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Faculty members, students and a former student of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University were among those awarded at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Annual Reception and Banquet in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 10.

The reception, held during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, was a time to recognize those who have made significant technical and professional contributions to the industry and those who have contributed exceptional service and leadership to the society.

Dr. Akhil Datta-Gupta, University Distinguished Professor, was designated an SPE Honorary Member. This is SPE’s highest international award for technical achievement, and was given in recognition of Datta-Gupta’s seminal contribution in high resolution fluid flow simulation using streamlines and dynamic data integration leading to improved reservoir characterization, reservoir management and field performance assessment. 

“It is an honor to recognize Akhil for his commitment and dedication to the oil and gas industry with the SPE Honorary Membership,” said Janeen Judah, 2017 SPE president. “SPE international award winners were nominated by their colleagues and selected by their peers for their achievement and contributions and it’s my pleasure to congratulate him on receiving this prestigious international award from SPE.”

Janeen Judah and Akhil Datta-Gupta shown jointly holding approximately one foot tall clear acrylic sculpture award with dark base

Judah and Datta-Gupta

Dr. Nobuo Morita and Dr. Ruud Weijermars were named SPE Distinguished Members. Morita was recognized for his pioneering efforts in improving sand production, borehole stability and reservoir compaction problems. Weijermars was recognized for his innovative and ground-breaking work in geomechanics and economics. They were two of only 20 recipients selected in 2017, out of SPE’s professional membership of about 80,000 worldwide.

Janeen Judah and Nobuo Morita share handshake as Morita holds framed award

Judah and Morita

“SPE Distinguished Members represent less than 1 percent of the current SPE professional membership,” said department head Dr. Dan Hill. “We now have 20 Distinguished Members on our faculty, the most in any petroleum engineering program in the world.”

Janeen Judah and Ruud Weijermars share a handshake as Weijermars holds framed award

Judah and Weijermars

Former student Lu Chi, now with iRock Technologies, was awarded the Cedric K. Ferguson Medal, recognizing her professional achievement of the most outstanding paper published in an SPE journal for the year by an author or co-author under the age of 35.

over 50 members of the student chapter at Texas A&M stand and kneel in a group around framed award

The Texas A&M SPE student chapter won the Outstanding Student Chapter Award. This prestigious award recognizes SPE student chapters with exceptional programs in industry engagement, operations and planning, community involvement, professional development, and innovation. In particular, the Texas A&M chapter was recognized for the creation of the Student Mentorship Program, which significantly increased the number of students receiving industry internship offers.

The Texas A&M chapter has achieved this award three times in a row, and seven times total in the last 11 years. The organization, the second largest SPE student chapter in the world, hones member skills and talents, improves communication and learning opportunities between students and industry, and encourages member outreach to programs and communities, both local and abroad.

“Day in and day out, our members continue to inspire and propel our industry forward,” said Judah. “It’s an honor to recognize their successes and contributions within SPE and the industry.”