Director of Bioenergy

GusGus Simmons is a passionate advocate for the development of our planet’s bioenergy resources, particularly the utilization of organic wastes as feedstock for the development of biofuels, such as anaerobic digester biogas. Gus’s efforts to promote and place into operation systems that harvest the carbon from organic wastes and use it to displace our dependency on fossil fuels are a prime example of Cavanaugh’s commitment to cultivating the stewardship of our natural resources through innovation. Gus leads innovation around the globe to marry advanced waste treatment and utilization processes that produce infinitely renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sustain agriculture to feed and power a growing planet.

Gus joined Cavanaugh in 2001 as Agricultural Services Director, serving as Project Manager for the firm’s efforts to assist the State of North Carolina with projects to evaluate innovative approaches to managing agricultural wastes. Since joining our firm, Gus has led the development of innovative organic waste treatment solutions for the municipal, industrial, and agricultural sectors. In all of these cases, a commitment to stewardship can be observed – through pollution control, financial efficiency, and beneficial reuse of water, carbon, and nutrients.

Gus graduated from North Carolina State University with a degree in Biological & Agricultural Engineering, with concentration in biological waste treatment. Upon graduation, Gus worked in agri-industry, holding positions responsible for the design, permitting, and environmental compliance of a number of agricultural and food processing facilities in North America and Europe.

Using his practical design and operations experiences to educate others, Gus has led and participated in a number of continuing education programs, from Technical Seminars and Conferences to University-sponsored operator training programs. Gus has also served as a Technical Advisor to several Universities, State, and Federal agencies in research and for the development of better, more innovative approaches to the beneficial reuse of water, nutrients, and carbon associated with organic waste streams.

March 7:  SWANApalooza, Denver, Co.  “The Optimal Solution: Optima KV; Generating Energy from Waste.”

March 8:  NC Pork Council Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC. “The Optimal Solution: Optima KV; Generating Energy from Waste.”

March 28:  BioCycle West Coast, San Diego, CA. “On Farm Aggregation Project Achieves Economies of Scale.”

April 17:  International Biomass Conference, Atlanta, GA. “One Big Step in NC’s Bioenergy:  Swine Waste Project Connects to the Natural Gas Pipeline.”

April 18:  NC State University’s State Energy Conference, Raleigh, NC.  Panel:  “Above the Dirt:  A Look into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

August 22:  Georgia Environmental Conference, Jekyll Island, GA.  “Aggregation of Multiple Farm Biogas Sources Achieves Economies of Scale and Pipeline Injection of Renewable Natural Gas.”

October 15:  BioCycle REFOR 2018, Raleigh, NC.  Seminar:  “Renewable Natural Gas – NC Works to Make an Interconnection.”

October 16:  BioCycle REFOR 2018, Raleigh, NC. “Aggregation of NC Farms Provides Optimization of Biogas.”

October 18:  BioCycle REFOR Site tour:  “Slides of Optima KV’s Digesters and Gas Upgrading System in Operation.”

November 7: Southeast Renewable Energy Summit, Atlanta, GA.  Panel – “Diversification of Renewable Energy in the Southeast: Wind, Biogas, and Biomass.”

November 20:  Sampson County Animal Waste Management Workshop:  “Aggregation of Multiple Farms Optimizes Waste Management Treatment:  Optima KV.”

November 29:  Wayne County Swine Waste Management Class: “Aggregation of Multiple Farms Optimizes Waste Management Treatment:  Optima KV.”

December 12:  Sampson County Waste Management Workshop II, Clinton, NC.  “Aggregation of Multiple Farms Optimizes Waste Management Treatment: Optima KV.”

 

 

February 2:  NC Pork Council Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC.  “Swine Waste to Value.”

February 16:  NCDA & CS Commissioner’s Ag Forum, New Ag Market Development, Raleigh, NC. “Above the Dirt: A Look Into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

March 3:  UNC Clean Tech Summit 2017, Chapel Hill, NC.  Moderator: “Opportunities for Growth in the Bioenergy Sector.”

March 12-14: SC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC.  “Water Loss Across the U.S,” and “Is There Any Relief: A Case Study in Pressure Optimization.”

Apr 6:  BioCycle East Coast 17: Ellicott City, MD.  “Renewable Energy Set Asides Push Biogas to Pipeline.”

April 21:  Waste to Worth, Raleigh, NC.  “Renewable Energy Set Asides Push Biogas to Pipeline.”

May 23:  NC Biotechnology Center Board Meeting Presentation, Wilmington, NC.  “Above the Dirt: A Look Into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

June 8:  Poultry Grower Meeting, Kenansville, NC.  “Above the Dirt: A Look Into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

June 13:  NCDEQ Animal Operations Inspectors Meeting, Kenansville, NC.  “Above the Dirt:  A Look Into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

August 10:  E4 Carolinas Energy Leadership Seminar, Wilmington, NC. “Recycling Organics to Power Our Future.”

September 29:  NC ASABE State Section, Raleigh, NC.  “Above the Dirt:  A Look Into NC Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

 October 12:  Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in the Southeast, Raleigh, NC.  “Optima KV:  Project Update.”

 October 13:  Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference. Gus was on a panel which presented this topic: “Productive Partnerships:  How they are created and funded.”

 November 15Clean Energy Finance Conference, Durham, NC.  Panel will discuss “The Biogas Market; Overcoming Obstacles with Finance.”

 

 

 

 

March 15:  SC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC. “State to State: A Comparison of Water Loss Training Programs Across Multiple States.”

April 4:  SWANApalooza, Charleston, SC. Waste to Worth: Harvesting the Energy Value from Animal Manure.”

April 11:  International Biomass Conference & Expo, Charlotte, NC. “Above the Dirt,” and “Money to Burn: How to Capitalize on BioCNG at your Wastewater Plant.”

April 20:  NC State Energy Conference, Raleigh, NC.  Panel Moderator

August 15:  Waste Conversion Technology Conference, San Diego, CA. “Bioenergy Road-mapping: State Incentives to Strengthen Economic Development in Bioenergy Markets.”

August 24:  Georgia Environmental Conference, Jekyll Island, GA. “Monetizing Biogas and Conversion Technology.”

August 31: PENC Seminar: The Power of Eastern North Carolina, Wilmington, N.C. “North Carolina Biogas Projects and Opportunities.”

October 3-4:  NCSEA Making Energy Work, Raleigh, N.C.  Gus was a moderator at this event.

October 17-20:  Biocycle REFOR16, Orlando, Fla. “Swine Waste Project Connects to Natural Gas Pipeline.”

October 27:  Workshop:  GEFA Biogas Technical Assistance Program, Peachtree City, GA. “UNTAPPED: Bioenergy Overview in Georgia and the U.S.”

November 17:  Conservatives for Clean Energy – 2nd Annual Celebration of North Carolina’s Corporate Clean Energy Champions, Greensboro, “Biogas Opportunities and Associated Policy Needs for North Carolina.”

December 7:  NC Pork Council’s Swine Waste to Energy Day. “Connecting to the Grid with North Carolina’s Anaerobic Digester projects: Loyd Ray Farms and Optima-KV.”

December 12:  Conservatives for Clean Energy’s 2nd Annual Celebrating North Carolina’s Clean Energy Economy, Greensboro, N.C. “Above the Dirt:  A Look into North Carolina’s Bioenergy Resources through Organic Waste Harvesting.”

December 13:  E4 & Duke Energy Symposium:  The Business of Clean Power, Charlotte, N.C. “Biogas Projects and Opportunities in North Carolina and Recent Breakthrough Connection to Natural Gas Pipeline.”

 

 

 

 

February 2: Industrial and Commercial Water Reuse Conference, Austin, TX
“Wastewater Irrigation Performance Auditing”

February 17: American Council of Engineering Companies – North Carolina, Raleigh, NC
“North Carolina Bioenergy Potential”

March 17: GAWP Industrial Conference & Expo, Athens, GA  “Above the Dirt – Georgia Bioenergy Potential.”

March 30: Waste to Worth Conference, Seattle, WA  “Money to Burn: How to Capitalize on BioCNG at Your Wastewater Plant”,  “The Great Biogas Gusher”,  “Farms of the Future: Seeking Agriculture Energy Independence”, and  “Above the Dirt.”  

April 21: North Carolina State Energy Conference, Raleigh, NC  “Farms of the Future: Seeking Agriculture Energy Independence.”

April 28: Georgia Water Resources Conference, Athens, GA “Irrigation Uniformity: Ensuring Maximum Sustainable Site Life and Cost Efficiency”, “Designing Wastewater Irrigation Systems”, “Managing Seasonal Sewer Flows”, and “Remote Telemetry”

May 14: UNCC Bioenergy Symposium, Charlotte, NC
“Beneficial By-products of Anaerobic Digestion.”

June 3: GA Coastal Regional Commission – Coastal Wastewater Practicum, Darien, GA
“Revenue Optimization and Improved Utility Asset ROI.”

August 17-19: Waste Conversion Technology Conference, San Diego, CA
“Farms of the Future: Seeking Agriculture Energy Independence”

September 11: Brunswick Community College 4th Sustainability Symposium and Expo, Leland, NC
“Above the Dirt: Harnessing Energy Value from Organic Waste”

October 19-22: Biocycle’s REFOR15 (Renewable Energy from Organics Recycling) and Northeast Residuals and Biosolids Symposium, Boston, MA
“Waste to Worth: How a Pig Farm Generates Environmental Revenue”

November 5: Clean Energy Alliances’ 2015 National Summit on RPS, Washington, D.C.
“RECs and RINs – the RPS Opportunities for Biogenic Carbon.”

November 12: Cucalorus Connect Green Biz Entrepreneurial Section, Wilmington, NC
“Good Earth = Good Business: Cavanaugh’s Stewardship through Innovation.”

November 15-18: AD14 – IWA’s 14th World Congress on Anaerobic Digestion, Viña del Mar, Chile
“Waste to Worth: How a Pig Farm Generates Environmental Revenue” and “Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues” (invited)

 

February 10: ACEC National Headquarters – Environmental & Energy Committee Meeting, Washington, DC
“Growing Our Energy – Agricultural Waste-to-Energy”

March 6: Nexus 2014: Water, Food Climate & Energy Conference, UNC Chapel Hill, NC
“From Waste to Worth – How a Pig Farm Generates Environmental Revenue.”

March 9: SCEC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
“Remote Telemetry: Innovative Solutions for Managing a Remote Wastewater Site.”

March 19: WRRI Annual Conference, Raleigh, NC
“Going Viral: Validated Benchmarks for Water Efficiency – Water Loss in North America.”
“Innovative Solutions for Managing a Remote Wastewater Site.”

April 7: NCAWWA-WEA Spring Conference, Wilmington, NC
“Money to Burn? How to Capitalize on BioCNG at Your Wastewater Plant.”

September 11:  Confluence Conference, Savannah, GA.  “Agricultural Water Use in the Savannah River Region.”

September 21: National Summit on Renewable Portfolio Standards in Washington, D.C. – participant

September 24:  Waste Conversion Technology Conference in Denver, CO.  “Money to Burn? How to Capitalize on BioCNG.”

September 29:  WEFTEC in New Orleans, LA.  “Innovative Statewide Water Efficiency Training Program sets Precedent for Future,” and “Waste to Worth: How a Pig Farm Generates Environmental Revenue.”

November 17:  Venice 2014: International Symposium on Energy from Biomass/Waste, Venice, Italy.  “Farms of the Future:  Seeking Agricultural Energy Independence,” and “Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues.”  Posters:  “Money to Burn? How to Capitalize on BioCNG at your Wastewater Plant,” and “Waste to Worth: How a Pig Farm Generates Environmental Revenue.”  

 

March 10: SCEC Environmental Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
“Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues.”

March 20: Livestock & Poultry Environmental Learning Center’s Waste to Worth – Spreading, Science & Solutions Conference, Denver, CO
“Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues.”

April 15: NC AWWA WEA Spring Fling, Wilmington, NC
“Digester Systems – The Swine Waste to Energy Project at Loyd Ray Farms”

April 9: UNC-Charlotte’s BioEnergy Symposium on Anaerobic Technologies, Charlotte, NC
“Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues.”

(Gus was also a panelist at this event for “On the Horizon – Anaerobic Technologies Summit and Networking Event” which discusses the feasibility/future of anaerobic technology.)

April 15: ASCE, Wilmington, NC
“Digester Systems – The Swine Waste to Energy Project at Loyd Ray Farms”

September 12: NC A&T University’s National Conference on Advances in Environmental Science & Technology, Greensboro, NC
“Next Generation Manure Technology – Waste to Energy and Environmental Revenues.”

November 6: National Irrigation Show Education Conference, Austin, TX
“Remote Telemetry: Innovative Solutions for Managing a Remote Wastewater Site.”

December 12: Professional Engineers of North Carolina – Engineering Leadership Conference, Raleigh, NC
“Above the Dirt: NC’s Bioenergy Potential”

 

  • NC missing opportunity to convert waste to energy, News & Observer, June 26, 2014
  • Money to Burn: How to Capitalize on BioCNG at Your Wastewater Plant, Waste to Worth Conference Proceedings 2015
  • Designing Wastewater Irrigations Systems, Designing Wastewater Irrigation Systems course text, North Carolina State University, rev. 2003-2011
  • Engineering Design Inputs, presented to the Soil Science Society of North Carolina Annual Meeting 2005
  • Distribution Uniformity: Ensuring Maximum Sustainable Site Life and Cost Efficiency, presented to NC AWWA-WEA Annual Conference, 2005
  • The Development of Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse Rules in Virginia, presented to NC AWWA-WEA Spring Conference, March 2007
  • Managing Seasonal Sewer Flows with a Plan Based on Averages, presented to NC AWWA-WEA Annual Conference, 2011
  • Digester Systems for Animal Waste Solids – The Loyd Ray Farms Project, presented to:
    • NC AWWA-WEA Eastern Regional Training Day, August 2011
    • Environmental Virginia Symposium, Getting to Zero Waste: Track 4 Waste-to-Energy, October 2011
    • PENC December Seminar Series, December, 2008
    • North Carolina Irrigation Society Annual Conference, November 2009
  • No Shortage of Gas at the Wilson WWTP!, presented to NC AWWA-WEA Annual Conference, 2011
  • Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park Water Reclamation Project, presented to North Carolina Irrigation Society Annual Conference, November, 2010
  • Water Loss Control & Irrigation Audits, presented to South Carolina APWA Annual Conference, July 2010


Gus maintains his license to practice the Profession of Engineering in several states, as well as his accreditation with the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. Gus is also recognized with licensure by the National Irrigation Association, and as an EPA WaterSense Partner.

  • NC Professional Engineer #27407
  • SC Professional Engineer #25757
  • VA Professional Engineer #43358
  • TN Professional Engineer #114321
  • GA Professional Engineer #35541
  • USDA Technical Service Provider TSP-11-7752
  • Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor #57668
  • EPA WaterSense Partner


Gus continues to serve his interests in natural resource stewardship and the Profession of Engineering through contributions of time, effort, and financial support to several not-for-profit organizations who’s goals are similarly aligned. Gus has served as President of the Professional Engineers of North Carolina (PENC) where he also recently served as the Chair of an Action Group appointed to investigate the regulatory review processes of engineering work in North Carolina.  Gus continues to serve PENC as an advisor on Bioenergy and Renewable Energy issues for the Resource Stewardship Action Group.

Gus currently serves on the NC Energy Policy Council which advises the governor and General Assembly on legislation and rulemaking for domestic energy exploration, environmental protection and economic development.  The Council helps to plan for contingency and emergency plans, addresses present and future needs, and works to move our state and country toward energy independence, through efficiency and conservation of our state resources.  Gus also contributes to the Profession of Engineering as a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at North Carolina State University. Gus has served as a Technical Advisory Committee member for multiple state and federal agencies, and currently serves as a grant reviewer for the Bioenergy Research Initiative, part of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, which works to boost cooperative research, bioenergy production, and new opportunities for the North Carolina’s agriculture and forestry industries. 

 

Gus is also an active supporter of:

  • The Irrigation Association
  • Water Environment Federation
  • American Water Works Association
  • American Council of Engineering Companies
  • NC Sustainable Energy Association