Seizing opportunities during undergraduate education can shape the trajectory of a professional career, as Sean Durbin (B.S. ’93, mechanical engineering) and his wife Sarah Durbin (B.S. ’92, design) well know.

As a mechanical engineering student at the University of Maryland (UMD), Sean took on a co-op at Praxair—known today as Linde—in 1990. Linde is a leading industrial gases and engineering company. After graduating, Sean joined the company full-time and continues to work there today. In the years since, Sean has earned an MBA from the University at Buffalo and went on to hold positions in operations, engineering, project management, business development, and business management. He is now Executive Vice President responsible for Linde’s gases business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Although he continues to work with the same company, Sean and Sarah have by no means stayed in the same place. They have lived and worked around the world, including in North America, Europe, and Asia.

Sarah Durbin is a multi-disciplinary artist working in illustration, doll-making, and performance art. As her family moved, she also worked in early child education in multiple countries. Their experiences living around the world fostered their interest in global perspectives, which would become a key aspect of their philanthropy.

This appreciation for diversity and global perspectives holds true for the rest of Sean and Sarah’s immediate family. Both of their sons chose to attend UMD largely because of its diverse campus community. Their youngest son, Max, will graduate in May 2022 with a degree in Finance and Marketing. In fact, the Durbins’ extended family consists of 11 Terps spanning three generations.

For Sean and Sarah Durbin, it is a privilege to assist and reward UMD students with strong potential in mechanical engineering. They value the multi-disciplinary nature of the degree, the solid foundation that it provides in learning how to learn, and UMD’s role in their family’s global life experiences. They have established the Sean and Sarah Durbin Endowed Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering with the hope of strengthening the talent pipeline of mechanical engineers with technical skills and global perspectives.

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April 12, 2022

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