SPE honors Texas A&M petroleum engineering department head Holditch

July 30, 2004
| By: Aubrey Bloom

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Dr. Stephen A. Holditch, head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University and holder of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Chair, has been named recipient of the 2005 Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal from the Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE) and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineering (AIME). The Lucas Medal is the society's highest award for technical contributions. The Lucas Medal recognizes distinguished achievement in improving the technique and practice of finding and producing petroleum. Holditch will be recognized largely for his contributions to application of hydraulic fracturing in production of tight gas reservoirs. Dr. John Lee, holder of the L.F. Peterson Chair in Petroleum Engineering, said that Holditch's work was truly groundbreaking. "He figured out how to transform theoretical ideas from the laboratory and the computer into field practice, and was able to dramatically increase the supply of natural gas available to the United States and the world," Lee said. 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 Schlumberger Data and Consulting Services, provides consulting services for industrial and government clients around the world in geology, geophysics, petrophysics, reservoir engineering, production engineering and well completions. Widely recognized in the petroleum industry, Holditch is the author of more than 120 technical articles and has contributed to three textbooks. He has made hundreds of presentations to industry groups on his technical specialties. Holditch was SPE president in 2002 and SPE vice-president of Finance from 1998-2000, and served on the SPE Board of Directors from 1998 to 2003. Holditch was also on the AIME Board of Trustees 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, the Lester C. Uren Award in 1994, and the John Franklin Carll award in 1999. He was named an SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 1982-83 and again in 1997-98. Dr. Holditch was elected as an SPE Distinguished Member in 1989. While at Texas A&M, Holditch held the Shell Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Engineering from 1983-87, 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.

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