ConocoPhillips/C.J. “Pete” Silas Program in Ethics and Leadership

Event Details

Josie Giles
(404) 385-2299 


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  • Arnold Stancell Arnold Stancell
  • Dr. Arnold F. Stancell Dr. Arnold F. Stancell

The ConocoPhillips/C.J. “Pete” Silas Program in Ethics and Leadership focuses on technical and business decisions that have ethical ramifications. These topics, and related areas in engineering, technology, and ethics, are integrated into the core chemical and biomolecular engineering curriculum and are addressed in an annual public symposium featuring prominent industrialists and ethicists.

The 2012 event features Dr. Arnold F. Stancell, emeritus professor & Turner Servant Leadership Chair in the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech and member of the National Science Board, presenting "BP Oil Tragedy: What Went Wrong and Leadership Challenges."


Dr. Arnold F. Stancell recently completed work on the National Academy of Engineering committee charged with investigating the BP oil spill, a study requested by the U.S. Department of the Interior. President Barack Obama also recently appointed him to the National Science Board of the National Science Foundation.

Stancell joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 1994 as professor of chemical engineering and retired in 2004 as emeritus professor and Turner Servant Leadership Chair. Previously, he had a 31-year career at Mobil Oil, where he started in research and development, secured ten patents, and held senior management positions in plastics manufacturing, corporate planning, marketing and refining, and exploration and production. In 1987, Stancell was appointed vice president of U.S. exploration and production. Then, in 1989, he was named vice president of international exploration and production for Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. He retired from Mobil in 1993 after initiating, negotiating, and launching the now $70 billion Mobil–Qatar joint venture supplying liquefied natural gas to markets worldwide.

In 1970, Stancell’s career at Mobil was interrupted when he accepted an invitation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to join its faculty as a visiting associate professor of chemical engineering. While at MIT, he taught a graduate-level thermodynamics course and continued research on plasma reactions at surfaces that he started at Mobil. David Lam, Stancell’s doctoral student who worked on this research, went on to found Lam Research, a major manufacturer of equipment for plasma etching ultra-fine transistor circuitry into the surface of computer chips, a technique that vastly increases processing speed. Although he was offered tenure at MIT, Stancell decided to return to Mobil.

Stancell graduated magna cum laude in chemical engineering from City College of New York and earned a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from MIT. He is a licensed professional engineer and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He is also the recipient of the Lawrence B. Evans Award in Chemical Engineering Practice given by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He was selected by Georgia Tech students as the Outstanding Chemical Engineering Professor of the Year in 1997 and 2004.

Stancell and his wife, Connie, who is an accomplished artist, live in Greenwich, Connecticut.

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School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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ConocoPhillips, Ethics, Leadership, Mobil–Qatar, National Science Board, Oil spill, Silas
  • Created By: Josie Giles
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jan 9, 2012 - 1:43am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 9:56pm