Engineering alumnus honored by ExxonMobil for analytics work

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State College of Engineering and Schreyer Scholar alumnus George Khoury was named "Analytics Influencer of the Year" by ExxonMobil at the company's Annual Analytics Day on Feb. 15.

Khoury, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemical engineering from Penn State in 2010, is currently a senior engineer at ExxonMobil, where he has worked since 2015.

"I was very humbled and excited," he said. "I consider it to be a very prestigious award just due to the fact that there are so many people who are pursuing analytics activities."

At Penn State, Khoury worked with Costas D. Maranas, Donald B. Broughton Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, on optimization to redesign proteins and enzymes to improve their binding and catalytic properties. He also learned coding, which helped spark an interest that eventually led him to pursue a computational science graduate certificate while he was working toward an additional master's and doctorate degrees in chemical engineering at Princeton University.

"I did a lot of research at Penn State in the computational science space and I just kept going," he said. "I kept going deeper, further, and I think that there are a ton of opportunities for data analytics in the chemical engineering space, even if it's not within our traditional training set."

Khoury, who serves as a mentor to current Schreyer Scholars, said he believes the ultimate power of data analytics lies in helping people develop their own tools to solve problems.

"There's no reason that it should be an exclusive thing," he said. "I'm a strong believer that if you give people the right skills and training, you can have a multiplier effect. You can get people to have five and ten times their normal impact just by helping them out and increasing their efficiency by giving them the tools to do so."

Last Updated February 26, 2018