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Marrero honored for lending expertise

Chemistry Professor Thomas Marrero accepts recognition from Virgil Woolridge, a business development specialist with University Extension, for work he did for MU Extension¿s Commerce Resource Development Association.

University of Missouri’s Extension Commerce Resource Development Association (UECRDA) has honored Professor Thomas Marrero as a Friend of UECRDA for “providing outstanding support to the association.” Virgil Woolridge, a business development specialist with University Extension, and past-president of UECRDA made the presentation to the MU chemical engineering professor December 5.

“A small Mexico, Mo., manufacturer that makes a de-foaming chemical had problems with the product spoiling. Customers were returning the product, but they couldn’t solve the problem,” Woolridge said. “We approached the MU Chemical Engineering Department, and Dr. Marrero agreed to meet with the manufacturer.”

Marrero walked through the process with them, took samples, and did some tests, but his research was inconclusive, so he approached Thomas Mawhinney, an MU associate professor of biochemistry, for help.

Mawhinney, who shared the award with Marrero, discovered bacterial contaminants and made recommendations to the manufacturer, which solved the problem.

“I think this is part of our mission,” said Marrero. “They had a legitimate problem. They asked for help, and I tried to help in any way I could to solve this mystery, and it worked out. It’s the least we could do.”

“You don’t know how nice it is to go to a faculty member and get them to help. The cooperation of the University made a difference,” Woolridge said.

“It’s part of my job,” said Marrero.

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