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Lindstrom, Marra join engineering Hall of Fame

Friday, April 25, 2014

Industry leaders honored for success in engineering and science fields

The University of Tulsa welcomed energy industry leaders Merlin R. Lindstrom and Mark J. Marra (MS ’84) into its College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame during a special ceremony April 24 at Gilcrease Museum.

The Hall of Fame honors individuals for their distinguished accomplishments in one or more areas of the engineering or science fields. These scientists, engineers and business leaders have developed key technologies, managed successful companies and served as mentors for the next generation of professionals.

The College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame has inducted more than 130 individuals since its establishment in the 1968-69 academic year.

LindstromMerlin (Merl) R. Lindstrom, vice president of technology for Phillips 66, has more than 35 years’ experience in research and development (R&D) focused primarily on the downstream industry. Prior to his current position, he was senior vice president of technology for ConocoPhillips where he worked in a variety of technological and R&D roles.

Lindstrom began his career with Phillips (Petroleum) in 1978 as a research chemist in R&D. In 1984, he was promoted to R&D section supervisor in the area of polymers and materials. Three years later, Lindstrom became director of industry analysis in planning and budgeting for Phillips 66 Company, a division of Phillips. He has worked as director of the company’s alloys, blends, and compounds in plastics and managed the Phillips engineering materials branch.

Lindstrom’s professional experience also includes managerial R&D roles for energy-related organizations such as Downstream Technology and Technical Services and Facilities. He worked as general manager of the Woods Cross Refinery for Phillips Petroleum from 1998 to 2001 and has held many managerial R&D positions in the chemicals and petrochemicals divisions. He also has served as director of plastics/chemicals in planning and budgeting.

Lindstrom earned his bachelor of science and doctoral degrees in chemistry in 1973 and 1978 respectively from North Dakota State University, which honored him as a Distinguished Alumnus in 2011.

Lindstrom, a past president of the Bartlesville Section of the Society of Plastics Engineers, currently serves as president of the Conoco and Phillips Museums, Inc. and as a trustee of the Frank Phillips Foundation.

MarraMark J. Marra (MS ’84) is the founder and owner of CMark Investments, LLC and CMark Resources, LLC under which he conducts exploratory drilling for oil and gas in the Canyon Group Sandstone reservoir found in several counties in the Permian Basin of West Texas. For nearly 27 years, he and his joint venture partners have been successfully developing fields in this reservoir, selling them and acquiring new leases to explore again.

Marra began his career in the oil and gas industry in 1981 when he joined Indian Wells Oil Company as a geo-tech while still a graduate student at TU. His project to determine the depositional environment of the Canyon Group sandstones became his master’s thesis, ultimately leading to his graduate degree and setting the groundwork for the next 30 years of his oil and gas career. He left Indian Wells in 1987 to pursue an independent exploration career, becoming part of a start-up joint venture group that is still drilling in the Canyon Sandstone reservoir. He founded CMark Investments, LLC in 1998 and established CMark Resources, LLC in 2004.

From the mid 1990s to the present, Marra has branched out into commercial real estate, acquiring several properties including office towers, shopping centers and storage facilities. He also started investing in venture capital projects, including bank ownership and web-based start-ups.

Marra earned a bachelor’s degree in geology in 1981 from Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. before receiving his master’s degree in geology from TU in 1984. He was recruited to TU after meeting Steven Bellovich, then dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, at a geology summer field camp in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

Marra and his family are loyal supporters of TU, Golden Hurricane athletics and many local charitable organizations.

Gail Ellis