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Chris Burk, PE

I am a chemical engineer and an independent consultant. I've worked in a range of traditional process engineering roles, like process design, R&D, scale-up, and pilot plant EPC, but techno-economics is my specialty. 

I was introduced to techno-economic modeling early in my career by a mentor who had formerly managed R&D at a major oil company. He showed me that it's possible to capture the current best understanding of a technology and its costs in a model and then use it to drive objective, quantitative decision-making. I caught on quickly and soon became the go-to person for techno-economic analysis at our company.

For the following 10+ years I worked with several established companies and startups where I continued to build models and develop techniques, custom software, resources, and templates to streamline the process. During that time I also noticed a pattern of companies pushing forward developing new technologies without really understanding their economics, or at least not understanding them as well as I thought they could with better techno-economics. I saw that I could help these companies and that is why I went into consulting.

I now spend my time helping companies to understand the factors that drive their economics, so that they can select the best ideas and get them to market efficiently.

Headshot - Chris Burk


Photo credit: Phil Michael

Abridged CV

Professional experience

Consultant at Burk TechnoEconomics / Burk Engineering LLC

Senior Engineer at New Sky Energy, Boulder, CO

Process Engineer at Continental Technologies, Boulder, CO

Process Engineer at Eltron Water Systems, Boulder, CO

Research Engineer at Eltron Research & Development, Boulder, CO

Research Engineer at Supresta / Akzo Nobel, Ardsley, NY

2016 - present

2014 - 2016

2011 - 2014

2007 - 2011

2006 - 2007

2004 - 2006

Education & licensure

Licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Colorado. License 0047612.

MEng & BS Degrees in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

Select publications, presentations, & writing

'Scaling Laws in Process Engineering', Chemical Engineering Progress, in press.

'Practical Interpretations of Normalized Profitability Metrics,' Chemical Engineering, in press.

'Techno-economic analysis for new technology development,' Webinar for AIChE, 9/2018.

'Techno-economic analysis for new technology development,' Presentation at the ACS National Meeting, 8/2018.

'Techno-economic analysis for new technology development,' Chemical Engineering Progress, 1/2018.

Repeat guest writer, AIChE ChEnected,

'Diesel reforming using catalytic membrane reactors,' Catalysis Today, 3/2008.

Independently developed software

Process | Utilities is an add-in that I developed to streamline process engineering in Excel.

It is available at  Over 500 copies are in use at companies and universities worldwide.

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