Published: Feb. 15, 2024

Thad Sauvain
Thad Sauvain, 2024 Alumni Engagement Medal Award recipient

Engineering Alumni Awards

2024 Alumni Engagement Medal Award recipient

Current job and employer: Chief Operations Officer, Chevron Lummus Global

Current city: San Rafael, California

Professional background

Upon receiving a BS in chemical engineering from CU in 1991, Thad Sauvain embarked on a 33-year career with Chevron / Chevron Lummus Global. Starting as a process engineer, Sauvain branched into research & development and business development. He soon worked his way into design and process engineering multi-level management and served as the director of global licensing and sales for Chevron for nine years. Sauvain is now the chief operations officer for Chevron Lummus Global, overseeing all engineering design work, field services and supply of catalyst and equipment for CLG’s customers.

Contributions to the Chemical and Biological Engineering department over the past year

Over the past year, Sauvain has served as the president of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering’s External Advisory Board. In this capacity, Sauvain organized four board meetings in 2023, two in-person and two via Zoom, in addition to organizing meetings with department leadership. He spearheaded efforts to conduct the first-ever undergraduate senior exit interviews in the spring, and graduate student interviews in the fall. During those interviews, board members met individually with nearly 100 students. He was instrumental in bringing in three new board members this year, arranging for board members to meet with ABET evaluators, and calling prospective students to encourage them to enroll at CU.

Sauvain has championed the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and CU students during his 33-year tenure at Chevron. He has participated in just about every activity possible for alumni, including department and BOLD Center panel talks, guest lectures, career fairs, mock interviews and resume critiques, mentor programs, senior design project support and student group talks. On top of giving class lectures on professionalism and other industry-facing topics, he arranged to fly in Chevron speakers to give technical talks in other courses such as process control and separations. Sauvain has been a champion of funding support from Chevron for numerous areas of the college, including the chemical and biological engineering department, BOLD Center and student groups such as AlChE and OXE. On a fun note, he was instrumental in getting murals put up in the department’s undergraduate lab. In general, Sauvain has embodied Sko Buffs with his unwavering support of CU!