Bulk Handling Systems has named Thomas Brooks to the position of Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Brooks assumes the role after serving as BHS' Director of Technology and Product Development.
As CTO, Brooks will focus on leading new technology and product development efforts across the organization - including BHS, Max-AI, Nihot, National Recovery Technologies (NRT) and Zero Waste Energy (ZWE) - with an emphasis on bringing new technologies to the market.
Since joining BHS, Brooks led the redesign of NRT's optical sorters, oversaw the creation of BHS' Controls & Intelligence division, and spearheaded BHS' artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technology Max-AI. Recent developments include the integration of Max-AI technology into NRT optical sorters, an advancement that combines AI with both color and near infrared (NIR) optical detections to make enhanced sorting configurations possible.
"Thomas is an exceptional leader and does an excellent job of bringing to market innovative technology that's in-line with our corporate vision," said BHS CEO Steve Miller.
"The progress he's made with Max, our optical sorters and our system control and intelligence solutions are advances that are paying real dividends to our customers. They're also integral to our vision of the Industrialized MRF, a fully-automated system that optimizes itself to run all day and with optimal levels of throughput, recovery, uptime and intelligent reporting. We're fortunate to have a leader of Thomas' caliber and expect great things to follow," Miller concluded.
"It's an honor to lead the technology development for BHS and all of the brands that are in our family," Brooks said. "I have the pleasure of working with a tremendous team; co-workers that deeply care about performance and achieving results for our customers, and for a leadership team that is forward looking and invests heavily in our technology. I'm also fortunate to work in an industry that is so impactful - it's fulfilling to see how the technology we develop creates new methods to directly improve the world and drive a circular economy."
Brooks was recently named a Waste360 40 Under 40 award winner. He has served in management and new product development roles in the aerospace, biomedical, industrial and automotive industries, among others. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Tennessee Tech University in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on controls and fluid dynamics.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.