Poehl Named Director of Process Industry Practices Consortium

Headshot of Michael PoehlProfessor Michael Poehl has been named director of Process Industry Practices (PIP), a consortium of process industry owners and engineering construction contractors at The University of Texas at Austin.  PIP, a sub-unit of the Construction Industry Institute (CII), harmonizes member companies’ internal standards for design, procurement, construction, and maintenance into a set of industry-wide practices for voluntary use.

Poehl’s appointment is effective April 1 and will be based at UT Austin’s J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

“Michael is an outstanding instructor, and his courses are very popular,” said Tom Truskett, chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. “His industrial experience gives him great credibility and he is very approachable. He’s also been a great mentor for our department, helping with ABET accreditation and management practices. We are excited for him as he pursues this new opportunity but he will be greatly missed.”

Poehl has been a faculty member in the department for 11 years, teaching courses such as Plant Design and Economics, Process and Projects Lab, and Unit Operations I.  He has been recognized as one of the most valued instructors in the department having received the biennial Schechter-Wissler-Stice TEAChE Award in December 2011.

His practical approach to teaching stemmed from a 28-year career in the petrochemical industry.  Poehl worked his way up from chief process engineer to vice president of the Western Business Unit in 25  years with Amoco before acting as a works general manager for BP.  With BP, he managed more than 1,000 employees and produced more than $1 billion in revenue for the company’s South Houston area.  He earned an MBA from the University of Houston in 1986 and a B.S. in chemical engineering from UT Austin in 1974.

“The role of PIP director will allow me to leverage my experience in industry-it’s a good match for my skillset,” Poehl said.  “It will be a big change to not interact with students on a daily basis, but many of the students I have taught work for member companies of PIP so our relationship will continue in a new capacity.”

Poehl hopes to return to teaching in the future, but will focus exclusively on his new leadership position in the near term.

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