Council Recognizes Cole for WTE Contributions

The Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council awarded Artie Cole, vice president of Technical Services at Wheelabrator Technologies, the 2008 Outstanding Contribution Award.

The council, an academic organization headquartered at Columbia University, called for nominations of individuals who, as researchers, inventors, policy makers, and industrialists, have made an outstanding contribution to advancing the recovery of energy from municipal sold wastes in a nation or a region.

"For over 30 years, Artie has not only been fixing problems, but he has also been inventing solutions credited for changing how the waste-to-energy industry operates all over the world," said Wheelabrator's President Mark A. Weidman. "With the patents he has won and the influence he has on the operation and maintenance of our plants, Artie has been a quiet and powerful force in the company and the industry. His ingenuity and common sense approach to working with employees, customers, and contractors to solve problems personifies the Wheelabrator culture."

Cole's career started in Saugus, Mass., in 1977 when he joined the company as an entry-level maintenance mechanic just as Wheelabrator's RESCO plant opened its doors. As the first privately owned refuse-burning, steam-generating plant in operation in the United States, Cole and his peers had their work cut out for them.

RESCO, often called Saugus University, served as a laboratory where the team experienced setbacks and hard-won successes. All knew failure was not an option so they banded together to work night and day on making the plant operational.

Currently, Cole oversees engineering activities designed to maximize plant performance for Wheelabrator's 16 waste-to-energy facilities and five independent power plants. He holds eight U.S. patents including improvements for air pollution control spray nozzles, grate combustion systems, ram feeder carriage systems, reciprocating combustion grate guide system, refractory tiles, waterwall furnace platens, and a two-piece front face replaceable grate block.

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