Carnegie Mellon University

Chemical Engineering Graduate Dr. Soni Oyekan receives the Percy L. Julian Award

Dr. Soni Oyekan has received the 2009 Percy L. Julian Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. The Percy L. Julian Award is the most prestigious award presented by NOBCChE. The award recognizes and honors a recipient's scientific contributions and achievements, dedication to research, commitment to the educational development of others and passion for the chemistry profession. Dr. Oyekan was specifically recognized for his contributions in oil refining and chemical engineering. He has 10 patents and numerous publications on a variety of topics in petroleum refining and catalysis.

Dr. Soni Oyekan has over 30 years experience in the field of petroleum refining and associated technologies. Soni came to the United States in 1966 from Nigeria and earned his B.S. degree from Yale University in 1970. He subsequently went on to garner M.S. (1972) and Ph.D. degrees (1977) from Carnegie Mellon University in chemical engineering. Soni is the Reforming and Isomerization Technologist of Marathon Oil Company. Soni's contributions in the chemical engineering profession are notable due to his contributions with respect to the efficient use of reactor engineering and catalysis in the processing of crude oil to meet consumer demands for transportation fuel, heating oil, propane and butane gases and for his extensive volunteer and leadership roles in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Soni has held a variety of positions in AIChE. The positions include chair of Fuels and Petrochemicals Division (F&PD), chair of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) and he served as a director of the AIChE Executive Board. He is a member of the AIChE Foundation Board of Trustees and a Fellow of the AIChE. Soni has contributed over the years in technical discussions on petroleum refining at the annual National Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA) Q&A conferences. He has been honored for his academic achievements and research in petroleum refining. Soni is a member of Sigma Xi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. He is a member of the Yale Manuscript Society. He was honored by AIChE's Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) with MAC's Distinguished Service award in 2000. The Fuels and Petrochemicals Division honored him with its Distinguished Service award in 2002. He is listed in the 2000 13th edition of Who's Who Amongst African Americans. Dr Soni Oyekan was named an Eminent Black Chemical Engineer by MAC at the AIChE Centennial Meeting in 2008. He is the recipient of the AIChE MAC 2008 William W. Grimes award for excellent contributions in chemical engineering and mentoring of under represented minority groups.