Robert F. Smith
Robert F. Smith ‘85 is an engineer, innovator, investor and active philanthropist. He is also the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners a leading global investment firm that specializes... Read more about Robert F. Smith
When Weikart completed his work at Cornell University in 1941, he packed all of his things from Baker Lab and Olin Hall and returned to his home in Baltimore, Maryland. The next day, he would leave his home in Maryland to move to Elizabeth, New Jersey to begin his career at Esso (now ExxonMobil).
Weikart's first assignment as Esso was on butane dehyrdogenation to butadiene in a small pilot plant. He calls this, "a hot project because the East Indies rubber plantations were no longer ours."
In January of 1943, Weikart was assigned as a shift supervisor on a demonstration plant. He and his team learned enough so that the full scale units came "on-stream" smoothly.
"Cornell ChemE provided me the knowledge and experience in ChE practice, adding a feel for human relations. This was needed to grow in development and operation of a new processes. It was subtle but I got a feel my ChE professors encouraged us to use our imaginations."