About Us

Ara Barsamian

The key to a successful project is EXPERIENCE; this helps avoid problems seen before. Ara Barsamian is the President and CEO of RAI, and has worked and consulted for major oil companies, such as Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, Aramco, and PDVSA, in the area of refinery offsites automation, and gasoline and diesel blending automation. He has more than 45 years experience with blending, offsites automation, and project management. He is a member of ASTM, ISA, IBIA, and AIChE.

All of RAI’s current consulting work is in the area of blending, and tank farm automation. Some of our recent blending consulting clients in the last couple of years are:


  • Colonial Pipeline
  • ExxonMobil Research & Engineering
  • JX Nippon Energy
  • Petrobras Pasadena Refinery
  • BP Cherry Point
  • Motiva Port Arthur
  • Motor Oil Hellas Corinth
  • NIS Pancevo
  • Petro-Canada Montreal
  • Petro-Canada Edmonton
  • Agip/Q8 Raffineria di Milazzo
  • Sasol Secunda
  • Suncor Sarnia

Ara started in the 1960’s with Direct Digital Control and Supervisory Advanced Process Control of refinery process units, and among the first gasoline blending control and on-line LP optimization on IBM 1800 computer systems. Ara has been involved in the first comprehensive R&D for Oil Movements automation, which resulted in the first implementation of oil movement automation computer systems using CDC-1700 and IBM 370 computers.

In the 1970’s and 1980’s he worked with the major instrumentation vendors in the development and field testing of, at that time, revolutionary Distributed Control Systems using microprocessors, from Honeywell TDC-2000 and 3000 to Foxboro Spectrum and Yokogawa Centum. In the 1990’s, he pioneered the use of neural networks for “quick-and-dirty” process modeling, particularly for inferential property estimation, use of Genetic Algorithms for non-linear blend optimizers, and Monte Carlo simulations for refinery/terminal tank farm tankage sizing optimization.

Ara has worked extensively in the development and implementation of a variety of on-line blending analyzers – particularly NIR types – and the associated shelters, sampling systems and sample recovery systems, specifically for gasoline and diesel blending and in-line blend certification. He participates in various standards and recommended practices bodies such as ISA and ASTM.

Lee Eliseo Curcio

Lee is a Chemical Engineer ,Vice president and CFO at RAI. As Engineer he has worked with RAI for the past four years in the areas of gasoline, diesel, bunker blending, ethanol nonlinear property correlations and octane boost, and naphtha and butane blending. He also teaches the gasoline, diesel, bunker blending optimization section of RAI’s Blending public course. As Manager he is responsible of growing the business, acquiring new customers, managing the company cash flow. He worked previously at Catholic University of Louvain in advanced modeling and optimization. He holds BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering with high honors from University of Calabria, Italy.



Wael Kadhim Alazzawi

Wael is Director of Business Development for Middle East at RAI. He is a graduate Mechanical Engineer with a BS degree (2002) from Basra University .He has over 16 years of experience in Oil & Gas, and Power Plants projects in Iraq, serving as Project Manager, EPC Procurement Manager, and Site Construction Manager.



As a specialist in Business development in Oil and Gas projects in Middle East, he is involved in:

  • Advising and Consulting role in Oil Refineries, fuel Terminals, and fuel treatment plants.
  • Advising in Blending systems for Gasoline, Diesel, Bunker Blending, and Crude Oil Blending.
  • Advising clients with better solutions to upgrade and design oil refineries blending systems, and fuel terminals blending systems using the latest, modern technology and know-how. For example, in Oil Refineries used the latest technology in control system units, Automation Equipment and Optimizers with advanced operation software.
  • Advising clients with better and economic solutions to treat and Convert Naphtha to good quality Gasoline, treat and convert Heavy Oil to good quality marine and powerplant Fuel Oil and Diesel.
  • Advising clients with best economic solutions to increase the fuel Octane and Cetane Numbers, Reduce the Octane giveaway and RVP giveaway for Gasoline during the transportation and Blending.
  • Arranging and facilitating advanced training courses in Fuel Blending and smart Blending Optimizer & Materials for oil refineries and fuel terminals employees.

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Contact Info

Refinery Automation Institute, LLC

6 Leslie Court Morristown,
New Jersey 07960 USA
Phone: +1-973-644-2270
eFAX: +1-973-206-2256