Petroleum engineering faculty, former students win SPE awards

Several faculty members and former students of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University have been honored by the Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE).Ram Agarwal, Cass of 1967, has been elected to receive an SPE Honorary Member Award for his exceptional contributions of talents and service to SPE. It is one of the highest awards given by the society and is restricted to less than 0.1 percent of the membership.Janeen Judah, Class of 1981, has been named a 2010 recipient of the SPE Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to the society. In addition to her SPE service, she is the current board chair for the Petroleum Engineering Industry Board, which promotes the continuous improvement of the Harold Vance Department of Engineering's undergraduate program, graduate and research programs, outreach programs, former student programs, and development.John Bethancourt, Class of 1974 and an executive vice president for Chevron, has been named an SPE Distinguished Member as well-deserved recognition for his contributions to the society.George Moridis, visiting professor in the department, and Oliver Mullins, adjunct professor, have also been named SPE Distinguished Members. Department Head Stephen Holditch said Moridis' work has changed the industry's understanding of gas hydrates from little more than a nuisance for deep and ultradeep drilling to viable resources with real potential for production. Holditch said that Mullins's greatest contribution to the industry has been his development of Downhole Fluid Analysis (DFA), a wireline logging technology that has streamlined hydrocarbon sample acquisition and analysis, making them more efficient and accurate.Finally, Associate Professor Ding Zhu was named recipient of the 2010 SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty. Zhu joined the faculty of Texas A&M in 2004. She earned a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin in 1992. Zhu served as the chairman for the Society of Petroleum Engineers Austin Section in 2002 and as the scholarship chairman in 2003. Her research interests include production and well stimulation, sandstone acidizing and intelligent well technology. Zhu has also developed several comprehensive computer software applications for production engineering.