BSE ChE '59, MSE ChE '61, PhD ChE '63
Shell (now retired)
A Detroit native, Jim Street attended the University of Michigan, where he received degrees in chemical engineering and mathematics, culminating in a PhD in chemical engineering in 1963. While at the University, he was an assistant professor of chemical engineering. He joined Shell Oil in 1963 as a research engineer at their Emeryville Research Center and began an extraordinary career that would span 33 years.
Following four years in research, he was appointed to management positions in Shell’s chemical plants in Denver and Houston. As business manager of Shell’s Lubricants Business, he led a successful effort to turn around the performance of this under-performing business. In 1987, Jim was elected president of Shell Development Company with responsibility for Shell’s entire R&D portfolio.
In 1991, Jim became the chief technology officer of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies located in London, England. In this role, he had responsibility for the group’s R&D and technology management processes worldwide. He also served as the chairman of Shell Research Limited in the U.K., and as a director of Shell Internationale Research Maatschappij B.V. in the Netherlands. He retired from Shell in 1996.
Jim was a member of several professional groups during his career and served as a chairman of the Society of the Chemical Industry. He has served on the engineering advisory councils (boards) at the University of Michigan and Rice University and is currently serving on the advisory board at Oregon State University. In 2006, he was appointed to a 2-year term on the U-M’s Chemical Engineering Alumni Advisory Board.
Jim is married to Judith Wicks Street and they have four children and five grandchildren. Jim reports, “since my retirement 10 years ago, I can’t explain how I spend my time, but know that it has never gone by so quickly. I enjoy travel, vacations with my kids and grandkids, all manner of fly-fishing and especially big game saltwater fishing. I have even become ‘house-handy’ as a direct result of not being time-starved, a quality I treasure.”
Remembering his days in Ann Arbor, Jim says, “As with most of us, my time at Michigan was filled with extraordinary experiences, the memories of which don’t fade but only get richer with time. My wife Judy’s reaction to the crowd at her first Michigan football game (vs. Ohio State) was great fun and readily comes to mind. Needless to say, she was overwhelmed.”