Robert Jacoby ’77 spent most of his career in the energy industry working in the health, safety, and environment (HSE) area where he had a passion for protecting the environment and working on developing corporate programs that protect workers’ safety.
Jacoby, this year’s Distinguished Alumnus from the College of Applied Science and Technology, will be honored during Distinguished Alumni Award Week, April 11-15.
As the Global HSE Manager for Shell Global Solutions International, the global research arm of Royal Dutch Shell where he enjoyed a career spanning more than 30 years, Jacoby led a team of scientists in the United States, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Malaysia and India that provided worldwide HSE technical and research and development solutions for all of the corporation’s massive operations. He was also selected to be a member of the corporate HSE Leadership Team that provided strategic direction to executive management on ways to reduce workplace injuries and enhance protection of the environment.
Most recently, Jacoby was the Maintenance and Engineering Services Enterprise Category Manager for Royal Dutch Shell. He again led a global team that developed contracting strategies to safely maintain offshore oil production platforms and refineries worldwide that included large projects in emerging countries such as Iraq, Qatar and Kazakhstan.
One of the highlights, as well as assets, of Jacoby’s career has been the multicultural experience of working on teams with people from diverse cultures.
“When you get into a room to solve a problem with people from different cultures, you find out there may be several different ways to accomplish the same goal and there are people out there that can do it better or more efficiently than you.”
Jacoby imparts the following advice to those who seek to replicate his success as a manager:
“Over the years I’ve learned that those who are good leaders attract talented and smart people. They’re not threatened by intelligence or diversity—they embrace it. So surround yourself with people who are different than you and smarter than you and nurture them.”
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a certified alumnus/a who has performed with distinction at the highest levels of his or her chosen profession; or who has contributed significantly to the advancement and leadership of noteworthy civic, philanthropic, or service organizations over the course of many years. Those honored have brought distinction to their colleges and RIT through their professional, community and/or philanthropic achievements. Check back every Thursday for more from RIT’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni.