On October 21, Frank Kelly P’24 delivered a presentation to Pennington’s Applied Science students about using STEM skills to solve global problems in the energy industry.
Kelly enjoyed a thirty-year career as a chemical engineer in the energy sector, working largely in technology deployment and research and development. He earned a B.S. at the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, both in chemical engineering. Kelly’s long career with ExxonMobil took him from a research lab in New Jersey, to a refinery in Australia, to engineering and business headquarters in a suburb of Washington D.C., and finally back to New Jersey. Along the way, Kelly had the opportunity to travel to 14 countries across five continents.
In his presentation, Kelly shared stories about applying STEM skills such as optimization mathematics in projects ranging from analyzing molecules in crude oil to delivering gasoline to a network of gas stations.
Kelly stressed that the energy sector holds vast and varied opportunities for students interested in STEM fields. “If there’s one thing I want you to leave this session with, it’s the recognition of how mind-bogglingly immense the energy industry is,” he said.
Kelly added that his favorite part of his STEM career was developing technology to solve real-world problems. He encouraged students to take note of the kinds of problems they enjoy solving.
“There are enormous challenges coming up ahead in responsibly supplying energy to the world, with the climate change situation. It’s going to require all kinds of STEM skills to solve,” said Kelly. “I’m glad you’re all interested in applied science because the world needs more people like you.”