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Charlie Cameron

BS ‘77, Chemistry, University of Michigan
PhD ‘83, Inorganic Chemistry, Purdue University
(Nominated by: Nominated by Chemistry)

"Former Purdue Chemistry professor) Dick Walton’s guidance on planning research and writing articles and my PhD thesis were the most impactful lessons that I learned, and I have practiced them ever since graduation. Life after a PhD is much about organizational and planning skills and communicating in a concise way."

Based in Europe for almost 30 years, Dr. Charlie Cameron’s gateway into the chemistry side of the oil business came through Purdue.

Originally from Detroit, Cameron came to West Lafayette as a Chemistry PhD student before his first international experience as a postdoctoral researcher at Queen’s University in Canada. 

Cameron quickly obtained a National Science Foundation fellowship with France’s CNRS, Europe’s largest fundamental science agency, to research alkaline activation. He stayed in France for 23 years as part of the French Institute of Petroleum where he worked for Axens, the catalyst and technology licensing business for IFP.

In 2009, Cameron moved to London to become BP’s head of technology for Downstream, BP’s product and service-led division focused on fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals.

"Moving to BP was a major career change, and an opportunity to impact an entire company of global proportions,” Cameron said. “I inherited a team that needed motivation and needed to communicate the importance of what they did for the company. The first three years were hugely difficult, in part due to the Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Today, five years later, BP’s Downstream Technology is considered to be the base that underpins our growth agenda. The team is highly motivated and engaged. I am proud of what we have accomplished together."

Career Highlights

  • 2011-2013 Vice-President of both refining and then fuels and lubricants technologies while maintaining current role
  • 2009 Joined BP as Head of Technology for Downstream in the U.K.
  • 1993 Became an R&D project manager for olefins production in France
  • 1983 Started Post-Doc at Queen’s University, Canada

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