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The Good Earth Mechanics (GEM) team of Associates is comprised of subject matter experts from industry, academia, and private practice, who are uniquely qualified to carry out the GEM mission.

Good Earth Mechanics - George Nitschke

Dr. George S. Nitschke, P.E.
President & Founder

George has drilled exploratory oil, gas, and geothermal wells in Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Jamaica, Peru, Brazil, Chad, Ascension Island, the Rocky Mountains and the U.S. Midwest. George holds patent(s) in GPGT conversion systems and was a principal contributing consultant/author to the Department of Energy's GPGT consortium (c.1990-92). George also has 20 years experience developing air vehicle mechanical systems for Boeing and the U.S. Air Force. George formed GEM in the fall of 2007 to promote the optimal recovery and conversion of the GPGT resource to help solve the integrated water and energy challenges in the U.S.

Huanmin Lu

Dr. Huanmin Lu
Solar Pond Technology

Huanmin has served as a lecturer and researcher at the Capital Normal University in Beijing, at the Ohio State University in Columbus, and at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he is currently a lecturer in the department of Mechanical Engineering. Huanmin has worked in solar pond research and operations since 1981, and was one of the research principals on the experimental solar pond managed by the University of Texas at El Paso (1989-2002). Huanmin has published 24 papers on solar pond technology, including process heat for anaerobic digestion, dynamic processes of the salinity gradient, instrumentation and monitoring, electric power production, and using solar ponds to manage waste brine of desalination plants. Huanmin also conducted a feasibility study of solar pond technology for the San Joaquin Valley in California.

Andy Swift

Dr. Andrew H. P. Swift, Jr., P.E.
Solar Pond Technology, Renewable Energy Systems

Andy is a Professor and Director of the Wind Science and Engineering Research Center in the Civil Engineering Department at the Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX. Andy was Dean, College of Engineering, at the University of Texas at El Paso from June 1996 to January 2003, and was a principal investigator on the UTEP experimental solar pond (1985-2002). Andy has published extensively in solar pond research and is a recognized expert worldwide in solar pond technology and experimentation. Andy has served as a consultant and board member to numerous energy concerns. Andy served in the U.S. Air Force (1968-1974, ending rank of Captain), with assignments including: Undergraduate Pilot Training, Reese AFB; Vietnam Service Instructor Pilot; and Assistant Flight Commander. Andy was awarded the Air Medal for his Viet Nam service.

Dennis Duke

Mr. Dennis Duke
Field Operations, GEM Texas SGSP Projects

Mr. Duke Spent 34 years with Department of Defense, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), retired and  formed DCS – Duke Construction Solutions. DCS is an owner-operated company doing construction, project management, survey, layout, quality-control, Computer Aided Design, and all field engineering associated work.  Dennis’ career with the USACE included geotechnical investigation and construction of large embankments, pipelines and pump stations. Dennis served in the construction and operation of the Red River Chloride Control Project (RRCCP) as Construction Engineer and Project Manager (at the Truscott Brine Lake), responsible for the entire operation of RRCCP. Dennis led USACE crews in the repair and modification of large facilities such as Lock and Dams, Hydropower Plants and Embankments and served as Liaison Officer for USACE after hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Dennis developed designs and estimates for all aspects for field construction and repair for USACE in the Tulsa District, including the design and construction for the Civil Works projects in the Tulsa District Corps (contract administration, plan development, construction and modification and project operations). Dennis developed important relationships with partners and stakeholders in developing additional freshwater resources for the Texas - Oklahoma region.  Dennis earned a degree from Midwestern State University in Geophysics.

Peter Gross

Mr. Peter Gross
Business Development

Peter has over 28 years experience in initiating, developing and managing both the physical and financial aspects of oil and gas operations, natural gas assets, natural gas marketing, and most recently renewable energy concerns. He is recognized as a solid financial and operational executive skilled in both growth and turnaround management situations, and in all phases of business development. Peter’s latest focus on renewable energy includes: Geo-Exchange operations: the development of low-temperature geothermal resources in oil and gas fields (sedimentary basins); and of course GEM’s GPGT and SGSP technologies.

John Walton

Dr. John C. Walton, P.E.
Solar Pond Technology, Environmental Remediation

John is currently a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at El Paso. John was a principal investigator on the UTEP solar pond project, along with Lu and Swift, and co-authored the San Joaquin solar pond feasibility study with Lu. John has worked and published extensively in the areas of nuclear waste, hazardous waste, ground water, alternative energy, and materials degradation. Prior to coming to UTEP John worked primarily in the National Laboratory system in the areas of risk assessment, remediation, and nuclear waste disposal, and has served as an expert witness and advisor to the Departments of Justice and Energy. When not helping to solve the nation's energy and environmental problems, John enjoys the great outdoors with his family (see John's homepage).

Herb Hein Jr

Mr. Herbert D. Hein, Jr.
Solar Pond Project Management, UTEP

Herb was the key “boots on the ground” guy during nearly the entire UTEP solar pond testing and development phase. Without Herb’s “wizardry” in the field, implementing the theory into practice would have been much more difficult. Herb’s keen field observations and practical insights provided invaluable feedback into the solar pond research and development phase. Herb remains engaged in geophysical R&D field work, e.g., for the DOE and Bureau of Reclamation, and is a sought after asset on such projects. Herb adds this critical field-management skill to GEM's commercial-scale deployment of Salinity Gradient Solar Pond technology.




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