Steven L. Lerner, Chief Technology Officer, Praxair, Named Chairman of IRI

Lerner Named Chairman at IRI Annual Meeting, Boca Raton, FL; May 12-15, 2008

Boca Raton, FL - Steven L. Lerner, senior vice president and chief technology officer of Praxair, Inc. (NYSE:PX), based in Danbury, Connecticut, has been named chairman of the Industrial Research Institute (IRI). IRI is comprised of senior executives from a wide range of industries whose member companies invest more than $70 billion annually in R&D worldwide. Lerner will accept the chairmanship during IRI's Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, FL, May 15, 2008.

“As IRI continues to change and respond to our members needs, Steve Lerner's leadership will prove invaluable,” said Ed Bernstein, President, IRI.

Steve Lerner was named senior vice president and chief technology officer of Praxair in 2001. He joined the firm in 1989 as manager of process chemistry in Applications Research & Development. He was appointed associate director, process and systems in 1992. In 1993 he was named director; and in 2000, he became vice president, process and systems. Prior to joining Praxair, Lerner held management positions in R&D, production and commercial development in the oil and gas and chemicals industries. Lerner holds 10 patents and has published articles in numerous scientific publications.

Lerner earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from The Cooper Union, New York, and received a doctorate in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University. While at Princeton, he was the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship. He is also a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program.

“Today member firms are looking to R&D for innovations that not only provide profitable growth but also reduce their environmental footprint, accelerate global expansion, and enable new business models,” said Lerner. “I look forward to working with our board of directors and IRI staff to catalyze the ongoing development of industrial innovation.”

In addition to his role at IRI, Lerner is on the advisory board of Princeton University, department of mechanical and aerospace engineering. He also is a member and past chairman of the dean's advisory council of the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Engineering and Science. Between 1993 and 1999, Lerner represented Praxair as a founding member of the China Economic and Technology Alliance.

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About the Industrial Research Institute
The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is the foremost business association of leaders in research and development (R&D) working together to enhance the effectiveness of technological innovation in industry. Founded in 1938 through the National Research Council, the IRI comprises senior executives from a diverse range of industries whose member companies are investing over $70 billion annually in R&D worldwide. The IRI is the leading cross-industry organization providing the R&D community with insights, solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation.