After graduating from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, Barbara Kerr Beckmann was hired by Humble Oil and Refining Co. in 1961. First serving as a computer analyst, she spent seven years in her role, in which she developed several simulation programs and acted as an advisor. During this time, she recognized that the work she completed gave her a deeper understanding of the refinery process; something that took other engineers in her field decades to understand.
Subsequently, Ms. Beckmann transitioned into an engineering role at Humble Oil and Refining Co., leveraging her knowledge she had gained while working as a computer analyst to further support her engineering endeavors. Humble Oil and Refining Co. was rebranded in 1972 as Exxon. Ms. Beckmann remained with the company during these transitions and, in 1999, the company experienced a merger that created ExxonMobil, the name it is recognized as today. Throughout all the changes from Humble Oil and Refining Co. to ExxonMobil, Ms. Beckmann remained a steadfast engineer and reputable figure in her industry, gaining the trust and respect of those around her. Additionally, in light of the pioneering advancements in the oil, refinery, engineering and energy industries, Ms. Beckmann continued to remain abreast of these developments.
Currently, Ms. Beckmann excels as a senior economic advisor for ExxonMobil, where she focuses on planning and optimization. Likewise, she enjoys mentoring the younger generations of engineers and other software professionals. Working out of the company’s Baton Rouge branch in Louisiana, she recently celebrated her 60th work anniversary in 2021. Looking forward, she intends to continue working for as long as she is able.
As a testament to her success, Ms. Beckmann was named one of the American Business Women’s Association’s Top 10 People, and she also earned a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Mississippi and a Trailblazer Award from the YWCA. A member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the United Way and the Quota Club, she works with her local church in her spare time.