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Paul Grimmer

Distinguished Engineer: 2011

Degree: B.S., Chemical Engineering – 1977

Citation at Time of Nomination in 2011

Paul Grimmer owns and leads two companies, Eltron Research & Development in Boulder, Colo., and Continental Technologies, located in Ponca City, Okla. Eltron R&D develops novel materials and catalysts for the energy and chemical industries. Continental Technologies designs and fabricates pilot and demonstration scale plants for other companies doing research and development.

Grimmer was born in Bartlesville, Okla., but grew up in Borger, Texas. His father was a reservoir engineer, and he had two older brothers at Texas Tech majoring in engineering, so it seemed clear that he would go to Texas Tech and become an engineer. In time, he and his four brothers graduated from Texas Tech. There are three chemical engineers, a civil engineer and a computer scientist.

He started at Texas Tech in the fall of 1973 and graduated with a bachelor of science in chemical engineering in 1977. He was active in the student senate, Tau Beta Pi, and many intramural sports. His fast pitch softball team was undefeated and university champions three years in a row.

After graduation, Grimmer worked for 26 years for Conoco in many locations including Houston, Corpus Christi, New Orleans, Anchorage, and Dubai. While in Dubai after the first Gulf War, he was in charge of projects and construction for Dubai Petroleum Company. He then moved back into business development where he worked throughout the Middle East and particularly in Iran. He was one of the lead negotiators in the Sirri development project, which was the first contract awarded to a western oil company since the 1979 revolution.

After that, Grimmer moved back to Houston where he was in charge of new business development. One of his accomplishments was starting a gas-to-liquids effort that ultimately grew to a project of $100 million per year.

In 2005, he purchased Eltron R&D. In its lifetime, the company has invented more than 100 technologies. The most significant to date is a system to capture CO2 in power plants, while producing pure hydrogen at the same time. The company has been awarded $80 million dollars from the Department of Energy to complete development of this system, the largest amount ever awarded to a small business.

In 2007, he started Continental Technologies in Ponca City, Okla., the former home of Conoco's research and development. This company is deeply immersed in the alternative energy industry, helping hundreds of companies large and small scale up their new technologies.

At the start of his sophomore year at Texas Tech, Grimmer was introduced to his roommate's cousin from Tyler. This Tyler Rose, Glenda Squyres, stole his heart and they have been married for almost 34 years. They have five diverse children; a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a business developer, a musician, and one about to be a cadet at the Air Force Academy. They have one grandchild to date but are anticipating many more in the coming years.

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