Steve Jaffe earned his BS from Tufts Univ. (summa cum laude), and his MA and PhD from Princeton Univ., all in chemical engineering. He joined Mobil Research and Development Corp. in 1968 as a Research Engineer at the Paulsboro (NJ) Research Laboratory.
After stints in New York as Mobil’s Senior Planning Associate for Research and Engineering, and at the upstream Dallas Research Laboratory, Steve returned to downstream R&D at the Paulsboro Lab in 1987. There he co-invented structure oriented lumping, a method for describing the composition, chemical reaction and properties of complex hydrocarbon systems. Structure oriented lumping, the basis of compositional modeling, is used to optimize petroleum refinery operations on a molecular scale.
In 2000, with the merger of Exxon and Mobil, Steve became a Distinguished Scientific Advisor, championing the development and deployment of compositional modeling technology, leading to significant business impact. He retired from ExxonMobil in 2006. He is a Fellow of AIChE and a recipient of the Catalysis and Reaction Engineering Div. Award (2004). In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.