January 30/Atchison, Kansas/Prepared Foods Magazine -- MGP Ingredients Inc. (MGPI) has announced the addition of Joe Wetter and Curtis Kipple to the company’s engineering staff. Wetter has been appointed process engineer. Kipple has assumed the new position of automation and controls engineer.

Wetter’s principal responsibilities include supporting the alcohol production teams as a technical resource at the company’s Atchison and Pekin, Ill. facilities. In his new position, Wetter will identify opportunities for improvement in alcohol production processes.

“I’m excited to have Joe as part of MGPI’s engineering team,” said Scott Davids, director of engineering services. “Joe’s knowledge, experience and desire to contribute make him an excellent fit. He will make an outstanding addition to our engineering team and will greatly enhance our engineering capabilities.”

Wetter’s most recent experience includes over two years with Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation, at both its Ravenna, Neb., and Portales, N.M., locations. In Ravenna, he was a shift supervisor, which entailed bringing a new plant online and to 100% capacity within five weeks. As plant engineer at the Portales location, he supervised several company projects. Prior to joining Abengoa Bioenergy Corporation, Wetter was a process engineer for Harcros Chemical Inc. for six years. He also has served in the Kansas Army National Guard. Wetter, a native of Marysville, Kan., has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas, Lawrence. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

Kipple’s primary responsibilities include serving as a technical resource for the company’s Atchison facility automation and instrumentation systems. He will work to improve the preventive and predictive maintenance practices for automation and instrumentation, as well as identifying continuous improvement opportunities for the systems.

“Automation and instrumentation are critical components of our manufacturing processes,” said Davids. “Curtis will greatly enhance our ability to keep our systems working well and improve their capabilities over time.”

Kipple is a native of Atchison and a 2003 graduate of Atchison High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering with an embedded systems emphasis from Kansas State University, Manhattan, in May 2007. Kipple previously gained professional experience as a project engineer for Wheatland Systems in Lawrence, Kan.

From the February 18, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash