XCELIS™ CHAMPION: Sebastián Dicundo, Technical Service Manager, Latin America
Sebastián Dicundo has real insider knowledge of grain processing. But after working for more than 15 years as a chemical engineer in Argentina's wet milling plants, producing sweeteners, starches, and corn oil, he was ready to take on new challenges—and ethanol offered exciting new opportunities.
"Research and development in this industry is really growing, as we try to get as much as possible from the corn to convert to ethanol," Sebastián notes. "My challenge is to understand where producers have opportunities to improve their processes."
Joining DuPont in 2014 gave him the opportunity to take on that challenge from the ground up, and see the progress up close. He's responsible for introducing new products to his customers, including educating them about the latest offerings and how best to implement them. A typical week might take him from looking closely at one plant's processes, which can be very different from others, to working with DuPont's lab analysts to craft a solution that meets that customer's specific needs.
"We're not just trying to sell our customers a product. We're working to create the energy they need to jump ahead into the future."
For example, when a customer had a problem with their fermentation process, it took careful investigation to identify the issue, and some trial and error in the lab and at the plant to develop the solution: a carefully calibrated dosage of protease that resulted in higher yields and faster fermentation rates.
Developing that kind of tailored solution means making connections—inside and out.
"I try to grow our relationships with the ethanol producers as well as with our entire organization," he says. "Building strong relationships helps me understand the real needs of our customers, and everything we have to offer them."
And it's through those relationships that he's come to understand—and live—the XCELIS™ promise in a powerful way.
"Sometimes, I think our customers get stuck at a plateau where they're not able to make improvements," he explains. "'Fueling you forward' describes how we're continually helping them find a way out of it.
"Because we're not just trying to sell our customers a product. We're working to create the energy they need to jump ahead into the future."