Phillip J. (Rocky) Simmons, Ph.D., P.Eng.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Eco-Tec Limited
Phillip (Rocky) Simmons has demonstrated determination and leadership in building an internationally successful, technology-based business centred in Ontario.
Dr. Simmons transformed a small niche company into an internationally prosperous water treatment business by using technology researched during his thesis work at the University of Toronto. His drive and enthusiasm eventually resulted in the formation of a company, Eco-Tec Limited, to exploit the technology. He aggressively tackled all aspects of building the business, including research and development, engineering, manufacturing, promotion, sales, management, staff acquisition and training.
Today, a number of Eco-Tec’s processes have become de-facto standards in such industries as stainless steel finishing, aluminum finishing and electroplating.
The foundation for Eco-Tec began in 1968, when Dr. Simmons took a research position with Wix Corporation, a Canadian automotive parts manufacturer, and introduced its management to the university group. Two years later, Eco-Tec Inc. was formed. After Wix was bought out by an American conglomerate in 1985, Dr. Simmons organized a management buyout. Under his leadership as president and chief executive officer since then, Eco-Tec has become a major force in purifying, recovering and recycling industrial wastewater and is rapidly becoming a force in water treatment for power plants, having installed in total more than 1500 systems in 52 countries and boasting 85 employees.
The company’s success has been widely recognized with its selection as one of the Best 50 Privately Managed Companies in Canada, with the Canada Award for Business Excellence, the CME Award for Innovation, and the Falconbridge Award for Innovation.
A vigorous champion of research and technology development in university and industry, Simmons has served on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, the Advisory Board of Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto and is Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.