Commencement Speaker

jimmy canning

James W. (Jimmy) Canning

B.S. Civil Engineering 1979
Former Socioeconomic Manager, ExxonMobil

Jimmy Canning retired in 2017 as socioeconomic manager at ExxonMobil after more than 37 years of service. He continues to serve as a consultant to the company in the areas of socioeconomics and major project development.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1979, Jimmy immediately began working for Exxon in West Texas. During his career with the company, he served in a variety of technical and managerial positions, including reservoir and production engineering, operations, tertiary technology, strategic planning, property acquisitions and divestments, quality, project management, external interfaces and socioeconomics.

Jimmy’s career highlights include the introduction of CO2 flooding in West Texas, the first deepwater developments in West Africa, major development and operations projects in Russia and Papua New Guinea, and the implementation and management of the Socioeconomic Center of Expertise at ExxonMobil.

Jimmy has served on and chaired the External Advisory Committee for the Cockrell School’s Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) and is currently serving on the Advisory Board for the Projects for Underserved Communities program at UT Austin. He is also a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and a licensed Professional Engineer, and he has been inducted into the CAEE Academy of Distinguished Alumni.

A frequent speaker and guest lecturer to UT Austin engineering classes and student organizations, Jimmy always enjoys mentoring students and has recruited Texas Engineers throughout his career at ExxonMobil. Jimmy lives in the Houston area with his wife, Kim, and is active in a number of community activities, from United Way and Habitat for Humanity to Food Bank and the MS 150. He loves spending time with family and friends, traveling (he has been to all seven continents) and attending UT Austin sporting events.