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Tony Hamer

BS ’70 Chemistry, University of Reading
PhD ’74 Inorganic Chemistry, Purdue University
Executive MBA ’86, University of Virginia
(Nominated by: Chemistry)

"The knowledge I gained and developed at Purdue on the surfaces and molecular structures of transition metal compounds enabled me to transition swiftly and effectively into the world of industrial catalysis. The discipline and ability to logically approach problems allowed me to be effective, efficient and confident in my various initiatives. In short it was a great base from which to build and to strive for excellence in everything that I attempted."

Tony Hamer arrived at Purdue as a British economic refugee in 1970, at the invitation of Professor Dick Walton, to work on his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry. His research on transition metal halides and carboxylates lent itself to the use of the new innovative surface analysis technique, ESCA, and resulted in tremendous new insights on the surface environment of molecules, a good funding stream and numerous papers.

When not in the bowels of the chemistry department with John Amy and Bill Baitinger, he could be seen helping found the Purdue Rugby Club, developing his golf game and travelling to explore the USA.

After completing his PhD in less than four years, he launched his career in the chemical industry at Union Carbide as a bench chemist, and followed this with positions of increasing responsibility at Exxon and Olin Corporation. At Union Carbide and Exxon, he was instrumental in the development and commercial implementation of a new process for the production of polyolefins, which today produces more than $60 billion per year of these materials, globally. During this era, he was awarded a number of U.S. and world patents on catalysis and critical process aspects. At Olin Corp, he initiated development work on aliphatic di-isocyanates for the clear coating for cars applications, which are now standard across the global industry.

After 20 years in technology and business positions in the chemical industry, Hamer sought new challenges in the energy industry at Gas Research Institute in Chicago as the senior vice president. In this role, he directed the investment of over $200 million per year in technologies for the exploration, production and distribution of natural gas, and its efficient and environmentally optimized end uses in power generation, natural gas vehicles, residential, commercial and industrial applications. His interests at this period were also in the development of unconventional gas resources including shale where GRI investments in fracking led to the meteoric development of shale gas resources in North America over the last decade.

In the new millennium, Hamer has developed his career as a premier chemical and energy industry consultant focusing on coherent growth strategies, operational improvement and technology/innovation planning for Fortune 500 global companies in North America, Europe, Middle East, South America and China.


  • 1995 - Development and commercialization of fracking technologies for shale gas
  • 1992 - Commercialized aliphatic di-isocyanates for Olin Corporation
  • 1984 - Started Kemya petrochemical company in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia
  • Commercialized linear low density polythene

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