Dr. Maria Barrufet, professor in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, received the 2015 Society of Petroleum Engineers North America Gulf Coast Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty. The award was presented during the SPE Gulf Coast Section Annual Awards Banquet on May 21. The award recognizes Barrufet’s superior teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession and special effectiveness in advising and guiding students.
Barrufet is the director of distance learning in the petroleum engineering department and is the Baker Hughes Endowed Chair. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Universidad Nacional de Salta in Argentina, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M, all in chemical engineering.
A registered professional engineer in Texas, Barrufet is a member of SPE, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and Omega Chi Epsilon honor society of chemical engineers. She has received numerous awards and has served as a consultant for both national and global energy corporations since 1988.
Her research interests include the valuation of different methods to desalinate oilfield brines; unit operation aspects of evaporators, membranes, osmotic separation, heat transfer, energy and mass balance computations; enhanced oil recovery, including thermodynamics and transport phenomena applied to chemical, miscible and thermal recovery processes; multiphase flow, including pipe flow design, numerical methods, optimization, and statistics; and rock and fluid properties, correlating and measuring capillary pressures and relative permeabilities, polymer and gel rheology. Some of her many publications on her research activities can be seen here.