Dr. Soni Olufemi Olubunmi Oyekan who was born in 1946 in Nigeria is a U.S. citizen and a chemical engineer. Soni has over 35 years of experience in petroleum refining technologies and operations. Soni came to the United States in 1966 from Nigeria and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Yale University in 1970. After his undergraduate studies in Yale, Soni completed his graduate studies in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned MS and PhD degrees in 1972 and 1977 respectively. His MS degree thesis title was “The Stability of Low Tension Interfaces—Effects of layers of Discrete Dipoles and Charges”. The title of his doctoral thesis was “An Infrared Spectroscopic Study of the Isomerization and Hydrogenation of Cyclic Olefins Over Zinc Oxide”.
Soni is President of Prafis Energy Solutions. Prafis Energy Solutions is an oil refining and energy consulting services company. Dr. Oyekan retired in December,2012 after years as the Reforming and Isomerization Technologist of Marathon Oil Corporation. Soni’s contributions to chemical engineering are notable as a result of his significant contributions for the efficient use of reactor engineering and catalysis in the processing of crude oil to meet consumer demands for transportation fuel, heating oil, propane and butane gases, and for his extensive volunteer and leadership roles in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). Soni has held a variety of positions in AIChE . The positions include chair of Fuels and Petrochemicals Division (F&PD), chair of the Minority Affairs Committee (MAC) and he served as a director of the AIChE Executive Board. Soni has also contributed over the years in technical discussions on petroleum refining at the annual National Petroleum Refiners Association (NPRA) Q&A conferences.