Datta-Gupta elected to National Academy of Engineering

Photo of Dr. Akhil Datta-GuptaDr. Akhil Datta-Gupta, Regents Professor and L.F. Peterson '36 Chair in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

The academy honors those who have made important and significant contributions to engineering theory and practice as well as unusual accomplishment in the pioneering of new fields of technology.

“On behalf of our faculty, students and Aggies worldwide, I would like to congratulate Dr. Datta-Gupta on this tremendous honor,” said Dr. R. Bowen Loftin, Texas A&M president. “His work is an excellent example of the impact that land-grant universities such as Texas A&M have on finding solutions to problems that we face now and well into the future. Dr. Datta-Gupta’s service to our students, his faculty colleagues, and external partners has been truly remarkable.”

Datta-Gupta was recognized “for developing the theory and practice of streamline simulation for fluid flow in heterogeneous reservoirs.”

3-D streamline simulation is widely considered as one of the major developments in petroleum reservoir simulation and performance forecasting in the last decade. The technology has been rapidly assimilated by the industry for highly detailed flow simulation, reservoir management, model calibration and uncertainty assessment.

With the advancement in high-resolution data acquisition and seismic technologies, geologic models now routinely consist of multimillion cells. This resulted in a widening gap between geologic modeling, flow simulation and uncertainty assessments. Streamline simulation has effectively bridged this gap. Datta-Gupta manages one of the most active industrial research consortium related to streamline simulation and its applications.

"Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest distinctions an engineer may receive and on behalf of the engineering program at Texas A&M University, I congratulate Dr. Datta-Gupta for inclusion in this most prestigious body," said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of engineering. "Academy members represent the most accomplished engineers in the world and Dr. Datta-Gupta's contributions to petroleum engineering have influenced the theory and practice of streamline simulation for fluid flow in heterogeneous reservoirs. We are very proud of Dr. Datta-Gupta’s achievements and look forward to his continued contributions to the engineering and academic community, both nationally and internationally."

Among his numerous honors are the 2009 John Franklin Carll Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for distinguished contribution in the application of engineering principles to petroleum development and recovery; the 2003 SPE Lester C. Uren Award for significant technical contributions in petroleum reservoir characterization and streamline-based flow simulation; and two SPE Cedric K. Ferguson Certificates for the best peer-approved paper in 2000 and 2006. He has been named an SPE distinguished member, distinguished lecturer, distinguished author and outstanding technical editor.

In addition to his SPE awards, he is a recipient of the AIME Rossitter W. Raymond award, the Tenneco Meritorious Teaching Award from the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M, and served as a member of the Polar Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences (2001-2004). He is also the recipient of the U.S. Department of Energy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Basic Research in Geosciences in 2008. He is a co-author of the SPE textbook Streamline Simulation: Theory and Practice.

Datta-Gupta earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin and his B.S. from the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, all in petroleum engineering.

With Datta-Gupta’s election, Texas A&M University now has 19 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 13 current faculty members and six emeritus.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature," and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."