Professor Nobuo Morita joins Department of Petroleum Engineering

Image-of-Morita,-NobuoDr. Nobuo Morita, an expert in rock mechanics, has joined the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University as a professor. Morita’s contributions in the area of rock mechanics include initiating the oriented perforation technique for reducing sanding; clarifying the complex mechanism of onset of sand production; and developing new methods of casing design under geotechnical loading and new fluid loss control materials reducing formation damage. Additionally, Morita is the patent holder of a widely used stand-alone metal woven screen. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have Professor Nobuo Morita join our faculty after retiring from Waseda University,” said A. Dan Hill, head of the Department of Petroleum Engineering. “I have admired his research going all the way back to his time at ConocoPhillips, where he was their leading expert on borehole stability and sand control. For the past 15 years, I have been supervising Ph.D. students who graduated from Dr. Morita’s program at Waseda University, and I know from the quality of his graduates that he is also an outstanding teacher.”

Morita attended the University of Tokyo in Japan, and earned his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering in 1968. He began his master’s program at the University of Tokyo, switching to the University of Texas at Austin to complete his degree in 1971. He received his Ph.D. in petroleum engineering in 1974 from the University of Texas at Austin.

He was previously a tenured full professor in the Department of Resources and Environmental Engineering at Waseda University in Japan, with a rock mechanics and completion engineering lab under his direction. Since Waseda University has significant spring and summer breaks, he held sand control and borehole stability schools twice per year and also conducted consulting services in major oil companies around the world.

After receiving his Ph.D., he served as a senior researcher at the University of Texas. He has held the positions of research scientist for the University of Texas, reservoir and production engineer for the Teikoku Oil Company in Japan, and technical advisor for the Well Completion and Reservoir Engineering Group in Bergen, Norway. He is currently a consultant for ConocoPhillips in Houston.

“I have been designing large scale rock mechanics experimental equipment and I am also interested in teaching numerical modeling such as the boundary element methods, the finite element methods and the finite difference methods for oil industry applications,” said Morita.

He was presented with the U.S. National Committee Rock Mechanics Award in 1989. He received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Northern Asia Pacific Region in 2013 and the Cedric K. Ferguson Certificate from SPE in 2013.  Morita served as a committee member for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.