Our People

Kurt Kneen, Ph.D., Vice President, NSF Global Laboratories

kkDr. Kurt Kneen has over 25 years of experience in analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis, with over 15 years at NSF International directing and managing world-class laboratories. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Michigan State University and a B.A. in chemistry from Wittenberg University. He expanded NSF’s lab capabilities and developed and implemented new test methods for routine analysis and chemical testing. Dr. Kneen played a key role in establishing NSF’s product testing lab in Shanghai. He has taught lab courses at Michigan State University and Lansing Community College. Dr. Kneen is an active member of the American Chemical Society and has presented at national events.

Jesse D. Miller, Ph.D., Director of the Applied Research Center

jdDr. Jesse D. Miller has over a decade of experience in microbiology, molecular biology, commercialization and front-end innovation. His academic research focus has been the bacterial pathogenesis of Streptococcus, while his industrial research focus has been the creation of diagnostics for the health care industry. In his role in industry, he has led and trained multiple teams on the tools and principles necessary to create meaningful products and services in today’s fast-paced product development world. Dr. Miller has authored numerous publications and holds over a dozen patents (granted and applied for). He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine and a B.S. in microbiology from the University of Michigan.

Christine Greene, MPH, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for Sanitation and Contamination Control

CgDr. Christine Greene has over seven years of experience in epidemiological and laboratory research. Her work serves to improve the accuracy of environmental mediated infectious disease transmission modelling, strengthens current guidelines to control healthcare-associated infections and provides new insights that will stimulate innovative approaches to reduce the risk of biofilm-related infections and curtail the environmental persistence and transmission of infectious agents. Dr. Greene has over 10 years of experience teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in microbiology, cell biology, toxicology and public health. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences and an MPH in hospital and molecular epidemiology from the University of Michigan and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Virunya Bhat, Ph.D., DABT Principal Toxicologist

vbDr. Virunya Bhat is a Principal Toxicologist for NSF International with more than 15 years of experience conducting human health risk assessments for industrial chemicals as applied to assessing food and drinking water quality and consumer product safety. She specializes in dose-response modeling, mode of action analysis and integrating multiple evidence streams. Her work has been presented at numerous technical conferences and has resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and awards. Dr. Bhat earned a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology at the University of California in Riverside, where she was also a guest lecturer for undergraduate and graduate risk assessment classes. She also earned an M.S. in pharmacy from The Ohio State University. Dr. Bhat is certified by the American Board of Toxicology and is an active member of the Society of Toxicology.

Scott Clipper, Ph.D., Technical Manager, Chemistry Laboratory

ScDr. Scott Clipper has over 27 years of experience in analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis in the pharmaceutical, dietary supplements and environmental areas, including over eight years at NSF International directing and managing various analytical laboratories and functions. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from West Virginia University and a B.S. in chemistry from California University of Pennsylvania. His areas of expertise include chromatographic analysis and method development for complex matrices including pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, and GLP and GMP regulatory compliance and project support.

 

Caroline English, Ph.D., Senior Toxicologist

CeDr. Caroline English is Senior Toxicologist for NSF International, specializing in quantitative health risk assessment, food and dietary ingredient safety, nanomaterials, drinking water and green chemistry programs. Dr. English worked for 22 years at Eastman Kodak where she held a variety of technical and leadership roles before joining NSF in 2007. Dr. English has experience conducting GLP metabolism, kinetic, biochemical and systemic toxicology studies. She designed and oversaw research and testing programs in support of product development and stewardship, assisting clients in North America, Asia and Europe to achieve marketplace success. Dr. English serves on the Executive Committee of the NSF International Health Advisory Board and on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO/TC 229 Nanotechnologies.

Zachery Geurin, Senior Associate Microbiologist

zgZachery Geurin has four years of microbiology experience, with over two years at NSF International. He joined the NSF microbiology lab with a B.S. in microbiology from Michigan State University. He has participated in many research projects encompassing environmental monitoring, microbial biofilms, molecular biology, food safety and consumer products testing, among other areas. Mr. Geurin has contributed to NSF protocol and method development efforts and provides the laboratory additional computer programming and bioinformatics support.

 

Gerry Pace, Research Scientist LCMS

gpGerry Pace has over 25 years of analytical chemistry and method development expertise in pharmaceutical, water, chemical manufacturing and toxicology arenas utilizing a variety of instrumentation for analysis. His specialty lies in bioanalytical method development and analysis using high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. He has experience in the technical aspects of U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations as well as in managing and performing analysis in FDA-regulated and non-regulated environments. Mr. Pace holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Murray State University and is a member of AOAC International.

 

Kevin Schaefer, Senior Engineer

Kevin Schaefer has 10 years of expertise in testing of commercial water equipment, recreational water equipment and systems, and municipal water treatment equipment and systems. During his tenure at NSF he has participated in method development and test system design for projects ranging from efficacy testing of novel disinfection techniques to long-term chemical resistance of piping materials. He holds a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Western Michigan University.

Bryan D. Schindler, Ph.D., Microbiologist

bdDr. Bryan D. Schindler has over a decade of experience in microbiology and molecular biology. He serves as project lead for method development and non-routine projects in the NSF Microbiology Laboratory. Dr. Schindler has authored 15 publications in the areas of food safety, bacterial physiology and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan State University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in nutrition and food science from Wayne State University.

 

 

John Travis, Senior Research Scientist

jtJohn Travis has 18 years of experience in analysis of target analytes and method development. He specializes in the analysis of dietary supplements, utilizing techniques such as gas and high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. His expertise in the analysis of prohibited substances in dietary supplements was instrumental in developing screening methods for NSF’s Certified for Sport program. Mr. Travis has a degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan. He sat on the AOAC Presidential Task Force on Dietary Supplements and on several review panels.

 

Steve Williams, Senior Specialist Engineering

swSteve Williams has 26 years of experience in testing and analysis. He joined NSF in 1990, working in the Engineering and Research Services department, which was similar manner ARC, taking in projects that didn’t fit with NSF’s traditional certification programs. He focused on the fate of disposable products in the waste stream and environment, and also worked with the NSF wastewater program testing residential wastewater treatment systems. Mr. Williams transitioned into protocol development for the ERS department and then moved to the Engineering Lab in 2002, where his primary focus was testing biosafety cabinets to NSF/ANSI 49. He has also been involved in many special testing projects and continues work with residential wastewater treatment systems. He holds a degree in construction technology from Eastern Michigan University.

Amanda Phelka, Ph.D., Director of Toxicology Services

apDr. Amanda Phelka has more than 18 years of experience conducting and evaluating studies assessing chemical exposure and human health risk. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in toxicology from the University of Michigan. She has published peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters on toxicology, industrial hygiene and occupational health. Dr. Phelka has served as an invited peer reviewer of the U.S. EPA’s draft Provisional Peer Review Toxicity Values manuscripts and is a full member of the Society of Toxicology. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed human health risk assessments evaluating chronic exposure to unregulated contaminants in drinking water supplies.

Kerri LeVanseler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry Laboratories

klDr. Kerri LeVanseler has over 25 years of experience working in analytical test laboratories participating in research and development of new methods and test protocols, coordinating quality assurance efforts, supervising chemistry staff for special projects and resolving special technical issues. Her expertise lies in the application of various instrumental techniques for the analysis of a wide range of analytes (vitamins, heavy metals, pesticides, natural constituents, active ingredients, extractants) in various sample types (dietary supplement ingredients and products, food and food contact materials, sanitizers, pharmaceuticals, detergents and medical devices). She holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Wayne State University and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Julie Vantine, Technical Project Manager

jvJulie Vantine brings 17 years of experience to the ARC including project management, special projects testing, and procedure and study organization and drafting. She joined NSF International in 2005 as a microbiologist specializing in food microbiology and food equipment sanitation testing. In 2008 she moved into the certification program office for NSF food equipment and held both project manager and technical reviewer roles. Earlier in her career, Ms. Vantine worked in quality control in beverage manufacturing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Michigan State University.

 

Paul Anderson, Director of Engineering

paPaul Anderson has more than 20 years of expertise in engineering. For the past five years, he has managed testing and QA initiatives for NSF International. Prior to that, he worked in the automotive sector focusing on global operations, business strategy, engineering and quality initiatives. Mr. Anderson is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials. He holds a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

 

Robin Bechanko, Laboratory Manager, Microbiology

rbRobin Bechanko has over 15 years of experience in microbiology with expertise in the areas of water, environmental and food microbiology as well as efficacy testing to support product certification or registration to EPA, FDA, USP and NSF requirements. Ms. Bechanko manages all aspects of accreditation applicable to the NSF International Microbiology Laboratory, provides technical support for clients and program representatives, and acts as a company representative and research presenter at professional conferences. Laboratory design and new method development/validation are also key interests. She holds a B.S. in biology and M.S. in quality management from Eastern Michigan University.

Nikki Beetsch, Technical Project Manager

NbNikki Beetsch is a Technical Project Manager in NSF’s Toxicology Services group. With over 17 years of experience with NSF, she has provided toxicology services for NSF’s certification programs, serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s Water, Sanitation Hygiene and Health group and currently provides management for special projects that are carried out by NSF’s toxicology staff. She holds a B.S. in biology from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science in biology with an environmental science/toxicology emphasis from Wright State University.