Doctor of Science, honoris causa

Philip L. Rinaldi PHILIP L. RINALDI ’68, ’77

Philip L. Rinaldi is the founder of Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC (PES). He retired as chairman and chief executive officer of the company as of April 1, 2017, and will remain on the Board as an independent director. He and the Carlyle Group created PES in 2012 to acquire the Point Breeze and Girard Point oil refineries from Sunoco. This complex refines up to 350,000 barrels per day of crude, making it the largest on the Eastern Seaboard and the 10th largest in the United States. Rinaldi also chairs the Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team, a regional coalition organized to stimulate manufacturing by developing Philadelphia as a regional Energy Hub valorizing Marcellus shale natural gas.  

Rinaldi has been an investor and/or the principal executive in a wide range of industries including: oil refining, oil exploration, phosphate mining and chemical production, coke gasification, nitrogen chemical production, zinc refining and the production of molybdenum, rhenium and vanadium derivatives. His background includes prominent companies such as Exxon, Phibro, Tosco, Coffeyville Resources, Conserv, Seminole and Mulberry.

In a transaction similar to PES, Rinaldi was the founding partner and CEO of Coffeyville Resources, a partnership with Pegasus Capital, which acquired a sophisticated oil refinery and coke gasification-based UAN plant from Farmland Industries. Coffeyville thrived under his leadership, allowing the business to be sold to Goldman Sachs and Kelso in a highly profitable private transaction. It is now called CVR Energy, a successful public company. 

Rinaldi is actively involved in the community. He serves as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Overseers at NJIT, where he also endows a scholarship in memory of his parents and where he co-founded NJIT’s angel investor network to provide seed capital to startup companies that have an affiliation with the university. He is a trustee of Drexel University and also is on the Board of Drexel’s Engineering Advisory Council.

He has received many honors and recognitions including a knighting by the president of the Italian Republic as Cavaliere of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. 

Rinaldi earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from NJIT in 1968 and 1976, respectively. As an undergraduate, he served as president of Theta Chi Fraternity, president of the Inter-fraternity Council, and president of the Class of 1968. 

In recognition of his longstanding and prosperous career as an entrepreneurial industrialist, and for his sustained service and contributions to the university and its students as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Overseers, The Board of Trustees of New Jersey Institute of Technology is pleased to confer the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, upon Philip L. Rinaldi.