Pietri, AspenTech global leaders in software optimization

Pietri, AspenTech global leaders in software optimization

When Antonio Pietri stepped off a plane in 1982, it was his first visit to Tulsa and he spoke little English. He had graduated from high school early in Valencia, Venezuela, and wanted to continue his father’s tradition by attending The University of Tulsa. He spent the next four months learning English before beginning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

Antonio Pietri
Representing AspenTech, Antonio Pietri (front, right) signs a memorandum of understanding with officials from the Engineering Development Research Center of Seoul National University.

Pietri graduated in 1987 and continued his education at the University of Houston with a MBA. He launched his career in the advanced automation field in Houston, working for ABB Simcon and Setpoint Inc., which later was acquired by Aspen Technology in 1996. With over 30 offices on six continents, AspenTech is the world’s leading software supplier of optimization solutions for the process industries. It is a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ exchange and generates $500 million a year in revenue.

“We build software to optimize the design, operations and supply chain of refining and chemical businesses,” Pietri said. “All major oil, chemical and engineering and construction companies use our technology to improve their return on capital employed and drive operational excellence.”

After more than two decades at AspenTech, he advanced from sales account manager to president and CEO in 2013. In addition to relocating on international assignments to England, Singapore and China with his wife and two daughters, Pietri has traveled the globe, providing vision as a role model for younger engineers.

“I enjoy having the opportunity to give them that first insight into what the corporate world is like and what it takes to have a successful career,” he said.

TU’s Russell School of Chemical Engineering is one of 800 universities, including Columbia University, MIT and Virginia Tech, to implement AspenTech software in its teaching curriculum. Headquartered in Bedford, Mass., the company’s products and solutions are used around the world, and its 1,400 employees serve these global customers, leveraging their domain expertise.

“We rely on training programs, engineering student internships and other initiatives such as joint research projects and development programs to grow these relationships,” Pietri said.

TU applies AspenTech technology in its Fluid Flow Projects consortium at North Campus.

In 2015, the prime minister of science and technology in South Korea selected AspenTech as one of 10 U.S. companies to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Engineering Development Research Center of Seoul National University. Pietri signed the agreement in conjunction with a summit meeting between South Korean President Geun-hye Park and President Barack Obama.

“It’s a testament to how we are relevant to the process and engineering construction industries,” he said. “South Korea has a goal to elevate itself from a manufacturing economy to a science and innovation economy. They’re undergoing a revolution to shift their priorities.”

AspenTech has signed similar agreements with other countries and companies to support the ongoing development of talent for the process industries. The firm strives to prepare engineers for the process industry workforce, much like TU prepared Pietri for his fulfilling career.

“I studied under some of the same professors my father had,” he said. “TU gave me the confidence to go out into the real world.”