Texas A&M names new petroleum engineering department head
COLLEGE STATION -- Dr. Stephen A. Holditch has been named head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University. Holditch will begin his appointment with the department Jan. 12, succeeding Interim Department Head Dr. Hans Juvkam-Wold. "Dr. Holditch is one of the most visible petroleum engineers in the world and a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering," said Dr. G. Kemble Bennett, Texas A&M vice chancellor and dean of engineering. "We are fortunate to have him lead our top-ranked petroleum engineering department." Holditch was a production engineer for Shell Oil Co. before joining the Texas A&M petroleum engineering faculty in 1976. He also headed S.A. Holditch & Associates, a petroleum engineering consulting firm, from 1977 to 1999. The firm, now called Holditch Reservoir Technologies, provides consulting services for industrial and government clients in reservoir simulation, well testing, reservoir engineering, natural gas engineering, coalbed methane development and the use of horizontal wells to develop gas reservoirs. Widely recognized in the petroleum industry, Holditch is the author of more than 100 technical articles and has contributed to two textbooks. He has made hundreds of presentations to industry groups on his technical specialties. Holditch was president of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, International (SPE) in 2002 and served on the SPE Board of Directors from 2001 to 2003. He has also served as the SPE vice president for finance and was a member of the SPE board of directors for the SPE from 1998 to 2000. Holditch was also a trustee for the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) from 1997 to 1998. A registered professional engineer in Texas, Holditch was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995 and the Russian Academy of Natural Science in 1996. He has received numerous awards from SPE, including the SPE Distinguished Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty in 1981 and the Lester C. Uren Award in 1989. He was named an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 1982-83 and a Distinguished Member in 1989 and has held a variety of leadership positions in the society. While at Texas A&M, Holditch held the Shell Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Engineering and the R.L. Adams Endowed Professorship in Petroleum Engineering. In 1999, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' Petroleum Division honored Holditch for his significant contributions to the petroleum industry with the Rhodes Industry Leadership (Oil Drop) Award. Holditch also belongs to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Petroleum Well Log Analysts and the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers. He holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in petroleum engineering, all from Texas A&M.