LAW241 Guest Speaker: Bill Rice, President / CEO of CerX LLC on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Mr. Bill Rice, President / CEO of CerX LLC spoke to Alfred University students today on the topic of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and other international business topics.

He shared his international business experiences regarding the legal challenges of doing business in Europe, India, Russia, China, and other nations where the business and social cultures are very different from that of the United States.

Vertimass LLC: Huge Advances Bringing Ethanol into the Main Stream


On Friday, October 13 from 8:30am to 10:00am the management of Vertimass LLC spoke to potential investors, scientists, professionals, academics, and to AU students via teleconference about their firm and strategy.

Vertimass is commercializing a novel catalyst technology that overcomes several barriers that have prevented ethanol from taking over a much larger share of the liquid fuel market. Vertimass’s ethanol can be used in jet fuel and heavy-duty vehicles and, most significantly, does not have to be capped at 10% of the automotive mix. Plus, Vertimass’s ethanol is fungible with petroleum fuels for transport via existing pipelines.

Most fuel ethanol is currently produced from starch in the United States and cane sugar in Brazil, and new technologies are emerging for ethanol production from cellulosic biomass such as wood, grasses, and agricultural and forestry residues. However, most ethanol in the United States is used as 10% blends with gasoline, and current U.S. ethanol production has virtually saturated that market as a result of the “blend wall.” In addition, ethanol’s properties make it ill-suited for air transportation or powering heavy-duty vehicles. Ethanol also suffers from concerns about its compatibility with the existing fuel infrastructure. Thus, even though ethanol is the lowest cost alternative fuel, these factors present a major impediment to expanding production and overall growth in production of sustainable transportation fuels.

To solve these problems, Vertimass LLC, was awarded the exclusive license to a novel catalyst technology developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory for conversion of ethanol into jet fuel, diesel fuel, and gasoline hydrocarbon blend stocks that are compatible with the current transportation fuel infrastructure. This technology allows ethanol producers the flexibility to make other fuel products that can take advantage of market conditions and break through the ethanol blend wall. Additionally, this simple operation can be bolted onto existing or grass roots ethanol plants with very low capital and operating costs while providing fuel flexibility and possibly replacing dehydration and rectification operations.

For further information please contact Gelvin Stevenson, PhD at


LAW241 Guest Speaker: Craig Gestring of the Department of Justice will Discuss Cyber Security Issues

Mr. Craig Gestring is a career prosecutor. He has prosecuted criminal cases in State, Federal, and Military courts around the country. Gestring is an Assistant United States Attorney with the Criminal Division in the Western District of New York where he prosecutes a wide variety of federal crimes including environmental crimes, white collar crimes, frauds, threat cases, and gun crimes. Gestring’s cyber work includes prosecuting online crimes against children and coordinating cyber investigations involving BOTs, intrusions, and hacking.

Gestring is a combat veteran, having spent a long, hot, and dusty year doing Army stuff with an M-16 in the Al Anbar Province of Western Iraq.

The AU Drone Club Hosted its First “Fly In” Event on the Alfred University Football Field


Today, more than 15 Alfred University students met on the AU football field in order to test their drone flight skills. . .and to have pizza.

Most flew trainer drones, but a select few also flew more high-end drones, such as the Phantom or Inspire drones, which will be used for the club’s commercial activities in the near future.  The students also created an obstacle course to hone their flight skills; maybe future drone races are in the works!

Final Grant Proposal for Drone Use Submitted before the Appalachian Regional Commission

Today, Alfred University faculty from the School of Engineering and the School of Business submitted their final Appalachian Regional Commission grant proposal to Southern Tier West.  The proposal aims to educate the local workforce in drone repair and maintenance, flight operations leading to a commercial drone flight license, and in entrepreneurship skills leading to business creation.  The students will then work with local farmers by using drones to help increase crop yield and health.

We hope to receive the grant, but in any case we want to publicly acknowledge all the new friends we met in this journey and who supported us in this project, specifically:

Thank you all, Fiat Lux!

LAW241 Guest Speakers: Mrs. Birdsong and Mrs. O’Dierno of the US Department of Labor


Mrs. Shequeila Birdsong and Mrs. Amber O’Dierno of the US Department of Labor spoke to Alfred University students about Wage and Hour legal issues. They gave many interesting examples of industries that are investigated for non-compliance with federal minimum wage requirements.

Mrs. Birdsong is the Community Outreach and Planning Specialist for the Federal Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.  She began her federal service with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where she spent a decade working in various positions.  Her final position at the IRS was as a Taxpayer Advocate.

Ms. O’Dierno is an investigator with the United States Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division. She was hired as an investigator in January of 2015. She investigates employers to ensure they are in compliance with federal labor laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Service Contract Act (SCA), Davis Bacon and Related Contract Acts (DBRA), Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA), and temporary worker programs  (H-2A, H-2B, H-1B). Prior to coming to work for the U.S. Department of Labor, she worked as an investigator at the New York State Department of Labor ‘s Division of Labor Standards. She has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.