Harry Gibson

Retired, USA Refining Technical Manager, ExxonMobil
2009 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, 1964, MBA, 1966

Gibson played forward for KU men’s basketball team in the early 1960s and was named to the Big Eight All-Academic First Team in 1964. He graduated from KU with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s in business administration. And in 34 years at Exxon, he kept the company ahead of the curve and had an effect on lives the world over.

He played a leadership role in launching the Global Energy Management System, which drives energy efficiency improvements in ExxonMobil’s refineries and chemical plants. Through this system, the company identified opportunities to improve energy efficiency by 15 percent to 20 percent at refineries and chemical plants, and has implemented about 60 percent of these. Gibson’s steady, thoughtful management was instrumental in making this initiative effective, and ExxonMobil now is ahead of industry in efficiency efforts.

For many years, Gibson was responsible for the career development of technical and management personnel. His contribution in this role was especially remarkable because of his focus not only on the health of the company but on the needs of the more than 500 people he led. His legacy at ExxonMobil is seen in a generation of capable engineers who are now leading the refining business.

Gibson lives in Lawrence with his wife, Becky.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times