B.S. Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1983M.S. Management, Stanford University, 2001

Ron Unnerstall retired in 2017 after a distinguished career in the Petroleum Refining and Marketing industry spanning over 34 years with Amoco and then BP plc. His career was predominately in Refining and Marketing, including 24 years in refineries, spanning four locations within the US, and other executive assignments in Chicago, London and Shanghai.  He holds a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University and a M.S. in Management from Stanford University.

Ron held a number of senior executive leadership roles during his career. In 2006, he was appointed the Refinery Manager for BP’s Toledo Refinery (in Ohio), and later as CEO of a newly formed Joint Venture between BP and Husky Energy. In 2010, he was appointed CEO of BP’s Global Acetyls business based in China. In 2012, he transferred back to the US to lead BP’s global Refining Technology & Engineering group. In 2015, he also assumed the role of BP Group Head of Engineering for BP.

Ron was awarded the Purdue Outstanding Chemical Engineer Award in 2013, and the Purdue Distinguished Alumnus award from the School of Engineering in 2016.

Ron was the  2019 Halsey Professor. The Halsey professorship recognizes an individual of broad and practical experience making an impact on the education, scholarship and professional development of students in an academic institution of the highest quality and exceptional traditions. These one or two semester appointment by the University Board of Visitors has been endowed by a generous grant from the James River Corporation in honor of one of its founders upon his retirement.

The Halsey Professor has principal responsibility for a limited-enrollment, School-wide, senior-level course that focuses on themes of human values and practices in technical business and industry. It is to complement the current educational programs and personal growth experiences of professional level engineering students.

Courses Taught

  • CHE 4561 Chemical Process Safety Spring