Industry Group Honors Petroleum Professor

SOCORRO, N.M. April 21, 2011 – Petroleum Engineering Professor Dr. Tom Engler won the inaugural educational award from a professional society.

Dr. Tom Engler
Professor of Petroleum Engineering and graduate of New Mexico Tech

“I was really flattered,” said Engler, who also earned two bachelor’s and a master’s at New Mexico Tech. “I was surprised and quite honored to be recognized by the industry for the work we do for them.”

The national organization of the Society of Petroleum Engineers created the Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty in June 2010.  Engler, who is also the Dean of Engineering and the chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department, traveled to Midland, Texas, to receive the award April 7.

Other nominees included professors from the University of Texas-Austin, Texas Tech and the University of Texas-Permian Basin.

“We’re going up against those bigger schools,” he said. “I think this shows that the work we do here is comparable in quality to any other school.”

According to an SPE press release, the award recognizes superior teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession, and/or special effectiveness in advising and guiding students.

Engler earned a bachelor’s in geology at Tech in 1980 and a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering at Tech in 1982. After working in industry for several years, he earned his master’s at Tech in petroleum engineering in 1992. He then earned a doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1995.

His research specialties include formation evaluation/petrophysics, naturally fractured reservoirs and unconventional gas recovery. He is currently the principal investigator on a project to study “mini-waterflooding,” which aims to extend the life of a small, mature oilfield. He is partnering with Armstrong Energy Corp on the project, which is funded by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy For America.

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By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech