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Arnold Stancell

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Information about Arnold Stancell

Profile image of Arnold Stancell

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beef Tenderloin
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
Everything comes to he that waiteth, if he worketh while he waited.

Birthplace

Born:
11/16/1936
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
Occupation(s):
Chemical Engineer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Beef Tenderloin
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Europe
Favorite Quote:
Everything comes to he that waiteth, if he worketh while he waited.

Birthplace

Born:
11/16/1936
Birth Location:
New York
See how Arnold Stancell is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Chemical engineer and corporate oil executive Arnold Stancell was born on November 16, 1936 in Harlem, New York to Maria Lucas, a seamstress and Francis Stancell, a musician. He lived with his single mother and was focused on his education throughout his youth. After passing competitive exams to attend Stuyvesant High School, Stancell went on to City College of New York where he graduated magna cum laude with his B.S. degree in chemical engineering in 1958. Stancell was awarded a graduate fellowship from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became the first African American to earn his Ph.D. degree from MIT in chemical engineering in 1962.

After graduation, Stancell worked at Mobil Oil Corporation from 1962 to 1970, researching new chemical and plastic products. During this time, he was awarded eleven patents for new plastics processes and plasma (ionized gas) reactions for new products. In 1970, Stancell took a leave of absence from Mobil Oil to teach at MIT. He started a research program on plasma reactions at surfaces and his student, David Lam, went on to found Lam Research, the preeminent company worldwide in plasma etching of circuits into the surface of silicon chips. In 1971, Stancell declined a tenured professorship position at MIT to return to Mobil Oil. He continued to excel at Mobil, becoming vice president of Mobil Plastics in 1976 and led the commercialization of a new plastic film that revolutionized packaging and replaced cellophane. In 1982 he became vice president of Mobil Europe Marketing and Refining based in London. He then progressed through a number of additional executive positions becoming vice president of oil and natural gas Exploration and Production in 1989 responsible for finding and developing oil and natural gas reserves in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Australia. Stancell initiated, negotiated and launched the now $70 billion liquefied natural gas production joint venture between Mobil and Qatar which sells natural gas to markets worldwide.

In 1993, he retired from Mobil after a thirty-one year career and a year later accepted George Institute of Tecnology’s invitation to join its faculty as professor of chemical engineering. He became the Turner Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in 2001, and in 2004 retired as Professor Emeritus. After the 2010 British Petroleum (BP) oil spill, Stancell consulted and advised the United States Department of Interior. In 2011, he was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Science Board.

Stancell has received numerous recognitions including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers National Award for Chemical Engineering Practice, Career Achievement Award of City College of New York, Professional Achievement Award of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers and in 1992 was named Black Engineer of the Year. In 1997, he was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering and in 2009, was elected to its Board. In 2010, he was appointed to the Governing Board of the National Research Council. He has also received numerous outstanding teacher awards. Arnold Stancell is married to artist Constance Newton Stancell.

Arnold Stancell was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 14, 2012.

See how Arnold Stancell is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Arnold Stancell's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about meeting his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell describes his earliest childhood memory and his childhood home
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell describes the sights, sounds and smells of his growing up
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Arnold Stancell talks about his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his involvement in the church and youth organizations
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his junior high school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his high school experience and his decision to go to City College of New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at City College of New York
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about social baggage
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about living in Harlem during the 1950s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his interest in polymers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his first professional job at Exxon and his decision to pursue a doctoral degree
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his experience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his mentorship at MIT
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell describes his dissertation on improving crude oil recovery
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the poetic qualities of thermodynamics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work with plasma
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about his professional relationship with NOBCChE and how he met his wife
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his marriages
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his work at Mobil Chemical, part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell considers the environmental impact of his work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his progressive roles at Mobil, part 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about David Lam
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about his international work with Mobil
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about Mobil's drilling activities and drill technology
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about the Quatar Deal
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell talks about the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell talks about his retirement from Mobil
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Arnold Stancell talks about the BP Oil Spill
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Arnold Stancell talks about his perceptions of U.S. education
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Arnold Stancell talks about his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Arnold Stancell reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Arnold Stancell talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Arnold Stancell talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Arnold Stancell describes his photos