Glenn Gilkey

Glenn Gilkey

Mechanical Engineering Hall of Fame, 2017
BSME, The University of Texas at Austin, 1980

Glenn Gilkey was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and at the age of four moved to El Paso, Texas. His interest in construction probably began early, as he worked for his father, who was a manufacturer’s representative and sold HVAC equipment to commercial builders in the region. His mother is Japanese and instilled in him humility and the confidence that he could do anything he set his mind to.

He enrolled in the Fall of 1976 at The University of Texas at Austin. He had summer internships drilling oil wells in West Texas for Santa Fe Drilling (1978, 1979) and in plant engineering with DuPont in Orange, Texas (1980). In January of 1981, he began his career with Fluor Corporation in Houston, Texas as a mechanical engineer in the group responsible for the design of pressure vessels and heat exchangers. He worked on multiple domestic and international projects for customers like Texaco, Exxon, Fina, Valero, and Saudi Aramco as an equipment engineer, a lead mechanical engineer, and project engineer.

In 1992 he accepted a leadership role to implement Fluor’s 3D design platform that fundamentally changed the way plants were designed. In 1996 he was promoted to General Manager of Engineering for the Houston office and led approximately 1700 engineers and designers across all engineering departments. During this time, he also led Fluor’s recruiting efforts at UT Austin and served on the ME External Advisory Committee. In 1997 he was named Fluor’s Global Leader for Engineering. In 1998 he was named General Manager for Fluor’s Houston office (approximately 3000 employees), making him responsible for projects executed in Houston. In 2000 he was asked to relocate to the Netherlands and became VP and General Manager for Fluor’s office in the Netherlands that executed projects in the Middle East and Europe.

In 2003 he was asked by the CEO to return to the U.S. to lead the reimplementation of SAP, the creation of Fluor’s Knowledge Management platform, and all of Fluor’s Project execution groups. In August of 2005 he was asked to take a leadership role in Fluor’s contract with the U.S. Government (FEMA), arriving in Baton Rouge, Louisiana just days after Hurricane Katrina. Fluor’s contract was to assist FEMA in the deployment of temporary housing for the thousands of people displaced by the storm. In December of 2006 he relocated to Greenville, South Carolina and was named VP of operations responsible for all projects executed by Fluor’s mining, life sciences, and infrastructure business lines.

In December of 2008 he was asked by the CEO to lead HR and administration and relocated to Fluor’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The CEO asked him to use his business acumen and creditability to help HR become more strategic, and to use these same attributes to help the business use people more strategically. In this role he was responsible for all HR and leadership development, Fluor’s 7 million square foot real estate footprint, community relations, the Fluor Foundation, and Fluor’s temporary staffing Company (TRS). Glenn Retired from Fluor in January of 2017.

Glenn has been married for 36 years to his best friend and partner Nancy (BSN 1980), whom he met at UT in 1977. He has two daughters, Jennifer and Melissa, and two granddaughters. Glenn and Nancy have gifted an endowed scholarship in Mechanical Engineering and Nursing.