Ronald W. Haddock

For his record of outstanding contributions and leadership in the petroleum industry, and for his social awareness and community service, the Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award to Ronald W. Haddock.

President and Chief Executive Officer, FINA Inc.
BSME '63

Haddock bust

On being a student

When I transferred to Purdue from Evansville College, I was married and had a child. My wife worked at Arth's drugstore at night and stayed at home with our daughter during the day. I went to school days and was the babysitter at night.

My biggest challenge was survival. In addition to working at Duncan Electric as a co-op, I worked in the student union waiting on tables. On weekends I played trumpet in a dance band in southern Illinois, where I had lived in small towns growing up.

One of the people at Purdue I recall most clearly was Dave Clark, an ME professor in thermodynamics and heat transfer. I also remember Professor Walt Bergren, the faculty adviser for ME's co-op program. What I admired in both of them was that they showed a strong personal interest in me and all their students, especially students who were dedicated to getting the kind of educational experience Purdue had to offer.


The quality of analytical thinking, the discipline of the academic requirements at Purdue, the quality of the staff and students, were all outstanding. At that time I had nothing but good things to say about Purdue, and that's still true.

Haddock with his family

On career and family

The things that were important to me at Purdue are the same things that are important to me now. One of those is ethics. I still recall an engineering ethics class taught by Professor Clark. Whenever problems have appeared in my business career, I've remembered the principles of that course, and they have always been valuable.

I've always placed a high value on the family. You don't become CEO of a company without tremendous sacrifices imposed on your family. If you can keep your family together as the sacrifices are being made and the burden is being felt, that's both a very good feeling and a tribute to the family.

My wife and I have become very involved in community work and universities. I think Purdue helped me develop a desire to be active in the community and to use my leadership skills to make a contribution to academic institutions and other aspects of community life.

On the university's role

It is important that we broaden the university focus to include the international arena. With everything going on in world-the unification of Europe, the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, the developments in the Middle East-the international aspects of business, engineering and the economy are growing exponentially. The more a university can do to get students to think in an international framework, the more successful its students will be.


Became president and CEO of petroleum company FINA Inc. Has improved FINA's sales, net earnings, and net revenues to record levels. Instrumental in establishing environmental improvement strategies for petroleum and plastics industries.
Joined FINA as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Improved efficiency of operations to point that company reached record net earnings in 1988.
Promoted to vice president and director of Esso Eastern Inc. Part of three-person team overseeing Exxon's Far East operations, 10,000 employees, and $14 billion annual revenues. Directly responsible for affiliates in Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Japan.
Executive assistant to chairman of Exxon Corp.
Vice president for refining, Exxon USA. Responsible for management and operations of Exxon USA's five refineries and two plants, 9,000 employees, and $2 billion annual operating costs.
Corporate planning manager of Exxon USA.
Named operations manager and refinery manager of Baytown, Texas, refinery, nation's largest. Directed process and mechanical operations and completed 250,000-barrel-per-day expansion project.
Promoted to planning manager at Exxon USA Headquarters. Responsible for salary budgets, labor relations plans, public affairs, research program coordination.
Promoted to administrative manager of Refining Department.
Served with Exxon Corp. in Baton Rouge refinery in various technical staff and supervisory assignments.

BSME '63, Purdue.