Robert Young

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Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering Practice


  • 1988, Doctoral Degree, Chemical Engineering, University of California - Santa Barbara
  • 1985, Master's Degree, Chemical Engineering, University of California - Santa Barbara
  • 1983, Bachelor's Degree, Chemical Engineering, University of Texas - Austin


After 28 years working in the chemicals and refining industry, I joined the University of Southern California as an Associate Professor of Engineering Practice in the Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Material Science.

Most recently, I worked for ExxonMobil refining and polymers manufacturing operations in both engineering and managerial roles. Early in my career, I specialized in process control, automation, and optimization of polymerization processes, crude distillation, hydrocracker and hydroprocessing operations and other refining operations usually focused on reactor control. Throughout my career, I was active in process safety and risk management. Later in my career, after managing the refinery Quality Assurance Laboratory, I focused my efforts on process safety and risk management. I worked as the senior process safety engineer and managed the refinery Safety and Security Department. Prior to working at ExxonMobil, I worked for a process control subsidiary of Honeywell, ICOTRON, and, while a student at the University of Texas, co-oped at GAF Corporation.

Since joining USC, I have taught the Chemical Engineering Process Control, Computer-Aided Design, Process Plant Design, and the Undergraduate Chemical Engineering Laboratory courses. While at ExxonMobil, I taught several internal courses including process control, incident investigation, and process safety risk management. While at University of California Santa Barbara, I lectured for several courses, including real-time computing and the undergraduate laboratory course.

During my career at ExxonMobil, I received a Chemicals President’s Award and three Refining Outstanding Contributions to Excellence awards. I co-invented Raman Analysis System for Olefin Polymerization Control.

I am an active AIChE member and have served as the CAST Area Director and Programming Coordinator. I am also a member of IEEE and SIAM and a long-time participant of the Texas Wisconsin California Control Consortium (TWCCC). While at ExxonMobil I served as a member of the WSPA Process Safety Group and on the advisory group for the development of new process safety regulation for the State of California.

Research Summary

I have always had a passion for process control and modeling especially applied to chemical reactors. Understanding the behavior of reaction processes is one experience that broadened my interest into process design and process safety. As a member of the faculty at USC, I am able to couple my passion for engineering with the personal joy I get from teaching and learning. I strive to enhance and anchor my students’ educational experience by using my industrial experience.

  • Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

  • HED 204
  • Hedco Pertroleum and Chemical Engineering Building
  • 925 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 0

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-0677


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