Skip to main content

Alumna Addresses Students on Engineers’ Role in Sustainable Development

Dr. Anne Roby ’86 ChE, senior vice president of Linde plc
Dr. Anne Roby ’86 ChE, Senior Vice President of Linde plc

On Friday, February 22, 2019, Dr. Anne Roby ’86 ChE, senior vice president of Linde plc, addressed the Villanova University community as the 2019 Patrick J. Cunningham, Jr. and Susan Ward '80 Endowed Lecture Series in Engineering speaker. Several hundred students learned about the industrial gases industry, Dr. Roby’s career path and the role engineers play in sustainable development.

Beginning the presentation with an overview of her career and personal milestones, Dr. Roby shared her history with Praxair (today, Linde), which began in 1991 and has included positions as global marketing manager for Chemicals and Refining , president of Praxair Electronics, president of Praxair Asia, vice president for Global Sales and vice president of the US South Region. In her role as senior vice president for Linde, she is responsible for the company’s global functions, which include operations excellence; research and development; global procurement; sustainability; and health and safety. Regardless of the role, Dr. Roby advised, “Never forget you’re an engineer, which means you possess the ability to solve problems, analyze data and think critically.”

Speaking at length about Linde’s commitment to sustainability, Dr. Roby emphasized the need for engineers to understand the impact—positive and negative—of the processes they are developing. “As engineers,” she said, “we have to be part of the solution.” She remarked on Villanova’s commitment to sustainability, service and ethics and encouraged students to maintain the level of integrity and passion they have found here.

In addition to a career that takes her around the world, Dr. Roby is an engaged Villanova alumna who serves on Villanova's College of Engineering Advisory Board and the University's Board of Trustees. She was instrumental in sponsoring Praxair's participation in the Resilient Innovation through Sustainable Engineering (RISE) Forum, a College initiative that brings together technical leaders from across industries to promote corporate sustainability practices, and engages sustainable engineering graduate students in real-world projects. She has also provided countless hours to the Society of Women Engineers and matching gift support for "Engineering is for Girls," a Villanova program that introduces young girls to STEM fields.

In 2018, Dr. Roby was awarded the Engineering Alumni Society’s J. Stanley Morehouse Award, which recognizes outstanding leadership in the engineering profession.

Listen to Dr. Roby’s 2019 Ward Lecture.

About The Patrick J. Cunningham, Jr. and Susan Ward '80 Endowed Lecture Series in Engineering

In 2009, Villanova Engineering alumnus Susan Ward ’80 ChE and her husband Patrick Cunningham established an endowed engineering lecture series to offer students exposure to experts from various engineering fields and educational opportunities outside the classroom.

Since the inaugural lecture in November 2010, the series has delivered a wide variety of speakers from diverse engineering backgrounds, including former CEO of the Panama Canal Authority Alberto Alemán Zubieta, world-renowned designer and entrepreneur Mike Nuttal and Gretchen McClain, NASA’s former Chief Director of the International Space Station. Learn more.