Robert Agbede

Chairman, Chester Group and Chester LNG LLC


MS, Mining Engineering, University of Pittsburgh

BSc, Mining Engineering, University of Pittsburgh


ATS Group, CEO and Owner, 1987 to present . ATS Group, which later became Chester Group, was the parent company of Chester Engineers and Chester LNG. Chester LNG designs and manufactures micro liquid natural gas (LNG) systems for use as virtual pipelines to deliver gas to remote locations or as standalones for off the grid power generation or fueling.

Hatch USA, Vice Chairman, April 2017 – April 2020. Hatch is a global employee-owned engineering and business consulting company with over 9,000 professionals in technology development, project and construction management services, process and business consulting and operational services to the infrastructure, energy, mining, and metallurgical industries.

Chester Engineers, CEO and Owner, November 2003 to April 2017. Chester Engineers, a leading Total Water and Energy Management Company that specializes in water/wastewater, oil & gas, liquid natural gas (LNG), micro‐turbines, energy solutions through innovation and efficiencies, design‐build, operations and maintenance (O&M), program & construction management, asset management and scientific research & development company. Mr. Agbede acquired the firm in 2003 from Veolia, making it one of the operating companies within the ATS Group, the company he founded in 1987. Chester, which turned 100 in 2010, was the largest African‐American‐owned water/wastewater, energy, and environmental engineering firm in the United States and the largest Water and Wastewater firm in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. In April 2017 Chester Engineers merged with Hatch. Mr. Agbede retained ownership of the Chester Group and Chester LNG.

Community Impact

A recognized expert in the field of environmental and water resources management, Mr. Agbede is a University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering graduate with Bachelors and Masters Degrees and a holder of several U.S. patents. In 2000, he was inducted into the school's Engineering Hall of Fame, joining other prominent graduates who have made significant contributions to American industry. Mr. Agbede is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the African American Alumni Council of the University of Pittsburgh for his achievement in Business.

Throughout his career, Mr. Agbede has worked to develop a corporate culture that emphasizes the importance of giving back, viewing corporate social responsibility as good business he regularly engages with small/minority businesses and students in areas of mentoring. The Robert O. Agbede Scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh benefits African American students pursuing engineering degrees. Also at the University of Pittsburgh, the Robert O. Agbede Annual Diversity Award encourages recruitment and retention of African-American faculty and students. In addition, the Robert O. Agbede and Chester Group endowments and scholarships at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, presently valued at over $3.5 million dollars, support African American student enrollment and retention primarily in Engineering and Sciences.

Board Memberships and Noted Appointments

  • Chairman of Sigma Coatings – PPG Nigeria, Limited an affiliate of PPG Industries.

  • Board Member, US Chamber of Commerce; Chairman, Environment & Energy Committee.

  • Board member, the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.Board member, Vibrant Pittsburgh.

  • Board of Trustees, University of Pittsburgh.

  • Board Member, the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees.

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering Board of Visitors; Chairman, Diversity Committee.

Past Board Memberships

  • Former Member of National Coal Council a Federal Advisory Council to the Secretary of Energy.

  • Former Board member, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC)

  • Former Board member, The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Pittsburgh Branch, where he later served as Chairman of the Board of the Pittsburgh branch.

  • Board of Trustees, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

  • Founding Board Member and former Chair of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania for seven years.

  • Former member of the Governor of Pennsylvania Advisory Commission on African American Affairs to advise the Governor on matters pertinent to African Americans in the commonwealth.

  • Former Board Member of the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority.

  • Former Board of Trustees of LaRoche University, Pittsburgh.

  • Former Board Member of the Fox Chapel Water Authority.

  • Former Board Member of the Urban League of Pittsburgh.

  • Former Board Member of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh.