TEES's Ward honored by MMS, COPRI

May 11, 2008
| By: Aubrey Bloom

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Dr. E.G. "Skip" Ward, associate director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station's Offshore Technology Research Center, has been honored by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) and the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI). MMS presented Ward its Corporate Leadership Award for "providing invaluable information to industry and the public on the post-2005 hurricane season developments; offering invaluable presentations for operators and regulators on the new interim metocean and design documents; and demonstrating outstanding commitment necessary to ensure the best and safest practices in the offshore oil and gas industry." COPRI, an institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), announced that Ward's 1978 paper "OTC 3229 Statistics of Hurricane Waves in the Gulf of Mexico" has been selected to receive the ASCE Offshore Technology Conference Hall of Fame Award: "The paper was in the vanguard of a new way to determine the likely future wave conditions by looking closely at the past, namely hindcasting. For the first time, using state of the art methods, a significant database of past hurricane wave statistics was developed, from which the future return intervals could be inferred. The hindcast concept has been used in many geographical areas ... , and has proven to be an excellent way to inform of expected future conditions. The information in this paper was contributory to various codes and standards." The COPRI award was initiated in 2005 to recognize those technical papers that provided the offshore technology industry with innovation, vision, direction and lasting impact on the design, construction or installation of the offshore infrastructure. Ward joined OTRC in 1998 as associate director. Since then, he has worked to enhance and strengthen the center's relationship with the oil industry though expanding existing and introducing new technical thrusts; developing and promoting more applied research and application studies; and developing new roles for the center to serve the oil industry. He has also had a lead role in planning, coordinating and administrating the center¿s research program, which has included up to 20 active projects in a variety of technical areas. He previously spent 30 years with Shell Oil Co., beginning with Shell Development Co.'s E&P Research Division in 1968 as a researcher. From 1981 to 1985, he supervised the Oceanographic Engineering section, and from 1985 to 1994 he managed the Offshore Engineering Research Department. In 1994, Ward became technology manager with Shell Offshore Inc.'s Deepwater Division, where he was responsible for a group that designed deepwater structures and developed new structural concepts and components for deepwater production systems. Throughout his career, Ward has made significant technical contributions in the areas of oceanography, ocean engineering and arctic engineering. Ward has been a member of American Petroleum Institute since 1976 and received the API's 30+ Years of Service Recognition Award in 2006. He also served on the Marine Board of the National Academies from 1995-2004. He earned a bachelor's degree from Lamar University and master's and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Houston, all in mechanical engineering. Established in 1988 with funding from the NSF and industry, the OTRC was created to conduct basic engineering research and develop systems for the economical and reliable recovery of hydrocarbons and other energy sources at ocean depths of 3,000 feet or more. The center is jointly operated by the Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, the engineering research agency of Texas and a member of The Texas A&M University System.

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