At an early age William Joyce knew he wanted to be a chemical engineer. From that seed grew a wildly successful career.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and master’s and doctorate degrees in business from New York University, Joyce forged a career that led him to the board rooms of some of the largest, best-known companies in the world. He joined Union Carbide out of college in 1957 and over three decades rose to the rank of president and chief executive officer. In his leadership role at Union Carbide, he oversaw the sale of the company to Dow Chemical.
After a brief stint leading Hercules Inc., Joyce then joined Nalco Company, where he was chairman of the board and chief executive officer. In 2007 he became chairman and CEO of Advanced Fusion Systems.
Along the way, the accolades flowed. Joyce holds several patents in plastics production and at Union Carbide directed a unit that developed the new Unipol polyethylene process.
President Clinton awarded Joyce the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 1993 “for his vision and entrepreneurial talents’’ in revolutionizing plastics production. Joyce was also the recipient of the Perkin Medal and in 2008, as if to bring his childhood dream full circle, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers named him one of top 100 chemical engineers of the modern era.
By Robert Warren