Distinguished Engineering Graduates 2012

Christine E. Schmidt

Christine Schmidt headshot

B.S. ChE 1988
Professor of Materials Engineering in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering

Christine E. Schmidt is the B.F. Goodrich Endowed Professor of Materials Engineering in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Christine received her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She conducted postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow, joining The University of Texas at Austin faculty in 1996.

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Hernán de Solminihac

Hernán de Solminihac

M.S. CE 1986, Ph.D. CE 1992
Minister of Mining, Government of Chile

Hernán de Solminihac is the minister of mining for the government of Chile. Previously he was minister of public works of Chile.

Minister de Solminihac obtained his civil engineer professional title at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in March of 1982, and his M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (1992) in civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He was dean of the School of Engineering and professor of the College of Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

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W. Matt Ralls

Matt Ralls

B.S. ME 1971, MBA 1973
President, CEO and Director, Rowan Companies Inc.

Matt Ralls was elected president, chief executive officer and a director of Rowan Companies Inc., an international offshore drilling company, in January 2009. Matt was chief operating officer of GlobalSantaFe Corp. from 2005 until it was acquired by Transocean Corp. in November 2007. Prior to that, he served as senior vice president and chief financial officer of GlobalSantaFe and its predecessor Global Marine, which he joined in 1997. Matt also held senior financial positions at two publicly held oil and gas companies from 1990–97, and was in commercial banking from 1973–90.

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Shahid Ullah

Shahid Ullah

B.S. PE 1982
Founder of Energy Eagles

Shahid Ullah is the founder of Energy Eagles, an advisory and oil and gas investment firm in Houston. With more than 32 years of experience in the international energy sector, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, exploration and production, and the service sector, Ullah has held senior management positions with many multinational companies in the United States and Europe.

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Kenneth C. (K.C.) Williams

K.C. Williams

B.S. ASE 1972
Retired, Vice President
Engineering, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Co.

K.C. Williams earned a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in 1972, and returned to live in Austin after a 34-year career in the oil industry that spanned 40 countries on six continents. He and his wife, Theresa, remain engaged with the university through faculty excellence programs, the Chancellor's Council and support for young engineers — such as being the initial sponsors of the Longhorn Rocket Association.

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OYEG Honorees

An "Outstanding Young Engineering Graduate" (OYEG) is a graduate who is under the age of 40 at the time of selection. Learn more about OYEG honorees.