Ritu Linhart

As Operations S. Manager, Ritu S. Linhart is responsible for development, implementation, and improvement of the manufacturing facility’s Quality Management System and for efficient operations of the product supply chain.  Ritu is responsible for compliance and conformance of all manufactured product (both residential and industrial grades for domestic as well as international use) with the various product certification bodies, ensuring that all critical parameters identified during product development are monitored using statistical techniques throughout the manufacturing process and the appropriate corrective action processes are in place to drive problem resolution and sustain improvements.  Ritu is also responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing the plant’s supply chain operations to meet annual objectives in areas of production scheduling, reliability allowance, quality, delivery schedules, contractual commitments, costs, greenhouse gas requirements, and inventory.  As a Six Sigma Black Belt practitioner, Ritu’s ongoing initiative is to implement continuous improvement lean manufacturing strategies in all aspects of plant processes.

Ritu is a chemical engineer with over 24 years of experience in the energy & renewables field, including coal liquefaction, scale-up of breakthrough fermentation technology utilizing agricultural waste to produce fuel-grade ethanol, and conversion of household recycled paper waste to green pulp used for tissue paper.  Ritu started at Georgia Biomass as a Plant Process Engineer and in that role, she led challenges in optimizing the drying process and related emission control systems.  Prior to joining Georgia Biomass LLC, Ritu worked as a Process Engineer for Stretchwrap Packaging Industries (SWPI) where she led operations in plastics/extrusion manufacturing.  While working at SWPI, Ritu also taught Chemistry as Adjunct Professor at Barry University which fueled her interest in academic research and development (R&D).

Ritu’s R&D work has led her to various groundbreaking projects in biomedical engineering evaluating polymeric nanofibers blended for targeted drug delivery and testing the biofunctionality of electrospun nanofibers for islet transplantation applications.  Ritu’s work has been presented at major national and international academic conferences and has been published in several acclaimed academic journals by leading researchers at the University of Virginia and Georgia Institute of Technology, with the most recent being a 2018 publication in the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research titled “An Engineered Macroencapsulation Membrane Releasing FTY720 to Precondition Pancreatic Islet Transplantation.”  Ritu also worked at the CMS group credited with discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Ritu began her professional career as a Process Engineer for BioEnergy International in Gainesville, FL where she scaled up a newly patented fermentation process to pilot scale ethanol production using a proprietary recombinant E. coli bacterial strain to break down hemicellulose in agricultural waste products such as corn fields, sugar cane residue, and pulp waste to simple sugars and then utilizing yeast fermentation to convert the sugars to fuel-grade ethanol.  After BioEnergy, Ritu joined the EH&S division at the University of Florida (UF) where she ensured lab safety and compliance (OSHA, NIOSH, EPA) of over 2,500 research labs/facilities.  While working at UF, Ritu obtained an executive MBA and became interested in business management, which led her to Astral Communications, a telecommunications company.

Ritu has served as Counselor for the Univ. of Miami chapter of the Society of Women Engineers(SWE), was President of the S. Florida chapter of EVFA, a non-profit raising funds for education, was President of local WINS organization, and is an Officer at the local Okefenokee Toastmasters International.  Ritu graduated with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and an M.S. degree from Auburn University, Auburn, AL and enjoys playing golf as a favorite pastime.