Chemical Engineering Alumni
1. Chemical Engineering Outstanding Engineering Alumni
Just before Glenn Brown’s freshman year, the G.I. Bill was implemented, and many war veterans took advantage of it. The University received an overabundance of applications, and many freshmen, like Glenn, had to make a special sacrifice. He explains, "I was told that if I wanted to attend Penn State I had to spend my first year at Edinboro College. I had never even heard of it!"
Glenn returned to University Park his sophomore year and graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
That year, the Jeannette, PA, native started an assistantship at Case Western University and decided to attend evening classes. He earned his master’s and Ph.D. in chemical engineering in 1954 and 1958, respectively.
Glenn spent 33 years with the Standard Oil Company (now BP America), serving in several capacities from research and development to info technology.
In 1958, he relocated to Standard Oil’s Lima, OH, location to learn the management of refining chemicals. Five years later, Glenn moved back to Standard Oil’s Cleveland office. Throughout the next decade, he traveled to Alaska to work on funding for the pipeline. The company promoted him to vice president of research and later vice president of technology, research and development, planning and alternate energy.
He retired in 1986 as senior vice president and chief technology officer. But, he explains, his retirement was short-lived, "I retired on June 30, and the very next day I started as director of strategic planning at Case Western Reserve University."
In 1996, Glenn was appointed by Ohio’s governor as the state’s first science and technology adviser. He was asked to remain in the position by the following administration, helping economic development of the state.
Today Glenn serves as president of the Generation Foundation, which collaborates with private and corporate foundations and individuals to fund the economic drivers that can help restore the economic vitality of northeast Ohio.
"My Penn State education helped me to understand how valuable engineering is to the world’s economy and to be comfortable in a technological field. That was very important, especially in the oil business," Glenn notes.
He resides in Chagrin Falls, OH, with his wife, Jeanette. He has two adult children, Eric (’81 EMS) and Robyn, and three grandchildren.
Written in 2010, Top of page