Science & Engineering: Serving in the 21st Century

Event Date: April 14, 2011
Speaker: Mr. Michael J. Graff (MS 1979)
Speaker Affiliation: President/CEO

American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc.

Air Liquide
Sponsor: Centennial Seminar
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Location: FRNY G140


In the 1940's the world's young people heeded the call to serve their country. The 60's saw its generation serve as ushers of peace and volunteerism. The 80's brought unprecedented financial and technological opportunity. Now in dawn of the 21st century, the opportunity to serve the world and advance the causes of mankind are ever more present in the way in which we will think and innovate. Today's engineers and scientists will play a pivotal role in what the world will look like and how those in it will live for the next 100 years.


Mike Graff joined Air Liquide in April 2007. He is a member of Air Liquide Group's Executive Committee, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Liquide USA LLC, Chairman of the Board of Air Liquide Canada, and heads Air Liquide's Industrial Gas businesses in North America, South America, and the Caribbean from its Houston, Texas headquarters.

Graff is a senior executive with 30 years of experience in the energy, chemicals and polymers industries across the Americas, Asia and Europe. He has served as president or CEO of several global chemical and polymer businesses and began his career with Amoco and BP, plc. His experience includes executive leadership roles and expertise in a variety of fields including industrial gases, basic and specialty chemicals, polyesters, the marketing and refining of transportation fuels, lube oils, hydrogen, business development, engineering and construction.

Graff serves on the Board of Directors of the Lubrizol Corporation, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the Executive Committee of the Society for Chemical Industries (SCI), and is Chairman of the Medals Committee for SCI. He has served as a board member of several international chemical and polymer companies, the American Plastics Council, and the executive committee and the New Directions industrial advisory board for the department of chemical engineering at Purdue University.

Graff holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a master's degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University. He studied business at the University of Chicago and completed executive management programs at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Cambridge, and the Stanford University Law School.

Along with his family, Graff participates in a variety of community service programs and activities. He is a strong advocate for youth sports and acts as a volunteer and advisor for a number of community and school athletic programs.