SPE News

2016 'A Peer Apart' Honorees Announced

Six more will join the elite group of members who have attained the milestone of reviewing 100 papers.

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With the 'A Peer Apart' award, SPE recognizes dedicated individuals who have been involved in the review of 100 or more papers for SPE’s peer-reviewed journals.

Peer review is an essential part of scientific publishing and helps to ensure the information published in a journal is well supported and clearly articulated. Volunteers who commit their time to review papers make substantial contributions to the technical excellence of our industry’s literature. Each year, SPE typically has more than 1,400 individual reviewers submitting more than 3,500 reviews for SPE’s various journals. This committed group of volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds including academia, service and operator companies, and consultants from around the world.

Peer review is a demanding and time-consuming task. Those receiving this honor have volunteered hundreds of hours to the Society, making SPE journals a valuable resource to authors and the industry. It is an outstanding accomplishment for those who reach the milestone of reviewing 100 papers.

This year, six individuals join the elite group who have reached this milestone, bringing the total membership of 'A Peer Apart' honorees to 149 dedicated members.

Please join us in congratulating the 2016 honorees:

Faruk O. Alpak is a senior research reservoir engineer in the Computational Geosciences Team of Shell International Exploration and Production Inc. and an adjunct associate professor in Rice University, Computational and Applied Mathematics Department. Before joining Shell in 2005, Alpak worked at the Schlumberger-Doll Research Center as a visiting scientist on mathematical modeling and inversion projects. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from the Middle East Technical University, Turkey, and Master’s and PhD degrees in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. His specialization includes development of multiscale/multiphysics mathematical techniques for reservoir simulation, unconventional thermal EOR processes (IUP/ICP), model-based optimization, inverse problems, computational fluid dynamics with applications to pore-scale multiphase flow, and computational electromagnetics. Alpak is an associate editor for the SPE Journal. He is the recipient of the 2008 SPE Journal Outstanding Associate Editor Award and the 2003 and 2006 Best Paper Award from the Petrophysics Journal (SPWLA). Alpak currently serves in the SPE ATCE Reservoir Engineering committee.


Vladimir Alvarado is an Associate Professor and Department Head in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and Adjunct Associated Professor in the Departments of Geology and Geophysics, and Petroleum Engineering as well as the School of Energy Resources at the University of Wyoming. He holds more than 20 years of experience in Exploration and Production at several organizations. He started his career at the Venezuelan State Oil Company Research Center, PDVSA-Intevep, where he led several R&D projects, including the largest strategic research project on EOR at the time. He served as Adjunct Associate Professor at USB (Caracas, Venezuela) from 1999 to 2003 in the Department of Thermodynamics and Transfer Phenomena, where he co-organized a graduate program in Reservoir Engineering. In 2003, Dr. Alvarado became a Visiting Professor in the Oil and Gas program at PUC-Rio, sponsored by the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency (ANP). From 2005 to 2008 he acted as a senior consultant for Norwest-Questa working on Enhanced Oil Recovery projects. In 2006, he joined the University of Wyoming. Alvarado holds a B.Sc. in Physics from Universidad Central de Venezuela, a Masters in Exploration and Production from IFP (Institut Fraçais du Pétrole, France) and a Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota. He has published more than 100 peer-review publications, book chapters and conference proceedings. He co-authored the book “Enhanced Oil Recovery: Field Planning and Development Strategies”, published by Gulf-Publishing, Elsevier, in 2010, which was also translated into Russian. He has mentored numerous graduate students at USB and UCV (Venezuela), PUC-Rio (Brazil) and the University of Wyoming. Alvarado is reviewer for more than 30 peer-review journals and is Associate Editor to SPE Journal.


Joyce Holtzclaw is Senior Vice President, Western San Joaquin Division at E&B Natural Resources Management. Ms. Holtzclaw joined E&B Natural Resources in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA. She has worked for more than 30 years in the oil and gas industry for a variety of companies, including Chevron, Oxy/Vintage, Berry Petroleum, Nations, and Hathaway LLC. Her experience includes positions in drilling, production, operations, reservoir engineering, field development and management. She is a distinguished member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and recipient of several international and local SPE awards.  She is active in the community and is currently on the board of the Kern Literacy Council for which she has twice served as president.


Hussein Hoteit is a staff reservoir engineer with the Chevron Gas EOR & EOR Simulation and Modeling Group. He has been with Chevron for about 5 years. Before Joining Chevron, Hoteit worked for ConocoPhillips for 5 years and RERI for 4 years. He published more than 30 papers and 3 patents and conducted research in different areas in reservoir engineering related to multi-phase flow in naturally fractured reservoirs, modeling molecular diffusion and gas-oil interaction in fractured reservoirs, recovery mechanisms in unconventional plays, high resolution simulation methods for full field chemical EOR, improved SAGD, thermodynamic phase behavior, wax deposition in pipelines, and other area related to discretization methods and gridding. Hoteit served as a SPE distinguished lecture in 2008 and an Associate Editor for SPE journal since 2006. Hoteit holds a PhD in Applied Math from the University of Rennes 1, France.


G. Paul Willhite is the Ross H. Forney Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Kansas located in Lawrence, Kansas. He has been a member of the faculty since 1969, served as chair of the department from 1988-1996 and Interim Chair from 2003-2004.   In 1974, he co-founded the Tertiary Oil Recovery Project and served as Co-Director from 1974-2009.  Paul has a B.S. degree from Iowa State University (1959) and a PhD degree from Northwestern University (1962) both in chemical engineering.  From 1962-1969, he worked in the Production Research Division of Continental Oil Company, Ponca City, OK. He is the author of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) textbook, Waterflooding published in 1986 and the coauthor of the SPE textbook, Enhanced Oil Recovery published in 1998.  Willhite is a Distinguished Member of SPE.   He received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty in 1981, the Lester C. Uren Award in 1986 and the John Franklin Carll Award in 2001 from the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  In 1995, he received the Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering from the College of Engineering, Iowa State University.   Willhite received the IOR Pioneer Award at the 2004 SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium.  He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006.  In 2009, he received the Anson Marston Medal from the College of Engineering at Iowa State University.  He was elected as an Honorary Member of SPE-AIME in 2012 and was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Iowa State University in 2013.


Harvey Yarranton is a Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary and the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Heavy Oil Properties and Processing. He received his B.Sc. (1985) and Ph.D. (1997) degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Between degrees, he worked for Dome Petroleum Ltd. and Amoco Canada Ltd. in reservoir, production, and operations engineering. His research interests include the phase behavior and properties of heavy oils and solvents, the fundamentals and treatment of water-in-oil emulsions, and oil sands extraction and froth treatment.