Warren Waggoner

Warren Waggoner

Distinguished Mechanical Engineer, 2006
BSME, The University of Texas at Austin, 1974

As a freshman student at The University of Texas at Austin from Paris, Texas, a rural, northeast Texas town, and studying mechanical engineering, Warren Waggoner immediately found himself struggling to build up his mathematics and science skills to compete with students from larger, better-resourced urban Texas high schools. Although overcoming this academic deficiency enhanced his personal drive, this hardship created an interest in establishing a scholarship in Mechanical Engineering. His UT Austin education taught him to think critically and creatively and provided a fantastic grounding for him both professionally and in his subsequent community service and support of the Cockrell School of Engineering.

After earning a mechanical engineering degree from UT Austin in 1974, Warren joined Exxon Company, USA’s Production Department in New Orleans as a reservoir engineer. After several drilling, reservoir and production engineering assignments in New Orleans, Houston and Corpus Christi, he made a career change within Exxon to Information Systems, supervising an engineering applications development section. Subsequent management assignments included Computing Centers in New Orleans and Houston before managing Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Global Data Center in Houston. His ExxonMobil career has really been two distinct careers: one in engineering, both technical and managerial assignments in the Production Department; and an Information Systems management career, highlighting that a mechanical engineering degree from The University of Texas at Austin prepares you to be successful in various career paths.

When selected as a 1999 UT Engineering Graduation Commencement speaker, he told his young audience, “With your degree from UT’s College of Engineering [now the Cockrell School of Engineering], you will have the privilege, the authority, and quite frankly, the responsibility to determine the quality of engineering education your successors will obtain,” and that earning a degree from this nationally-recognized engineering college continues to increase in value. As a Distinguished Alumnus, he has an obligation to be an example, and allow his success to become an inspiration for a mechanical engineering student who may need encouragement and direction. As an enabler, in July 2010, he and his wife (a UT graduate, too!) established the Warren R. and Yvonne B. Waggoner Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering.

During the period from 1997 to 2010, Warren served as ExxonMobil’s UT engineering recruiting team captain, and under his leadership, the firm consistently ranked among the top ten employers of UT engineering students by hiring 273 fulltime UT engineering graduates, which included 86 mechanical engineers. Warren served on the Department of Mechanical Engineering External Advisory Committee as chairman (2004-05) and as a member (1998-2005, 2010-12), is a Life Member of Friends of Alec and Texas Ex-Students, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.