It might be a foregone conclusion that Greg Hill (B.S. ’83) would become a mechanical engineer working in the oil and gas industry. After all, many in his family have worked in that industry and he’s long been interested in figuring out how to make things work. However, the extent to which he has become one of the leaders in the profession is something he attributes in part to luck and in part to his Wyoming work ethic.
“Luck” doesn’t mean just pure chance, of course. It means equipping yourself with enough skills that numerous opportunities come to you, sometimes at once, and knowing how to choose wisely. Take when Hill was graduating from high school in Casper. He had offers to attend colleges around the country, including in Boston. He paid a visit there and thought: “I can’t live in this city.” For one thing, it was too big. For another, there were no mountains.
In high school, he’d spent some summers working on his sister’s ranch in Colorado, where he says he learned how many things he could fix with “bailing wire and duct tape.” When he got a little older, he worked most summers with a mining company. Because he’d been offered an engineering job there upon graduation, he didn’t participate in the fall round of on-campus interviews. Then that company fell on hard times and the job evaporated. Hill says he “scrambled” for spring interviews, landing four job offers. All looked interesting, but Hill said it was between two companies: a gas company and a computer company. He could not play the game of accepting a job and then backing out when the other offer came in. As a result, Hill took a job with Shell Oil.
Shell sent him to Bakersfield, Calif., where he stayed from 1983 to 1991. He worked his way into management and was based in Houston for five years. He also spent several years in London, Scotland and Singapore. In 2009, he joined Hess Oil and is now President and Chief Operating Officer World Wide, Exploration and Production. Although his office is in Houston, his home is in Wyoming.
Hill calls his choice to enter the oil and gas field the best decision of his life. “It is who I am. It is down to earth and reflects Wyoming values. It has been a great fit.”
Hill was appointed by Gov. Matt Mead to serve on the Energy, Engineering and STEM Integration Task Force. Its job is to help UW become a Tier 1 Engineering program again. The group will continue its work “until we are convinced we are on the right track and moving forward.” Hill also serves on the UW Foundation Board because, as he says, “I love this place. I love UW. It can be whatever it wants to be. It just needs to get a vision and a plan. It is very doable.”
Board Term Expiration Date: 03/01/2019