William L. Smith

President  •  Nissan Chemical America Corporation

As President of Nissan Chemical America Corporation, William (Will) Smith is the first non-Japanese executive in Nissan’s 133-year history. Will oversees the financial and strategic direction of Nissan Chemical America Corporation.
Will first joined Nissan in 2000, when he was recruited as a salesman at a time of upheaval in the chemical industry. Immediately recognized for his technical and sales expertise, he was steadily promoted within the organization, becoming Senior Vice President in 2016.

Will has led the company’s expansion into specialized nanotechnology products and in the development of nanoActiv®. His vision continues to shape new and innovative opportunities for Nissan within several new market segments, including 3D printing and oil & gas.

Yusra Khan Ahmad

Business Development Manager, Oil and Gas · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

Yusra Khan Ahmad began her career with Nissan in 2016 as an Oil & Gas Research Scientist, where she led the effort to research and develop nanoparticle-based chemical formulations for improved hydrocarbon recovery in fracture stimulation and well remediation.

Since then, Yusra has played an essential role in several of Nissan Chemical America’s patents as Senior Petroleum Engineer, and now as the Business Development Manager. In her new role, Yusra provides vital customer education regarding the science behind nanoActiv®, and helps to expand Nissan’s oil and gas business by establishing meaningful partnerships in North America, Asia, Brazil, and the Middle East.

Yusra holds a BS in chemical engineering from Syracuse University and a MS in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Her MS thesis at UT Austin investigated the applications of oil-in-water emulsions stabilized using nanoparticles for residual oil recovery.

John Southwell

Technical Director, North America · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

As Technical Director, John Southwell is the lead scientist and advisor to the leadership management team at Nissan Chemical America for all technical matters. He holds a MS in polymer chemistry from Central Michigan University. Before joining Nissan Chemical America, he worked for 13 years as a principal scientist and technical team leader in the areas of UV-curable fiber optic materials, hard coating and anti-static/anti-reflective coatings, and 3D printing materials development.

In his 23 years as an industrial chemist, John has patented and commercialized dozens of formulated products, intermediates, and raw materials containing nanotechnology utilizing covalent, non-covalent/ionic, polymeric, and inorganic surface treatments, and has focused on applied performance advantages in markets of interest. This work continues with the development of new technologies for Nissan including nanoActiv® and EnduraSol™ products.

Samuel J. Maguire-Boyle, PhD

Senior Scientist · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

As Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Maguire-Boyle researches and develops new opportunities in nanotechnologies for Nissan Chemical America.

Dr. Maguire-Boyle earned his PhD in chemistry from Rice University’s prominent nanoengineering program. For his doctoral thesis, he developed and synthesized nanoparticles for the United States Navy (USN) Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Special Operations Command to invent hydrophilic/lipophobic fabric barriers.As a research scientist, he has produced dozens of publications and patents in the Oil & Gas industry and has been a contributor to several patent applications for Nissan Chemical America. His background provides tremendous value in ongoing nanoparticle research at the Nissan lab.

Robin Watts

Program Manager · Chemistry & Energy, Messer Americas

Robin Watts has more than 25 years of experience in the development and commercialization of new technologies. Prior to becoming the Director of Regional Sales, Southwest for Messer Americas, she specialized in the implementation of technology solutions for well stimulations utilizing CO2 and N2. Robin earned both her BS in chemical engineering and her MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. Her concentration remains on the economics, application, and use of energized solutions for hydraulic fracturing, well stimulation, and recovery.

Matt Cantrell

Managing Partner · Nitro-Lift Technologies

Matt Cantrell is the Managing Partner of Nitro-Lift Technologies LLC. His background in finance provides tremendous value as he advises various energy groups and private equity firms. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Oklahoma State University, and is responsible for managing Nitro-Lift’s business in Oil & Gas, servicing upstream, midstream, downstream, and industrial companies.

David Cochran

Distribution Manager, Oil and Gas · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

As a former Quality Control Lab Analyst at Southern Petroleum Labs and a former Staff Chemist with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, David Cochran’s technical background makes him a valuable asset to the internal and external sales process at Nissan Chemical. Since he was hired as an Account Manager in 2006, David has played an integral role in managing and growing Nissan Chemical’s client and distributor relations. As a Texas native, David has a unique understanding of the nuances of the Oil & Gas industry.

Keith Pace

Vice President of Plant Operations · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

Keith Pace has been with Nissan since 1997, when he joined as an Operations Manager instrumental in the original construction and startup of Nissan Chemical America’s plant in Pasadena, Texas. Now, as Director of Operations, Keith is responsible for the growth of the plant, as well as for the continued innovation of the company’s technologies, including nanoActiv®.

Rebecca Vanderslice

Quality & Environmental Manager · Nissan Chemical America Corporation

With more than 20 years of experience in chemical manufacturing, Rebecca serves as the “voice of the customer” in Nissan Chemical America’s plant operations. She oversees quality control at the plant, ensuring the company’s operations are conducted in an environmentally responsible manner, and that Nissan’s ISO 9001 certification remains up to date. Since joining Nissan Chemical in 1998, she has worked to ensure the company lives up to the highest standards of quality and environmental compliance