Mentzer endows process safety scholarship at Texas A&M

Photo of Dr. Ray A. MentzerA process safety expert will endow a scholarship for chemical engineering students at Texas A&M University.

The Dr. Ray A. Mentzer Scholarship, to be established with a $30,000 contribution through the Texas A&M Foundation, will be awarded to students with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average who pursue a process safety certificate. Exxon Mobil Corp. matching funds will help complete the gift.

"Chemical process safety is a critical area of education for all our students, and the safety certificate program helps develop the next generation of safety professionals for the chemical process and energy industries. We thank Dr. Mentzer for his leadership in this area and for his generous contribution to Aggie chemical engineers," said Dr. Michael V. Pishko, chemical engineering department head and Charles D. Holland '53 Professor.

Now retired from Exxon Mobil, Mentzer (above left) is a lecturer with the department, teaches courses related to process safety engineering and advises a number of graduate students.

"Teaching at Texas A&M is an opportunity to 'give back' by spending quality time with both undergraduate and graduate students, while sharing my industry experience. Endowing this scholarship serves a similar objective by financially helping students pursue their educational goals in this important area of process safety. It also continues a family commitment to Texas A&M that spans from the Class of 1922 to 2016, with a long list of Aggies in the family from my wife's grandfather through our son and daughter," Mentzer said.

Mentzer also conducts research for the Mary Kay O'Connor Process Safety Center, part of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, and serves as the center's representative for the interdisciplinary Energy Engineering Institute at Texas A&M. His studies relate to various aspects of process safety including process safety metrics, security considerations of inherently safer technologies, and fire and consequence modeling of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Mentzer completed his undergraduate career at the University of Illinois in 1974 and earned his master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Purdue University in 1976 and 1980, respectively.

He joined Exxon Production Research Co. in 1980 as a research engineer. After four years he transferred to the Eastern Production Division of Exxon Co. USA (EUSA) to serve operating units in technical, planning and supervisory assignments within the engineering and environmental/regulatory disciplines.

Mentzer became an adviser for EUSA's Houston Public Affairs Department in 1993 and then was named compliance manager for the U.S. production organization. In 2000 he was appointed environmental and safety manager in London for Exxon Mobil's Europe and African production affiliates.

He returned to Houston in 2004 as the LNG regulatory manager for ExxonMobil Development Co. with responsibility for the permitting of several LNG terminals. He became manager of EMDC's Safety, Health and Environment organization three years later and retired in 2008, immediately joining the Texas A&M faculty.

During his 28-year career with Exxon Mobil, Mentzer developed and taught technical and managerial training courses. He served on numerous domestic and international industry committees, and was chair of the technical committee of the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas in Washington, D.C.

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises major gifts and manages endowments for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University.

By Exa York and Ryan Garcia