Leadership Team

Dan Thoren, President

Current Position: Dan is the President of Barber-Nichols Inc. (BNI). He joined BNI in 1991 and is currently responsible for the overall strategy, direction and management of the company, government relations, business development, and leadership development.

History: Previous to joining BNI, Dan worked for Honeywell Aerospace as a Mechanical Component Design Engineer specializing in bearings, seals and lubrication systems for aircraft gas turbine engines. He also contributed to the turbine structural design group specializing in finite element analysis of turbine thermal, structural and dynamic loads.

Education: Dan earned an MS, Organizational Management from the University of Colorado Denver and a BS, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wyoming.

Jeff Shull, VP Sales & Marketing

Current Position: Jeff is the Vice president of Sales and Marketing for Barber-Nichols Inc (BNI).  He has been at BNI since 1998.  He previously held the positions at BNI of Sales and Marketing Manager and Sales Engineer.  During his time at BNI he also led projects including design and development of a prototype hydrogen recycle blower for integration into a fuel cell system for an automobile.  Jeff is passionate about finding creative turbomachinery solutions to solve complex problems for BNI’s customers.

History: Jeff previously worked at BW/IP International (now Flowserve) in a rotational engineering program that involved work in wide-ranging engineering roles at different facilities across the United States.  In his last role at BW/IP, he managed one of two manufacturing cells at a new centralized facility designed to build components for all of the company’s divisions.

Education: Jeff earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma.

Interests: In his spare time, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife and 2 children along with traveling, bicycling, hiking, woodworking and snowboarding.

Lian Li, Quality Manager

Current Position: Lian Li is the Quality Manager at Barber-Nichols, Inc. (BNI) joining us in December 2018.

History: Previously, Lian held a variety of management positions as Facilities Engineer, Quality Engineer and Quality Systems Manager at Medtronic, Covidien, Tyco Healthcare and ValleyLab.

Education: Lian has earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering, Master of Engineering in Engineering Management and Master Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate.

Matt Malone, Director of Program Management - Repeat Products

Current Position: Matt Malone is the Director of Program Management -Repeat Products at Barber-Nichols, Inc. (BNI). Matt joined BNI in 2015, as a Project Engineer, focused on rocket engine turbopump design and development.

History: Previously, Matt worked at GE Transportation as a Turbomachinery Manager, Turbomachinery Engineer, and Edison Engineering Development Program. He led the turbomachinery design and development team for locomotives, off-highway vehicles, and marine engines. He also led development of the state-of-the-art 2-stage turbocharger system for Tier 4 locomotive to meet more stringent emission standards and improved turbomachinery reliability through physics-based root cause analysis and design implementation. He also held roles in Diesel Engine Reliability, Engineering Finance, Engineering Quality, and Wind Engineering.

Education: Matt earned an MS in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Turbomachinery from Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering with honors in design optimization from Pennsylvania State University.

Matt is involved in the Vistage Key Leaders Group, Colorado Office of Economic Development Grant Board, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers specifically for the Additive Manufacturing Community.

Interests: Matt is a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrous Foundation and enjoys skiing, triathlons, inventing and world travel.

Jason Preuss, Project Engineering Manager

Current Position: Jason Preuss currently manages the project engineering group that is responsible for leading engineering projects through their entire life cycle.  In this role, he provides engineering oversight for proposals, develops project teams, coordinates engineering resources, provides oversight of project engineers, and is accountable for the success of engineering projects.

History: In 2007, when Jason joined Barber-Nichols, he led turbomachinery and advanced power system projects. He also contributed design and engineering analysis in the areas of thermodynamic cycles, structural FEA, rotordynamics, bearings, seals, and motors. Jason is passionate about enabling BNI teams to successfully deliver diverse and challenging engineered products. Before that, he joined Honeywell aerospace in Torrance, CA.  He was responsible for rotordynamic and structural analysis of air cycle machines, ram air turbines, turbopumps, APUs, and motor-driven compressors.

Education: Jason holds a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. During his time at Texas A&M, Jason was a research assistant in the Vibration Control and Electromechanical lab.

Interests: Jason enjoys spending time with his wife and two children.  He occupies his occasional spare time with hiking, traveling, and restoration projects for the family farmhouse in Round Top, TX.

Matt Johnson, Director of Operations

Current Position: Matt joined Barber-Nichols in 2014 and currently is our Director, Operations. Matt leads, directs, and oversees all aspects of production operations directly and through managers who coordinate purchasing, supply chain management, production and inventory control, manufacturing engineering, manufacturing, assembly and test, and shipping and receiving.

History: Previously, Matt contributed over 15 years working in various positions at Sargent Controls & Aerospace, growing in responsibility and ultimately holding the role of Manager, Quality & Process Engineering. He provided strategic direction for the quality management system and annual objectives as the management representative for ISO9000/AS9100. He was also responsible for all aspects of the quality management function for the facility including advanced quality planning, contract/design reviews, failure mode analysis, process capability analysis and certification, tool and part qualification, advanced quality control plans, inspection sampling plans, measurement system analysis, and internal audits.

Education: Matt earned a BS, Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. He also has earned his Six Sigma Black Belt and Lead Auditor Training Certifications.

Greg Forsha, Engineering Manager

Current Position: Greg joined Barber-Nichols in 2004 and currently holds the position of Engineering Manager. Greg is responsible for our Engineering Analysis team, leading the design and manufacture of high-speed rotating machinery, including prototype projects for aerospace and military applications, and industrial projects.

History: Prior to becoming Engineering Manager, Greg has been responsible for project engineering and analysis for a 3-megawatt geothermal power turbine as part of a power plant in northern Nevada, a prototype rocket engine turbopump for a reusable 20k lb engine, a high inlet temperature, high-speed steam turbine and compressor for an experimental military application, a cryogenic helium partial emission pump that operates in a research facility, a high-speed radial inflow turbine that operates as part of a Rankine cycle on an over-the-road vehicle, an air compressor of a military vehicle, and a rocket engine turbopump clean-sheet design for a 75K lb thrust LOX and RP1 turbopump.

Education: Greg earned a BS, Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He also is a Registered Professional Engineer, State of Colorado.

Publications: “A New High-Efficiency Binary Expander Design: Low-Temperature Geothermal Application Bottoming Beowawe Geothermal Flash Plant,” H. Dickey, G. Forsha, M. Forsha, R. Linden.  Geothermal Resource Council Transactions, Vol. 35, 2011.

Pat Hicks, Chief Financial Officer

Current Position: Pat Hicks joined BNI in 2017. He is currently Chief Financial Officer at Barber-Nichols. He leads BNI’s administrative functions including accounting, financial analysis, HR, export compliance and corporate governance and is focused on facilitating controlled growth for the company.

History: Previously, Pat was CFO at Sundyne Corp. and directed all aspects of finance for the company. Pat additionally has Fortune 100 experience with United Technologies Corp and has held numerous operating unit leadership roles with Hamilton Sundstrand in a variety of industries and locations.  Pat contributes strong experience in manufacturing operations, systems, and financial analysis.

Education: Pat has an MBA from Northern Illinois University and a BS Finance from Western Illinois University. Pat is also APICS certified and has participated in several management and specialized development programs over his career.