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About Laramie & Region
Board of Directors
Western Research Institute Board of Directors

The University of Wyoming Research Corporation (dba Western Research Institute) board of directors is responsible for overseeing management in the development of plans, policies, and business strategy. Through regular meetings, the board ensures effective organizational planning and sees that company resources are managed properly and are in line with company goals. The following members bring a breadth of skills, experience and diversity to Western Research Institute.

William A. Gern, Ph.D., Chairman
Vice President for Research, University of Wyoming

Myron B. Allen, Ph.D.
Professor of Mathematics, University of Wyoming

Ronald H.  Benson
Consultant, Haddington Ventures, LLC

Mr. Dale S. Decker
Dale S. Decker, L.L.C., Professional Engineer, Eagle, Co

Brent Erickson
Executive Vice President, Biotechnology Industry Organization

Rob Hurless
Interim Director, Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute, University of Wyoming

Dr. Fred Wasden
Petroleum Engineer, Houston, TX

Richard C. Willson, J.D.
Managing Director, Technology Licensing Company, LLC

Dr. William A. Gern
(Chairman) is the vice president for research at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.  Dr. Gern has been instrumental in securing more than a million dollars in outside research awards and has earned numerous top awards as an educator.  He is a past director of the Institute for Environment and Natural Resource Research and Policy at the University of Wyoming.  Dr. Gern plays an active role in economic development in Wyoming, serving in executive roles in the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, the Wyoming Mid-America Manufacturing Technology Center, the Wyoming Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, the Institute for Energy Research, and other organizations.   

Dr. Myron B. Allen is a professor of mathematics at the University of Wyoming, whose mathematical interests include numerical analysis, mathematical modeling, and fluid mechanics in porous media—all of which are applicable to the analysis and prediction of contaminant flows in groundwater aquifers and flows of native and injected fluids in oil and gas reservoirs. Dr. Allen has served as Provost and VP for Academic Affairs at the University of Wyoming.

Mr. Ronald H. Benson of Tucson, Arizona, brings 30 years of management experience, including experience with natural gas and international oil companies.  He now serves as a consultant with Haddington Ventures, LLC and as a member of the Board of Directors of Trans Texas Gas Corp.  He is a past president of TPC Corporation, a subsidiary of PacifiCorp.  In the early 1990s, Mr. Benson was a pioneer in the Russian marketplace, bringing the first western drilling rig to Siberia, managing the start-up of two Russian offices of an American energy company, and lobbying U.S. and Russian governmental authorities to gain stabilized tax conditions. 

Mr. Dale S. Decker of Eagle, Colorado, Dale S. Decker, L.L.C. provides consulting services to the asphalt pavement construction industry. Mr. Decker is a registered professional engineer in Arizona, Colorado, California, and Maryland. Mr. Decker is an internationally recognized expert in the field of asphalt technology. He has worked over 40 years in various aspects of the asphalt industry. He is an active member of ASTM, TRB, ASCE (fellow grade), CTAA and was the 1996 President of AAPT.

Mr. Brent Erickson is the Executive Vice President of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) of Washington, D.C.  BIO, a trade association representing 1,200 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations in 50 U.S. states and 30 other nations, provides biotechnology information, advocacy and business support.  Mr. Erickson was a representative of the American Petroleum Institute in Washington, D.C.   As legislative director for Senator Al Simpson (R-WY), he was active in gaining passage of the Clean Air Act revisions, the Superfund toxic waste cleanup law, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Mr. Rob Hurless is the interim director of the Enhanced Oil Recovery Institute at the University of Wyoming.  Mr. Hurless also works on state energy strategy with Governor Mead (and previously worked in a similar capacity for Freudenthal). For much of his career Hurless was publisher of the Casper Star-Tribune. He has a B.S. in chemistry and B.A. in history from Montana State University, an MBA from Harvard Business School and Masters in Applied Economics from Stanford University.

Dr. Fred Wasden of Houston, Texas is a petroleum engineer specializing in heavy oil and deepwater field development, as well as large scale field application of technology.  Dr. Wasden has broad experience in global petroleum development and operations, as well as major oil company experience in Health, Safety and Environmental management and corporate strategy and portfolio management.  He has served as industry liaison to several academic centers of excellence and has extensive experience in shaping and leading industrial technology programs.

Mr. Richard C. Willson, Jr. of Palm Harbor, Florida, is an attorney specializing in intellectual property and technology transfer, including licensing, patents and trademarks and invention stimulation, for large multinational chemical and petroleum companies.  He has broad experience conducting cross-cultural negotiations and managing legal–technical implementation of domestic and international transactions such as buying and selling chemical and refining industry technologies.  

Contact :
Donald W. Collins
Chief Executive Officer
Office of the CEO

(307) 721-2209
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