal preparation and coal-fired electricity generation, and later as the Director, where he implemented the strategic goals and priorities of the State of Illinois’ coal R&D program in six different research areas.  As R&D scientist at Sasol Technology in South Africa during 1987-1993, Dr. Botha conducted research into coal-derived fuels, clean coal technologies and carbon sorbents.   He holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.

Derek Perry – Process Engineer

BioPic_DerekPerryMr. Perry is lead equipment and process engineer for the OHD development team at Thermaquatica. He began preliminary lab-scale OHD studies starting in 2009, working as a post-graduate researcher, and, in 2011, became the first full-time employee of Thermaquatica. While managing the bench-scale research, Mr. Perry became the principal investigator on a Illinois Clean Coal Institute (ICCI)-funded grant for design and construction of a pilot-scale OHD unit. Mr. Perry holds a masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes from SIUC. His graduate research involved development of clean coal technologies associated with gasification and Fischer-Tropsch synthesis.


Jack Crelling, Ph.D – Board Member & Technical Advisor

BioPic_JackCrellingDr. Crelling earned his B.A. in Geology at the University of Delaware (1964) and his MS (1967) and PhD (1973) degrees at the Pennsylvania State University. He started his professional career in 1972 at the Homer Research Laboratories of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation where he was in charge of the Coal and Coke Laboratory. In 1977 he joined the faculty at Southern Illinois University as a professor and the Leader of the Coal Characterization Laboratory and the Maceral Separation Laboratory. He retired from active teaching in 2006 and now continues on the faculty as a Research Professor. He has published numerous research articles and book chapters and co-authored three books, the most recent being Applied Coal Petrology published by Academic Press in 2008. Professor Crelling has received numerous awards including the Gilbert H. Cady Award for distinguished contributions in coal geology from the Geological Society of America, the Joseph Becker Award for distinguished achievements in coal carbonization from the Iron and Steel Society, and the Reinhardt Thiessen Medal for outstanding contributions to coal petrology from the International Committee for Coal and Organic Petrology.