David Fortsch, Sr. Director of Milling Business Operations and Development

David Fortsch, Sr. Director of Milling Business Operations and Development

Bridge Gap Engineering continues to build close relationships with customers by providing optimum technical and commercial solutions through its experienced and dedicated personnel.


Mr. Fortsch is one of the foremost milling experts in the world.  He is an accomplished chemical engineer with more than 25 years of international/domestic experience with Process Equipment Design, Project Execution & Sales for the Cement/Minerals Industries.  His expertise include: continuous process improvement techniques; collaboration with colleagues and training strengths that deliver solutions to technical and commercial challenges.  Mr. Fortsch is an energetic leader who consistently meets commitments to internal and external customers with integrity.


Chemical Engineering, B.S.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Previous Professional Experience

Department Manager, Process Design      2008 – 2017

Produced net positive cash flow of more than 10% for Process Design Department during tenure of managing up to 14 Process Engineers with a budget of $1.3MM per year. Set group direction, collaborated with outside departments both locally and globally to exceed company top performance indicators.

  • Acted as key member of engineering team that reduced cost of Vertical Roller Mill plant by $2.3MM (+10%) through improved engineering layout and equipment design.
  • Devised and implemented Process Engineering new hire training program which was utilized in global design center, reducing training time by 50%.
  • Co-authored and generated patent pending technology that was developed and industrially tested on a Vertical Roller Mill installation, improving capacity of existing machine by 8% and saving 10% in energy with a potential $3MM increase to bottom line for a 1MM ton per year cement plant.
  • Assisted in negotiations for $33MM project in Brazil, providing innovative approach to product quality assessment.
  • Provided final technical approval of all key process performance indicators for projects sold in OEM’s US office, ensuring process guarantees were met or exceeded.
  • Acted as key member in design of new Vertical Roller Mill for cement raw material grinding used as global standard, maintaining industry innovative leadership in milling technology with highest capacity, lowest power consumption technology.
  • Worked globally with design centers in India and Denmark, aligning practices to provide competitive and aligned offerings.
  • Developed and implemented plan using off-shore resources, reducing Process Engineering costs by 20 – 30%.
  • Patent-pending co-author for processing Supplementary Cementitious Material as alternate to standard clinker processing materials which could reduce raw material costs and reduce carbon footprint of a typical cement plant.

 Manager of Milling Technology – Senior Process Engineer             1998 – 2008

Oversaw global milling process design rules for vertical roller mills (VRMs) resulting in improving cement VRM market share to 60% for the North and South American cement markets.

  • Developed and utilized R&D pilot VRM to commercial correlation, improving accuracy of offerings and reducing equipment costs to clients by +20%.
  • Designed new cement VRM separator that extended wear life by more than 100% and reduced power consumption by 50%.
  • Provided expertise in raw material, slag and mixed cement grinding for both ball and vertical milling applications.
  • Wrote and published several milling and pyro processing related papers improving branding of expertise in the cement and minerals industry.
  • Presented milling and pyro processing cement plant related papers to as many as 900+ attendees at a single conference in the US, Central, and South America as well as South East Asia.
  • Designed and developed flash dryer design for granulated blast furnace slag drying which reduced capital and installation cost of typical installation by $1.5MM.

Process Design Engineer         1996 – 1998

Developed process flow diagrams and predicted key performance guarantees for operations based on raw materials and local conditions. Worked with customers to develop process equipment sizing to minimize operational and capital costs. Worked cross-functionally with other groups to incorporate customer needs with optimum company offering.

Commissioning Engineer        1991 – 1996

Worldwide experience in startup, commissioning, troubleshooting, and audit services in cement and mineral plants to meet company performance guarantees and develop customer relationships first hand. Visited more than 25 plants in 11 countries gaining knowledge and meeting or exceeding target performance indicators.

Published Works and Presentations

  •  Ball Charge Loading – Impact on Power Consumption and Quality, 2006 IEEE-IAS / PCA 48th Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 2006 –SECOND PLACE AWARD
  • Modern Slag Grinding, World Cement, September 2005
  • Wear Impacts in Slag Grinding in Various Grinding Technologies, 2005 IEEE-IAS / PCA 47th Cement Industry Technical Conference, May 2005
  • The Effects of Excess Sulfur on Clinker Properties, 2004 IEEE-IAS / PCA – 46th Cement Industry Technical Conference, April 2004
  • Portland Cement Association – Milling Technology Courses 1999 – 2002
  • Kiln system modifications and operation at Refractarios Basicos, World Cement, October 1995, pp 42 – 45 (David Fortsch, Ing. Jenaro Martinez, Diana Smith)


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