Engineering & Operations Team

Engineering & Operations Team 2018-06-07T15:31:53+00:00

Lance Abate

Consultant / Board Member

Lance has spent his entire career in the steel and construction industries. Starting as an iron worker’s apprentice more than 35 years ago, Lance quickly rose through the ranks of various construction companies, becoming a foreman at Pittsburgh Bridge & Iron only 10 years after graduating from high school. He was promoted to field superintendent, a title he also held at Dick Corporation and at Century Steel Company during the next 10 years.
Lance struck out on his own in 1995 to co-found Abate/Irwin, Inc., a construction and maintenance company with heavy experience in the coal and power industries, where he worked until he joined PFBC-EET.

Barbara Arnold, PHD, P.E.

Research & Development Executive Manager

Dr. Arnold holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in mineral processing from the Pennsylvania State University, specializing in coal froth flotation, fine particle processing, and coal petrology. Her research and development experience has included projects for government – and industry – funded agencies as well as private companies, and has covered the development of a coal cleaning simulator, coal handling and blending, coal cleaning characterizations, and flowsheet evaluations.
Her project management experience includes the development and management of project budgets, project schedules, oversight of project personnel, and reporting functions.

Blaine Popp, P.E.


Blaine brings more than 35 years of metallurgical engineering experience to PFBC-EET. For the first dozen years of his career, Blaine worked in as a process, product, specification, and development metallurgy engineer. He performed heavy products engineering at U.S. Steel corporate headquarters before being promoted to senior engineer in customer technical service for U.S. Steel’s northeastern region.
Blaine is an expert in plate, structural, heavy products, corrosion, failure analysis, stainless steel, and nuclear quality assurance engineering.

Thomas Porterfield, P.E.

Project Manager

Tom has been vice president of operations for Farnham & Pfile Engineering and Construction for 16 years, specializing in energy-related industrial application/design/build utilizing computer aided three-dimensional interactive design (CATIA).
Prior to his employment at Farnham & Pfile, Tom held project engineer positions with BethEnergy Mines for 17 years, covering nine coal mines and processing plants in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Tom graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering.
He has a diverse background and is a registered professional engineer in 16 states and the District of Columbia.

John Shoup

Operations and Maintenance Manager

Jack has been a project coordinator for Farnham & Pfile Engineering and Construction for over 10 years. His responsibilities include the coordination of the engineering, purchasing, and construction activities for energy related construction projects. Prior to his employment with Farnham & Pfile, Jack had been involved in the coal, phosphate, and energy industries since 1973, serving as a quality control supervisor, construction superintendent, and construction project manager.
Jack is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in business administration.