Dr. John E. Murtagh

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The Alcohol Textbook

The Alcohol Glossary

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                    MURTAGH & ASSOCIATES

Dr. John E. Murtagh

Career Resume - December 2001

John Murtagh died on January 25, 2003.
The ethanol industry has lost a great expert. May he rest in peace.


      Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, University of Wales, 1959.
      Master of Science, University of Wales, 1970.
      Ph.D., University of Wales, 1972. (Dissertation on ethanol production processes.)


      Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists (F.A.I.C.).
      Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland (F.I.C.I.).
      Fellow of the Institute of Food Science and Technology of Ireland (F.I.F.S.T.I.).
      Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (U.K.) (M.R.S.C.).
      Chartered Chemist (C. Chem).


1959-70               House of Seagram, Jamaica and Canada

      1959-63 -- Long Pond, Trelawny, Jamaica, rum distillery and sugar mill. Served as liaison with Sugar Manufacturers Association Research Department, and controlled all research and development projects.

      1963-64 -- Montreal, Canada, distillery producing whisky, gin, rum and industrial-alcohol. Attended management training program in distillery operations.

      1964-66 -- Beaupre, Quebec, Canada. Managed distillery and bottling plant, producing whisky and gin.

      1966-68 -- Richibucto, New Brunswick, Canada. Managed rum and industrial-alcohol distillery with bottling plant and 1000-head cattle feedlot.

      1968-70 -- Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Research and Development Department. Managed new "Special-Assignments Section", including development of new plant procedures for the use of microbial enzymes for grain saccharification, and introduction of new processes into all Seagram's Canadian distilleries.

1970-72               Postgraduate Research Student

      Department of Biochemistry, University of Wales, Bangor, North Wales, U.K. Conducted research into the use of microbial enzymes in starch liquefaction and saccharification for grain-alcohol production.

1972-77                Independent Consultant

      Executed assignments for clients in Europe and Asia on alcohol production from various raw materials. Retained by Biocon Ltd. to advise customers on use of enzymes and to direct development of new products, including establishment of plant for production of liquid peat-smoke concentrate to impart "Scotch" flavor to whiskies.

1977-79                Iran Beverages Company, Tehran, Iran

      Managed beverage and industrial-alcohol distillery and bottling plant producing Smirnoff Vodka, Gilbey's Gin, and other international brands under license. Responsible for increasing plant capacity and overall efficiency. Left in 1979, when plant was closed by religious authorities, after the Iranian revolution.

1979-present     Independent Consultant

      Retained by Carbery Distillers, Ltd., Ireland, to advise on all aspects of management and operations of distillery producing neutral spirit from cheese-whey lactose. Upgraded the product quality to the highest international standards. Engaged in the design and commissioning of two new whey-alcohol distilleries for Carbery's licensees in New Zealand (1980 and 1981) and in California (1985). Continuing provision of consultancy service to these distilleries.

      Retained in 1982 by Alltech Inc. (enzyme and yeast suppliers) to visit most of the medium-sized fuel-alcohol plants operating in the United States, to provide technical assistance on all aspects of plant operations. Conducted a detailed critical analysis of each plant, identified problem areas and gave appropriate advice on necessary action.

      Engaged in 1985 by the State of New Mexico to visit all the fuel-alcohol plants in the State, to compile data for an economic-impact study. Retained in 1987 to assist in a similar economic-impact study for the State of Louisiana.

      Retained in 1985 by a Washington D.C.-based publishing and market-analysis company to visit all U.S. fuel-alcohol plants to update and expand the plant details contained in their published "Directory of Fuel-Alcohol Plants".

      Retained since 1988 by Maas Auction Company, to assist with auctions and private-treaty sales of more than 30 fuel and/or beverage-alcohol plants across the U.S. and Canada.

      Edited "The Alcohol Textbook", published 1995 by Nottingham University Press, U.K. Contributed chapters on molasses, rum and neutral spirits. Editor and compilation director of "The Worldwide Directory of Distilleries", published by Nottingham University Press, U.K., in 1996.

      Retained in 2001 by Abengoa S.A. of Spain, to perform due diligence studies on three U.S. Mid-Western fuel-ethanol plants, resulting in a $95 million acquisition.

      Currently consulting for various clients in Europe, North, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Australasia, in beverage, industrial and fuel-alcohol industries. Generally working on fermentation and distillation problems, correcting design faults, staff training, conducting production-plant feasibility studies, market surveys, project development, plant commissioning, performance testing, serving as expert witness and consultant in litigation, assisting in product marketing, etc. 

      Arbitrator on the National Commercial Panel of American Arbitration Association, (1990 - ). Chairman of the annual World Ethanol Conference, in London, UK (1998 - ).

Dr. John E. Murtagh | Resume | Publications | The Alcohol Textbook | The Alcohol Glossary
 | The Worldwide Distilleries Guide | Index

Comments, questions and information may be forwarded to:

Murtagh & Associates
3409 Briarcrest Drive, Eau Claire, WI 54701
Telephone/Fax: (1) 715-831-8151
E-mail: murtagh@murtagh.com

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