Coloquio 2022 – AI RAI

Ph.D. José G. Santiesteban Polanco

Member and Councilor of the US National Academy of Engineering

Jose G. Santiesteban Polanco was born in Parral, Chihuahua, México. He received a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Chihuahua (1979, summa cum laude), an M.S. degree in Chemical Engineering (1981) from the Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Madero, and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Lehigh University (1989), Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.

Dr. Santiesteban recently retired after a 32-year career at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. He served in several technical leadership and management assignments. In his last assignment, his responsibilities as Strategy Manager included overall coordination of strategy, research guidance and valuation, and ensuring the robustness of the R&D portfolio and technologies to ensure an effective energy transition.

Dr. Santiesteban led and made significant technical contributions to the discovery, development, and commercialization of various nano-engineered catalysts for producing clean fuels, high-performing lubricants, and petrochemicals. He led the commercialization of more than 20 novel catalyst technologies that have been deployed worldwide within ExxonMobil and in 3rd parties’ refineries and petrochemicals plants.

Dr. Santiesteban was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) of the USA in 2016 for the development and commercialization of catalytic systems for petrochemical manufacture and cleaner fuels production. He was recently elected as a Councillor of the NAE and currently serves as a member of the NAE Chemical Engineering Search Committee (ex officio) and the Special Nominating Committee on International Member Diversity, the National Academies Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, and the Committee on Chemical Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities in The 21st Century. Previously, he served as a member of the NAE 2018 Nominating Committee, and the National Academies’ Deployment and Scale-Up of Technologies for Deep Decarbonization: A Workshop.

Dr. Santiesteban is an inventor or co-inventor on more than 85 U.S. patents, editor of two special catalysis journals, and co-author of over 20 referenced publications. He has been a plenary and invited speaker at numerous national and international conferences in catalysis and energy transition and has served on the advisory board of various academic and research institutions around the world. In 2018, he was elected to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST). He received the 2018 Innovator Award from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). In 2022, he received recognition by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) President Dr. Marcia McNutt, for service as a member of the Committee on Chemical Engineering: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century. He received multiple technical and leadership awards within ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company and Mobil Research and Development Company. He is a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the North American Catalysis Society. In addition to his scientific, engineering, and leadership contributions, Dr. Santiesteban is a proactive mentor focused on developing the next generation of industrial researchers, engineers, and technical leaders. He is a strong champion for junior researchers, particularly promoting diversity and women in science and engineering.

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