Ron and Jean Hinn
Class of '77 and '76, Petroleum Engineering
With Ron and Jean Hinn, important things seem to come in pairs: two petroleum engineering degrees from TU, two successful careers, two children, and now, two endowed TU Presidential Scholarships bearing their names. Both majored in petroleum engineering. She graduated in 1976 and he in 1977. "We met at a TU Society of Petroleum Engineers student chapter meeting," Ron explains. Jean was up for election as one of the officers of the section, and Ron and his roommates were running the "opposition slate." Her slate won, he recalls. And their relationship and their careers took wing.
Jean began her career with Amoco Production Co., working initially in West Texas as a production engineer. She soon moved to Houston, taking on a reservoir engineer role, focusing on the modeling of Amoco's enhanced recovery pilot projects. In 1980 Jean was promoted to Amoco's District Engineer for the Hastings Area south of Houston, leading a team of over thirty engineers and technologists. Other supervisory roles soon followed including Division Reservoir Engineer and Division Resource Development Manager. In 1994 she was called upon to lead the team which evaluated the feasibility of forming a joint venture with Shell in the Permian Basin. The new venture ultimately became Altura Energy, a company with 1,000 employees -- and the largest oil producer within Texas. When Altura was sold in 2000 to Occidental Oil and Gas -- for $3.6 billion -- Jean was serving as it's Vice President of Operations. It was at this time that Jean opted to be a stay-at-home mother for the couple's two children and to look after her elderly parents.
Ron's career began with Mobil, also in West Texas. Following his marriage to Jean in 1978, he too was transferred to Houston. In 1981 he joined Amoco as a reservoir engineer. Ron's career path has taken him through various engineering and supervisory roles, both within Amoco and Altura. He joined OXY in 2000 at the time of the Altura sale, and currently serves as the Knowledge Management Lead in OXY's worldwide engineering and technical services organization. In this role, he is responsible for enabling technology transfer across the organization as well as overseeing engineering competency development and associated college recruiting.Ron has held many positions in the Society of Petroleum Engineers, including chairman of the 11,000 member Gulf Coast Section. He is a past recipient of the SPE Distinguished Member Award and the SPE Outstanding Young Member Award. Ron has been actively involved in the accreditation of engineering programs across the United States. In 2000 he was chairman of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the first petroleum engineer to serve in that position. The commission oversees the accreditation of over 1,500 engineering programs at 323 institutions across the U.S.
The Hinn Family
The proud parents, who live in Houston, describe their children as bright and excelling in sports. Kristan, 15, is involved in church youth activities, including missions, and has served two years as a student council officer. Kyle, 12, is involved in Boy Scouts and church youth activities and is also a student council officer.
Outside work, Jean says she spends time reading and working extensively with Kristan and Kyle's school, supporting both scholastic and sports endeavors. Ron coaches his children's teams -- soccer, basketball and baseball - teaches adult Sunday school and enjoys spending time with personal finances and investments.
Among their fond memories of TU is the not-so-successful float for Homecoming in 1976 -- a blue and gold derrick with a built-in pump that could simulate a blow-out using water that had been dyed black. "Just prior to entering Skelly stadium with the Homecoming procession, we fired up the pump. It blew 'black-gold' everywhere, ruining all of our crepe paper that had decorated the trailer. By the time we pulled into the stadium, we were out of 'black gold,' and the float was a drenched mess. Needless to say, we did not win one of the parade prizes."
They say their support of TU "reflects our gratitude and pride in and for the petroleum engineering program." The Hinn endowed scholarships, one established in 2000 and the other in 2004, are for students who major in petroleum engineering. They are members of the TU Circle Society.
The Hinns were asked how TU helped them in their careers. Their answer: "While TU provided a solid undergraduate engineering education, it was the introduction to several 'life-lessons' that we recall fondly. This includes the interaction with and appreciation for the diverse international workforce in the oil and gas industry, the importance of good mentors -- faculty who genuinely cared about the students - and lastly, creating an excitement about this business and a desire to continue to learn."