Robert A. Hermes

Robert A. Hermes

B.S.Ch.E., 1962
Director, Murphy Oil Corp.

Dr. Robert “Bob” Hermes has had a major impact on the global refining industry as a leading consultant for the downstream petroleum industry for more than 30 years.

The accolades started as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, where Hermes received a chemical engineering degree in 1962. He was a member of several honor societies on campus, and received an outstanding student award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He completed a chemical engineering doctorate at the University of Minnesota in 1965, and spent several years at Mobil Oil Corp. before entering the consulting field.

Soon after he joined Purvin & Gertz., which provides technical and other advice to the oil and gas industry, Hermes worked his way up from a consulting position to managing the company’s London office. He then served as company president and CEO from 1987 to 1999, and chairman of Purvin & Gertz from 2000 to 2004.

The Houstonite doubled the consulting company’s staff during his executive tenure and oversaw its expansion into China and other countries. The company’s international reach also allowed him to serve as an advisor on energy policy for the United States, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and more than a dozen other countries.

Since retiring, he has been a board member for Murphy Oil Corp., and for Urban Harvest, a non-profit that uses gardening to strengthen Houston communities.

Hermes is a longstanding supporter of the College of Engineering. His financial and leadership commitment to the McKetta Challenge fund-raising campaign in the 1990s was instrumental to its success. He is a Friend of Alec, and has been an active member of the College’s Engineering Advisory Board since 1998. In 2003, he helped establish the Alumni Endowment Fund Drive for the Department of Chemical Engineering. He and his wife also established a Donor Advised Charitable Gift Fund to benefit the College of Engineering.

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