SPE Honors 2021 International Award Recipients During Annual Meeting
Each year during its Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE), SPE honors members whose outstanding contributions to SPE and the petroleum industry merit special distinction. Recipients were recognized last month at ATCE in Dubai.
SPE/AIME Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership is the highest honor SPE confers upon an individual. It is limited to 0.1% of SPE’s total membership and is conferred on individuals for outstanding service to SPE or in recognition of distinguished scientific or engineering achievement in fields encompassed in SPE’s technical scope.
Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani is senior vice president of Saudi Aramco’s downstream operations, which he assumed following his tenure as senior vice president of upstream operations. Since beginning his career with Aramco in 1983, he has served as president and CEO, Aramco Services Company; chief petroleum engineer; executive director and vice president, Petroleum Engineering and Development; vice president, Saudi Aramco Affairs; and vice president, Corporate Planning.
In Al Qahtani’s 35-year association with SPE, he has served as a board member of SPE International, honorary executive chairman of the SPE Saudi Arabia section, and executive committee chairman of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2020 in Dhahran.
He holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, and MS and PhD degrees in the same field from the University of Southern California.
George V. Chilingar(ian) is professor emeritus of petroleum, civil, and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California, where he has taught for more than 60 years. Formerly, he served in the US Air Force as chief of the petroleum and chemicals laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Chilingar received the SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty and was named SPE Distinguished Member last year. He is the first American petroleum geologist ever elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. Twice he served as senior adviser for petroleum engineering to the United Nations.
Chilingar developed a way to identify oil-rich rocks by analyzing the ratio of calcium to magnesium content in carbonate rocks (dolomitization). Using this method, he discovered a large oil field in Iran which subsequently was named after him.
The results of Chilingar’s investigations are presented in more than 500 research articles and 73 books. He has been awarded numerous patents, more than 100 medals, and diplomas from various governments, universities, and organizations. He also founded two journals related to the oil and gas industry.
He holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees from the University of Southern California.
Thomas Gouldie is the director and principal consultant for Wellsite Safety Management, an Australian company specializing in safety, professionalism, competency, and auditing services. He began his career in 1976 as a petroleum engineer with Standard Oil of California, and then worked with Chevron in Saudi Arabia, Australia, and California. After a brief time with the Western Australia Department of Mines, he spent 24 years with Santos prior to retiring in 2012.
In 45 years with SPE, Gouldie has served as chairperson of the South Australia Section and the Australia/New Zealand/Papua New Guinea Council, and as the program co-chair of the SPE HSE International Conference. He has participated on more than 40 SPE local, regional, and international committees and has been a member of six SPE International Award committees.
He was selected as an SPE Distinguished Member in 2001 and received HSE and Distinguished Service Awards and the SPE/AIME DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal.
Gouldie is a chartered, licensed, registered, and SPE-certified professional petroleum engineer and a fellow of Engineers Australia. He was named the 2012 Engineers Australia Professional Engineer of the Year for South Australia.
Gouldie holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.
Jitendra Kikani is the director of reservoir management (RM) for international businesses in the Chevron Technical Center, responsible for functional excellence, subsurface integrity, project assurance, and people development. Prior to this role, he was the general manager of RM for the Chevron Africa and Latin American E&P Company. He also worked as a senior research engineer at the Shell E&P Technology Company and as a senior development engineer with Intera Information Technologies (now Schlumberger), specializing in software development and training.
Kikani has published several dozen peer-reviewed technical papers and contributed to a number of published books. His textbook on reservoir surveillance was published by SPE in 2013.
Among his SPE honors, Kikani received the Lester C. Uren Award and the Technical Achievement Award for the Western North America Region, and twice was named Distinguished Lecturer. He served as program chairman for the 2000 ATCE and as review chairman for the SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering journal from 1998 to 2002.
Kikani holds a BS degree from the Indian School of Mines, an MS degree from the University of California, and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University.
George Moridis is a professor of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University where he holds the Robert L. Whiting Chair in addition to the ExxonMobil Visiting Professor Chair in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Deptartment of the National University of Singapore.
He is also a visiting professor at the Guangzhou Center for Gas Hydrate Research at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, an adjunct professor at both the Colorado School of Mines and the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and senior scientist/faculty associate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where he was formerly head of its hydrocarbon resource program.
Moridis is the author or coauthor of three book chapters, more than 115 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and more than 220 LBNL reports, conference papers, and book articles. He also has been awarded three patents.
Moridis has been named an SPE Distinguished Lecturer and Distinguished Member and was presented with the SPE John Franklin Carll Award in 2019. Outside SPE, he is an associate editor and editorial board member for three scientific journals and serves as a reviewer for 26 scientific publications.
He holds BSc and MEn degrees from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece, and MSc and PhD degrees from Texas A&M University.
Robello Samuel works at Halliburton as a technology fellow and research and engineering lead for well engineering, and also works in the broader area of artificial engineering intelligence and sustainability. He is also an adjunct professor at both the University of Houston and the University of Southern California. Samuel began his career as a field drilling engineer with the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
Samuel is an SPE Distinguished Member and the recipient of several SPE awards, including the Gulf Coast Drilling Engineering Award, SPE International Drilling Engineering Award, and the A Peer Apart Award; he was also named SPE Distinguished Lecturer and Halliburton CEO for a Day. He has served on more than 55 SPE committees and currently is a member of the Education and Accreditation Committee and the JPT Editorial Review Board.
Among his credits, Samuel has published more than 210 technical papers and 14 drilling engineering books, and holds 70 US patents and 95 worldwide patents.
He holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University (India), an MS degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering, Guindy (India), and MS and PhD degrees in petroleum engineering from The University of Tulsa.
SPE Stephen A. Holditch Visionary Leadership Award
The Stephen A. Holditch Visionary Leadership Award recognizes individuals who have devoted significant time, effort, thought, and action to SPE or the oil and gas industry and who have demonstrated exceptional visionary leadership resulting in a lasting and momentous impact.
AbdulHameed Al-Rushaid is vice president of drilling and workover for Saudi Aramco, where he has managed the highest rig levels in the company’s history. Since joining the company in 1988, he has progressed through leadership roles including drilling general manager, chief drilling engineer, and vice president of petroleum engineering and development.
Al-Rushaid has been a member of the SPE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Section Board of Directors and was an Executive Committee member of the 2017 Middle East Oil and Gas Show (MEOS) and co-chairman of 2015 MEOS. He currently is a member of Aramco Gulf Operations’ Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of Saudi Petroleum Services Polytechnic, the International Maritime Industries’ Board of Managers, Saudi Aramco Development Company’s Board of Directors, and the Energy City Development Limited Company Board of Managers.
He is also chairman of the Board of Managers of the Aramco Rowan Drilling Company (ARO Drilling), chairman of the Board of Managers of the Arabian Rig Manufacturing Company, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Arabian Drilling Academy.
He holds a BS degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.
Lord Browne of Madingley is chairman of BeyondNetZero, a climate growth equity venture established in partnership with General Atlantic. He served as group chief executive of BP from 1995 to 2007, having joined the company in 1966 as a university apprentice. He led BP through a period of significant growth and transformation, including a merger with Amoco in 1998. His landmark speech at Stanford University in 1997 established BP as a global leader in the way it thought about and sought to address climate change. In 2007, Lord Browne joined Riverstone, where he was co-head of the world’s largest renewable energy private-equity fund until 2015. He is currently chairman of Wintershall Dea.
Browne is independent co-chairman of the Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology, chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, chairman of the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a past president of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He is a fellow of both the Royal Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is the author of five books.
He holds degrees in natural sciences from the University of Cambridge and an MS degree in Business from Stanford University.
SPE/AIME Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal
The Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal recognizes achievement in improving techniques and practices of finding and producing petroleum.
Oliver C. Mullins is a Schlumberger fellow and member of the US National Academy of Engineering, where he leads the new technical discipline, reservoir fluid geodynamics (RFG). The discipline is founded on asphaltene thermodynamics, the Flory-Huggins-Zuo equation of state, which his team developed, with its reliance on the Yen-Mullins model of asphaltene nanostructures.
His recent RFG book covers 18 oilfield case studies and illustrates the importance of the discipline in understanding reservoirs. He co-edited three books and coauthored 16 book chapters and approximately 290 other publications. He also holds 136 allowed US patents.
Mullins is the recipient of six international awards from SPE, SPWLA, ADIPEC, and the American Chemical Society.
He holds a PhD in chemistry from Carnegie-Mellon University.
SPE John Franklin Carll Award
The John Franklin Carll Award recognizes contributions of technical application and professionalism in petroleum development and recovery.
Tony Kovscek is the Keleen and Carlton Beal Professor of Energy Resources Engineering at Stanford University and director of the Energy Frontier Research Center for Mechanistic Control of Unconventional Formations. He formerly served as chair of the Energy Resources Engineering Department.
Kovscek and his group develop and apply advanced imaging techniques and experimentation to characterize the fabric of geological and manufactured porous media to improve the understanding of multiphase flows of gas, water, and organic phases within them.
He has authored two books, roughly 175 peer-reviewed publications, and more than 130 manuscripts in SPE proceedings. He was executive editor of the SPE Journal from 2009 to 2012.
Kovscek has been a recipient of SPE’s Lester C. Uren Award and the SPE Western North America Region Technical Achievement Award for contributions to oil recovery. He also received the Stanford School of Earth Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty.
He holds a BS degree from the University of Washington and a PhD from the University of California at Berkeley, both in chemical engineering.
SPE/AIME DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal
The DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal recognizes distinguished and outstanding service to SPE, to the professions of engineering or geology, and to the petroleum industry
J.C. Cunha is a professor of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University and formerly a tenured professor at the University of Alberta.
He has occupied several managerial, operational, and research positions at Petrobras, Ecopetrol America, and the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
In his 30 years with SPE, Cunha has served on the board as technical director of Management and Information and as a member and session chair of numerous SPE conferences, the JPT Editorial Review Board, the Technical Communities Coordinating Committee, and the Drilling Technical Interest Group.
Among his honors, Cunha was an SPE Distinguished Lecturer during 2010–2011 and was among the first group of SPE members to receive the A Peer Apart Award in 2007.
He has been a technical editor for JPT, SPE Drilling and Completion, and the SPE Journal. Besides authoring dozens of SPE technical papers, he coauthored two SPE books.
Cunha holds a BS degree from Universidade Federal de Juiz De Fora, an MSc degree from Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, and a PhD from The University of Tulsa.
SPE Lester C. Uren Award
The Lester C. Uren Award recognizes distinguished achievement in petroleum engineering technology by a member who made the contribution before age 45.
Faruk O. Alpak is principal science expert and senior reservoir engineer in the quantitative reservoir management team at Shell International Exploration and Production, and also an adjunct associate professor in the Rice University Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. He has been conducting R&D activities on reservoir simulator development, computational fluid dynamics, geomechanics, and optimization. Alpak has been the lead developer of eLBM, Shell’s in-house multiphase pore-scale direct numerical simulator that operates on GPU-based HPC clusters. He currently is involved in differentiating capability development activities for Shell’s proprietary reservoir simulation platform, PetroSigns.
Alpak has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings, and one book chapter. He holds one patent and three pending patent applications.
He is an associate editor of the SPE Journal, a member of the SPE Reservoir Advisory Committee, and serves on the Organizing Committee of the SPE ATCE and the SPE Reservoir Simulation Conference.
Alpak is the recipient of the SPE A Peer Apart Award, the SPE Journal Outstanding Associate Editor Award, and two Best Paper awards from the Society of Well Log Analysts’ Petrophysics journal.
He holds a BS degree from the Middle East Technical University and MS and PhD degrees from The University of Texas at Austin.
SPE/AIME Robert Earll McConnell Award
The Robert Earll McConnell Award recognizes beneficial service to humanity by engineers through significant contributions that tend to advance a nation’s standard of living or replenish its natural resources base.
Carlos Lira-Galeana is a senior research scientist and domain expert of the Product Technology Division at the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (IMP) in Mexico City, where he has worked in various engineering and scientific positions, led academic and technological projects, and conducted research in the study of fluid (oil/gas) and solid-phase (wax/asphaltene) properties of petroleum reservoir fluids since 1985.
For the past 25 years, Lira-Galeana has established a number of advanced pressure-volume-temperature, petroleum chemistry, and flow-assurance laboratories in Mexico, which provide personnel, methodologies, and products to support production-assurance projects for IMP and Pemex.
The recipient of various academic and institutional awards in Mexico, Lira-Galeana has successfully concluded 35 projects in research and development, technology, and service fields for IMP, Pemex, and other partner institutions.
He serves on the editorial board of Petroleum Science and Technology and has guest-edited five special issues on hydrocarbons’ fluid-phase behavior and asphaltene and wax precipitation.
Lira-Galeana is also a technical reviewer of a dozen technical journals and has authored nearly 70 peer-reviewed publications, delivered more than 100 technical presentations, and served as chairperson of six international conferences.
He holds BS and MS degrees from Instituto Politécnico Nacional and a PhD from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico.
SPE/AIME Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal
The Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal Award recognizes distinguished achievement in mining administration, including metallurgy and petroleum.
Khaled A. Al-Buraik is vice president of Southern Area Oil Operations for Saudi Aramco and serves as chairperson of the board of directors for its subsidiary, Aramco Gulf Operations.
Over the past 34 years, he has held several management and executive positions with Saudi Aramco, including vice president of Saudi Aramco Affairs, Northern Area Oil Operations, Drilling and Workover, and Petroleum Engineering and Development.
He is also a member of the board of directors of the Saudi Arabia Section, and past member of the SPE International Board of Directors. In 2008, he received the Regional Service Award for the Middle East and North Africa.
Al-Buraik has delivered several keynote speeches and three technical papers at local and international forums, conferences, and workshops, and was a member of the Executive Steering Committees for ADIPEC, MEOS, IPTC, and the Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference.
Six patents have been granted to him, with one patent pending.
He holds BS and MS degrees from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, all in chemical engineering.
SPE Public Service Award
The SPE Public Service Award recognizes distinguished public service to a country, state, community, or the public through excellence in leadership, service, or humanitarianism, provided the service is above the requirements of employment.
Josh Etkind is Shell’s global deepwater digital transformation manager and CEO of Sanitation for All, an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) providing clean drinking water, sanitation, and education to the developing world.
In his 21 years of industry experience, Etkind worked first with Schlumberger Integrated Project Management in subsurface and wells project roles and then with Shell in reservoir engineering, wells, planning, decommissioning, and LNG research and development.
An SPE Distinguished Member, he has held leadership roles at the section, regional, and international levels. He collaborated to create the SPE Young Professionals International Program, and launched the Young Professionals Coordinating Committee, which he led as chairperson to introduce the Ambassador Lecturer Program and The Way Ahead magazine.
Etkind chaired the SPE International Online Communities Advisory Committee for 7 years. He also served as an at-large director on the SPE International Board of Directors during which time he led the Print and Electronic Media Board Committee and co-led the development of SPE Connect and the SPE PetroWiki.
He has held officer roles on the former Trans-Pecos Section and the Delta Section boards and created and chaired the sections’ Young Professionals and OneVoice programs.
At this year’s ATCE, he starts his term as chairperson of the Sustainable Development Technical Section and president of the SPE Gaia Sustainability Program, continues in his fourth year on the ATCE Startup Village Organizing Committee, and completes a 3-year term on the Business Management and Leadership Committee.
In recognition of his service, Etkind received the 2004 SPE Young Professional Outstanding Service Award, the 2010 American Petroleum Institute Meritorious Service Award, the 2012 Regional Service Award, and the 2013 SPE International Distinguished Service Award.
He holds a BSc degree in petroleum engineering from Texas Tech University, and is a certified Advanced Sustainability Practitioner and Fellow of the Loyola University Institute of Environmental Communications.
SPE Distinguished Service Award
The SPE Distinguished Service Award recognizes exceptional devotion of time, effort, thought, and action to the society that sets them apart from other contributions.
Ashraf AlTahini is manager of the EXPEC Advanced Research Center at Saudi Aramco and CEO of Saudi Aramco’s Upstream Technology Company, where he is responsible for a research and innovation portfolio including Saudi Aramco’s upstream global research centers. Prior to this role he was the research and development director for Aramco Services in the US.
AlTahini has been named the program chair for the 2022 IPTC and for the 2021 MEOS. He also served as chairperson for SPE’s Saudi Arabia Section and for the section’s Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition.
His awards and recognitions include the SPE Distinguished Member Award, SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award, SPE Century Club Award, SPE Special Mention Award, University of Oklahoma Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Rock Mechanics Awards (2003 and 2006), and Best Paper and Presentation at the Saudi Aramco Technical Exchange Meeting.
AlTahini holds a BS degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and MS and PhD degrees from The University of Oklahoma.
Hadi Belhaj is a petroleum engineering faculty member at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, where he teaches courses ranging from reservoir engineering to petroleum economics and risk analysis. Previously, he worked at the Petroleum Institute, Texas Tech University, and Dalhousie University. From 1982 until 2000, Belhaj worked with Schlumberger and the Libyan National Oil Corporation Research Center as field engineer, petroleum engineering researcher, and head of the petroleum engineering department.
He is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Board and has served on numerous other SPE educational, research, and judging-related committees as well as conference/workshop/forum programming and organizing committees.
An active SPE member for 4 decades, Belhaj twice received the SPE Regional Distinguished Achievement for Petroleum Engineering Faculty Award; he also received the 2019 SPE Regional Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award.
Belhaj has published more than 120 journal and conference articles and will write a seven-volume book series on the characterization and modeling of unconventional reservoirs. His research proposals over the past 2 decades have generated more than $13 million in grants.
He holds a BSc degree from the University of Tripoli, an MSc degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, and a PhD from Dalhousie University.
Vai Yee Hon is principal scientist in production chemistry at Petronas with nearly 20 years of research experience. Her interests include the areas of physical chemistry modeling, enhanced oil recovery, transient well-performance modeling, and geomechanics. She is particularly proficient in converting business problems and needs into mathematical models and solutions.
Among Hon’s notable contributions to SPE have been her work as journal reviewer, awards panel judge, career pathway advisor, and member of technical program committees for international workshops and conferences. She is also an active mentor with a global outreach via SPE’s mentoring platform.
Last year, she was the recipient of the SPE Regional Service Award for the Northern Asia Pacific Region.
Hon holds a BS degree from the University of Technology, Malaysia, and MS and PhD degrees from the University of Technology Petronas.
Ray (Zhenhua) Rui is Distinguished Chair Professor at China University of Petroleum, Beijing, and previously was a research scientist in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He serves or has served on numerous SPE committees including the Projects, Facilities, and Construction (PFC) Advisory Committee, HSE Advisory Committee, SPE Distinguished Lecturer Committee, ASME Hoover Medal Board, and AIME Engineering Solutions for Sustainability Committee.
He was the PFC Award Committee chair, ATCE specialty coordinator and subcommittee chairperson, and National Capital Section program chairperson. He serves as an associate editor for SPE Production and Operations and ASME Energy Resource Technology and has published more than 80 journal and conference papers.
Rui was selected as an SPE Distinguished Member and SPE Outstanding Technical Editor and received the SPE A Peer Apart Award, SPE Regional Technical Award, SPE Regional Outstanding Young Member Service Award, and Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
He holds an MS degree in geophysics from the China University of Petroleum, Beijing, and an MS degree in petroleum engineering, an MBA in capital markets, and a PhD in energy and mineral engineering, all from the University of Alaska.
SPE Cedric K. Ferguson Medal
The Cedric K. Ferguson Medal is presented to young professional authors of an SPE peer-approved technical paper who are members of SPE and are 35 or younger on the date of peer approval. The 2021 medal is awarded for the paper “Early- and Late-Time Analytical Solutions for Concurrent Spontaneous Imbibition and Generalized Scaling,” published in the SPE Journal in February 2021.
Pål Ø. Andersen is an associate professor in the Department of Energy Resources at the University of Stavanger, Norway, where his research interests include special core analysis, spontaneous imbibition, capillary end effects, design and interpretation of experiments, tight and unconventional reservoirs, the energy transition, CO2 storage and utilization, wettability alteration, and chemical compaction.
He has published more than 70 technical papers, including 14 SPE journal articles and 16 SPE conference papers, and has reviewed more than 300 papers.
Andersen serves as associate editor for Capillarity, Advances in Geo-Energy Resources, Energies, and the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.
He holds an MSc degree in reservoir technology and a PhD in petroleum technology, both from the University of Stavanger.
SPE Giovanni Paccaloni Young Professional Service Award
The SPE Giovanni Paccaloni Young Professional Service Award recognizes contributions to and leadership in the public and community arenas and SPE, the profession, and the industry by a member younger than 36.
Fatemah Abudeeb works at Saudi Aramco where she created a Mentorship Award to incent mentors and accelerate the development of young engineers.
Within SPE, Abudeeb is vice-chairperson of the KSA Section Young Professionals, co-chairperson of the SPE KSA Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition, and associate editor of the SPE KSA SandRose magazine.
Abudeeb was selected as a leader in the Young Advisory Board of the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia by Prince Ahmed Bin Fahad Al-Saud. She successfully acquired a license to produce the first TEDx event for young petroleum engineers, led the largest Students’ Career and Majors Exhibition in Saudi Arabia, serves as the Toastmasters’ president, and delivers public speaking workshops for the Young Leadership Program. As a STEMania friend, Abudeeb holds knowledge-transfer sessions to spur interest in STEM subjects among female students.
As an innovator, Abudeeb has submitted two patents, one in the field of safety and one in the sustainability arena.
She holds a BS degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in big data and artificial intelligence.
Abhijeet Anand works as a people development manager for Schlumberger where he assists in career development for more than 500 employees in the Reservoir Performance Division in India. Prior to this role, he was based in Bucharest as a commercial engineer in reservoir performance intervention and stimulation. In his 8 years at Schlumberger, Anand has worked across multiple business functions including operations, technical, operations management, sales and commercial business, and human resources.
For more than 11 years, Anand has been an active participant in SPE as a conference steering committee member, a Young Professionals Business Management and Leadership Committee member, an editor for The Way Ahead, and six-time SPE Ambassador Lecturer on three continents. He has also been involved in SPE social and community outreach efforts through Romanian SPE Section events and in collaboration with his NGO, the Sarthak Mentoring Program for engineering students.
He holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the Indian School of Mines and an MS degree in political marketing from the Rome Business School.
Cassandra Dewan is a PhD student with a special interest in evaluating the influence of polymers used in EOR operations on the stability of petroleum emulsions.
Dewan joined SPE in 2013 while pursuing her master’s degree. After participating on the SPE Trinidad and Tobago YP Committee, she was elected chair and then director of new opportunities, positions she held until she moved to Brazil. She is currently the SPE Latin America and the Caribbean Young Professionals liaison and a member of the SPE Young Member Engagement Committee.
She is primarily involved in student activities regionally and internationally, having volunteered several years with the Student Paper Contest, the PetroBowl competition, and the Virtual Career Pathways Fair, and serving as Student Chapter Award judge and Section Award judge. She played a key role in the formation of the SPE Guyana Section and led the Planning Committee for the Virtual PetroBowl 2020 regional and international competitions.
Dewan holds a BSc degree in chemical and process engineering and an MSc degree in petroleum engineering from the University of the West Indies. She is pursuing her PhD in metallurgical and materials engineering at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.
Pierre E. d’Huart leads the offshore research and development efforts at Saipem, which allows him to connect and share knowledge with industry peers. Earlier in his career, he worked as a project engineer on several offshore construction projects in Egypt, Nigeria, Brazil, and Norway. He also serves as a reserve officer with the French Navy.
Among his career highlights, d’Huart put in place the first-ever subsea drone operations service contract, and he led a team of engineers in building the heaviest and deepest pipeline ever built.
With SPE, d’Huart served on the Young Professionals Coordinating Committee and was elected to chair the board of directors of the France Section. He also supports the projects, facilities, and construction technical discipline and has published several articles and presented papers at the Offshore Technology Conference.
For his contributions to the Young Professionals, d’Huart was honored with the Regional Outstanding Young Professional Award. This year, he was also recognized with the Distinguished Membership award.
He holds MSc degrees from the École Spéciale des Travaux Publics (ESTP) and the IFP school, both in France.
Suha Kayum is a petroleum engineer with Saudi Aramco’s Northern Area Reservoir Management Department. She worked at Aramco’s Upstream Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC) as the center’s first female focus-area champion where she has received hundreds of delegations. She has led key reservoir simulation initiatives and has experience in developing Aramco’s reservoir, basin, and seismic simulators. Her expertise lies in increasing discovery and recovery by leveraging different disciplines, including simulation, high-performance computing, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics.
Kayum joined SPE in 2014 as an Ambassador Lecturer and leader of several initiatives. In 2018, she was elected Young Professional chairperson of the SPE KSA Section and then subcommittee co-chair for the 2020 IPTC. This year, she will be serving on the SPE Data Science and Engineering Analytics Award Subcommittee.
Among her honors, Kayu is a recipient of the SPE Regional Young Member Outstanding Service Award and EXPEC ARC Award; she was named Young Outstanding Professional of the Year and nominated for Georgia Tech’s list of 40 under 40 high-achieving professionals.
Kayum holds BSc and MSc degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology and recently completed the Saudi Aramco Finance and Strategy Program at the London Business School.
Joschka Röth works as a project manager at GEO-data GmbH in Hanover, Germany, where he is involved in environmental geology and geochemistry and in monitoring projects related to natural capital preservation and regeneration. His specialty is applied geoscience, specifically in analogue fault modeling and in numerical sedimentary basin and petroleum system modeling.
Röth has actively supported SPE and the petroleum engineering profession within the SPE German Section (GSSPE), in the European region, and in the international community.
He has been president of the RWTH Aachen University SPE Student Chapter and chairperson of the Young Professionals Committee of the SPE German Section.
Röth’s engagement in the SPE community was recognized with the GSSPE Student Award and the SPE Regional Young Member Outstanding Service Award; he was also named an SPE The Way Ahead Energy Influencer. As the Europe liaison for the SPE Gaia Sustainability Program, he leads SPE volunteers in disseminating technical knowledge and promoting sustainability throughout the SPE community.
He holds BSc and MSc degrees in applied geosciences from RWTH Aachen University. In 2020, he defended his dissertation on petroleum geochemistry, basin modeling, and thermal evolution of the Gippsland and Cooper/Eromanga sedimentary basins in Australia.
SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty
This award recognizes superior teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession, or special effectiveness in advising and guiding students.
Erling H. Stenby is a professor of applied thermodynamics and head of the Department of Chemistry at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). His scientific fields of expertise include phase behavior of complex systems, advanced experimental methods, equations of state, computational methods, reservoir simulation, enhanced-oil-recovery modeling, flow-assurance modeling, and CO2 capture and sequestration.
In more than 30 years at DTU, he has supervised numerous PhD students and postdoctoral candidates and played a key role in helping the university establish its MSc program in petroleum engineering. Stenby led two internationally recognized centers at DTU, IVC-SEP and the Center for Energy Resources Engineering, and has published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
For 2 years, he was chairman of the board of the SPE Copenhagen Section and has previously chaired two national Danish research councils. He co-founded Tie-Line Technology and serves as a member of the Science Council of TotalEnergies.
Stenby holds an MSc degree in chemical engineering and a PhD in physical chemistry, both from the Technical University of Denmark.
SPE Technical Awards
These awards recognize outstanding achievements or contributions to the advancement of petroleum engineering in specific technical disciplines.
SPE Completions Optimization and Technology Award
Martin Rylance is the discipline lead and distinguished advisor for reservoir and well enhancement at THREE60 ENERGY Ltd. For more than 35 years, he worked at BP and its nonoperated joint ventures and partner companies. Having lived in 12 countries and fractured (pumped fracs) in the field in 42, he has an international footprint in fracturing and stimulation services, well control, and multilateral drilling.
A chartered engineer and fellow of the Institute of Mathematics, Rylance is a coauthor of several books and author of more than 200 industry technical papers, articles, and patents.
Rylance was named an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on three occasions. He is also an SPE Distinguished Member and received the SPE Completions Optimization and Technology Award for the SPE Gulf Coast Section. He is a member of the JPT Editorial Review Board, a director of the SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technical Section, and committee member of the SPE national and international hydraulic fracturing technology conferences.
He holds a BSc degree from the University of Salford in England.
SPE Data Science and Engineering Analytics Award
Ashwin Venkatraman is the founder and CEO of Resermine, whose browser-based SaaS products assist oil and gas companies in automating reservoir surveillance and management. Formerly, Venkatraman worked in offshore operations, concept engineering, research and development and technology deployment with Shell at its technology centers in Bangalore, Rijswijk, and Houston, and then led reservoir engineering research and technology strategy for Shell’s deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. For 2 years he served on the faculty of The University of Oklahoma.
Among his contributions to SPE, he serves on the Data Science and Engineering Analytics Technical Advisory Committee and on the conference committee for SPE’s
EOR/IOR Conference 2022. During 2018–2020, he served on the ATCE Reservoir Engineering Committee.
Venkatraman was named Outstanding Technical Editor of the SPE Journal and serves as a reviewer of the SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering journal and editorial board member of SPE’s online publication, Data Science and Digital Engineering.
Venkatraman holds BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, a PhD and postdoctoral appointment from The University of Texas at Austin, and a second postdoctoral appointment from Princeton.
SPE Drilling Engineering Award
John Macpherson is a senior technical advisor in drilling services at Baker Hughes Oilfield Services. Seven of his 47 years’ experience in drilling were spent in operations, primarily in remote areas of South America. His areas of expertise include drilling dynamics, downhole and surface measurement systems, drilling automation, geothermal drilling systems, and MWD telemetry systems. He has a special interest in developing open platforms and standards to foster competition, particularly in the automation space.
Macpherson is an active supporter of the Drillbotics competition, an international student drilling automation competition at the undergraduate and graduate level.
A former technical editor for JPT, Macpherson’s work is featured in more than 50 technical publications.
An SPE Life Member, he has participated on committees for SPE forums, conferences, and symposiums. Macpherson is past chairperson and current board member of the SPE Drilling Systems Automation Technical Section and served as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on drilling systems automation. He received the 2018 SPE Regional Drilling Engineering Award for south, central, and eastern Europe.
Macpherson holds more than 35 patents as inventor or co-inventor. He holds a BSc degree in geology from Glasgow University.
SPE Formation Evaluation Award
Harry D. Smith Jr. was employed by Halliburton for 28 years, where for seven he was the director of research for Halliburton Energy Services. He worked for Texaco Logging Research as a senior research physicist prior to joining Halliburton.
Smith was twice selected as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer, and three times has been a distinguished speaker for the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA). He is the first person in SPWLA to have received both the Distinguished Technical Achievement Award and the Gold Medal for Technical Achievement. He was also the first person in the oil industry to utilize large-scale Monte Carlo modeling codes/methods in nuclear well-logging applications.
A contributor to numerous SPE publications, Smith holds 99 issued and three pending US patents, primarily in the field of nuclear well logging. He also was granted fundamental patents in the fields of carbon/oxygen logging, pulsed neutron capture logging, density and neutron logging, natural gamma ray and radioactive tracer spectroscopy logging, and most recently, nonradioactive tracer logging methods to locate induced fractures, gravel packs, and cement (consulting with Carbo Ceramics).
He holds BS and MS degrees in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
SPE Health, Safety, and Environment Award
Trey Shaffer is a senior partner with London-based ERM where he delivers consulting and construction solutions to oil and gas and chemical-sector clients. He currently leads a team tasked with delivering a suite of environmental, climate, and sustainability services to Fortune 500 oil and gas clients.
As the Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability technical director for the SPE International Board of Directors, Shaffer assisted the board in developing the Climate Change Strategy for SPE and also chaired the SPE Climate Change Task Force.
During his tenure as vice chair and then chair of the SPE Gulf Coast Section, the section board was recognized with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Section. In 2010, Shaffer received the SPE Gulf Coast Section North America Region Award for Distinguished Contribution to Petroleum Engineering in the Area of Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility. He is a founding collaborator of SPE’s Gaia Sustainability Program and a frequent speaker on environmental and sustainability topics.
Shaffer holds a bachelor of environmental design degree from Texas A&M University.
SPE Management Award
Mohammad A. Mian is founder and principal consultant at O&G Knowledge Sharing Platform. In his 40-year career, he has worked as a petroleum reservoir engineer, economist and strategist, and as a staff petroleum engineer with Keplinger & Associates in Denver, Colorado, senior petroleum engineer with Miller Oil Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, head of QP operations and planning at Qatar Petroleum, senior planning engineer at Zakum Development Company in Abu Dhabi, and senior petroleum engineering consultant at Saudi Aramco. He is a registered professional engineer.
Mian has presented papers at SPE conferences and delivered 5-day courses on reservoir engineering and basic and advanced project economics and decision analysis to audiences in 25 countries.
He is the author of six books, including textbooks on project economics for graduate and undergraduate students. For 15 years, Mian has been technical editor on SPE peer-review committees and currently serves as an associate editor.
Mian holds a BSc degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Pakistan, and MS degrees in petroleum engineering and mineral economics, both from the Colorado School of Mines.
SPE Production and Operations Award
Jim Hall is retired from Shell International E&P where he was involved in software development and research and was seconded to Qatar Petroleum and Brunei Shell Petroleum. In his 42-year career he worked with Camco International, Halliburton, and Conoco, and also as an independent consultant. At Conoco he was a member of the startup team for the Milne Point facility near Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and a charter member of Conoco’s Corporate Gas Lift Team.
Hall was the 2016 Technical Coach of the Year for Shell and Principal Technical Expert for Artificial Lift. As the inventor for a number of patented devices relating to gas lift technology, he was honored with a Citation for Service and a Recognition for Service from the American Petroleum Institute.
In addition to publishing a number of peer-reviewed technical papers, Hall served SPE as an associate editor and was lauded as an Outstanding Technical Editor.
He organized the Nicholls State University Student Chapter of SPE, served on several artificial lift committees for SPE conferences, and was a PetroWiki moderator. For his many contributions, Hall was named an SPE Life Member.
Hall holds two AS degrees and a BS degree from Nicholls State University in Louisiana.
SPE Projects, Facilities, and Construction Award
Hariprasad J. Subramani is a strategic relationship manager for Chevron responsible for identifying, developing, and fostering strategic external partnerships. Prior to this role, Subramani served as a flow assurance and sand management technology lead at Chevron, supporting design and operation of deepwater oil and gas production facilities.
He has published more than 50 research articles in international journals and conference proceedings and has lectured in chemical and/or petroleum engineering departments at universities in the US and overseas.
Subramani is a member of the SPE Production and Facilities Discipline Committee and the Offshore Technology Conference Program Committee and served as chair of the SPE Flow Assurance Technical Section.
He was the recipient of two regional technical awards—in Projects, Facilities, and Construction and in Production and Operations—from the SPE Gulf Coast Section. He was also a 2013 founding member and secretary (pro tempore) of the AIChE Upstream Engineering and Flow Assurance Forum.
Subramani holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from Anna University (India), National University of Singapore, and Purdue University, respectively.
SPE Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award
Roberto Aguilera is professor of petroleum engineering in the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary and president of Servipetrol Ltd. He is the creator and principal investigator of the GFREE Research Program, researching geoscience; formation evaluation; reservoir drilling, completion, and stimulation; reservoir engineering; and economics and externalities. Previously, he worked for Texaco and Intercol (Exxon) in Colombia, for Cities Service in Argentina, and for Soquip in Quebec, Canada.
Aguilera is the author of one book, coauthor of three books, author or coauthor of more than 200 papers, and editor-in-chief or coauthor of one SPE monograph. He is past executive editor of the Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology and current executive editor of the SPE Journal.
He received the 2019 SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty and has been an SPE Distinguished Lecturer on the topic of naturally fractured reservoirs. For his contributions, Aguilera was selected for the SPE Legion of Honor and is an SPE Life Member.
Aguilera is a graduate from the Universidad de America in Bogota and holds MEng and PhD degrees from the Colorado School of Mines.
SPE Sustainability and Stewardship in the Oil and Gas Industry Award
Steven Bryant is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs at the University of Calgary where he studies ways to eliminate environmental impacts of hydrocarbon resources. Discoveries from this work have produced 20 invention disclosures and five startup companies in the past 5 years. He is also chief scientist for the Creative Destruction Lab, providing mentorship for ventures seeking to commercialize innovations in energy.
Previously, he held the Bank of America Centennial Chair in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he directed the Geological Storage Joint Industry Project and the Nanoparticles for Subsurface Engineering Industrial Affiliates Program. Bryant worked in industry research centers in Europe for a decade before joining academia.
He has published more than 360 articles in production and reservoir engineering, formation evaluation, and CO2 storage, and has trained numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
His many roles with SPE include serving as Distinguished Lecturer in 2001 and currently as a member of the CCUS Workshop Organizing Committee.
He holds a BS degree from Vanderbilt University and a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin, both in chemical engineering.
The SPE Distinguished Membership Awards will be published in the November JPT to recognize members who have attained distinction in the industry or the academic community, or who have made significant contributions to SPE.