Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

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Gary L. Thomas is president of EOG Resources Inc., one of the largest independent crude oil and natural gas companies in the United States with proved reserves in the United States, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and China.

Thomas received his BS in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1972 and earned his MBA from the University of Tulsa in 1983.

After graduating from UT Austin, Thomas held various engineering and production management positions with Unocal and Apache, and, in 1978, he began working for one of the predecessor companies of EOG. He has since held a number of senior management roles at EOG, including senior executive vice president of operations, from 2007 to 2011; executive vice president of operations, from 2002 to 2007; and executive vice president of North American operations, from 1998 to 2002. He served as chief operating officer from September 2011 to December 2017 and became president in March 2015.

As president of EOG, Thomas is responsible for the profitability and growth of exploration and production activities across the company’s operating areas throughout a diverse portfolio of assets, including the Eagle Ford, Delaware Basin, Bakken Formation, Powder River Basin, DJ Basin and Anadarko Basin.

Thomas is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association. He is a former director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association and served two terms as a member of the Cockrell School’s Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering External Advisory Committee. He was recently awarded the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Distinguishing Engineering Graduate Award. Currently, Thomas serves on the Board of Directors of Nine Energy Service.

Thomas resides in Houston and is very active in his church and community. He has collected high-performance Fords for many years, utilizing them in community fundraising events.

Thomas and his brother, Kirk Thomas, feel very fortunate to have attended The University of Texas at Austin.



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Autry C. Stephens is the president and CEO of Endeavor Energy Resources LP. He received both his BS and MS degrees in petroleum engineering from The University of Texas at Austin Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in 1961 and 1962, respectively.

Stephens, who grew up on a farm in DeLeon, Texas, has a deep appreciation for his education and believes it set the foundation for his success.

Following graduation, Stephens began his career with Humble Oil & Refining Company. After seven years, including a two-year leave of absence while serving in the Army, he joined the First National Bank of Midland as an appraisal engineer. In 1979, he became an independent consulting petroleum engineer. Stephens gradually moved from consulting to drilling and operating oil wells. He now operates numerous companies under the umbrella of Endeavor Energy Resources, which has more than 4,700 oil wells and is listed among the top 20 oil producers in Texas.

Big Dog Drilling, which is affiliated with Endeavor Energy Resources, was founded in 1996 and now owns 25 drilling rigs. In 2008, the employees of Big Dog Drilling turned into reality TV stars when TRU-TV asked them to be in a series called “Black Gold.” The show, which completed its fifth season in 2013, attempts to shine a light on the hardworking men and women in the oil fields. Stephens, who had a cameo role in the show, thought it was important to show the public the difficulty of extracting oil.



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Being the son of parents who migrated to the United States and exemplify the American dream through their sacrifice, hard work and perseverance sets the tone for Habachy’s life. His parents migrated to the United States leaving an established and comfortable life in Egypt pursuing a more promising future for their children. They led by example and instilled the value of education, work ethic, and sense of community in Habachy. 

Habachy, whose father was an attorney with an MBA and whose mother was an accountant, found he had an affinity to math and science finding his way on the path to becoming an engineer. Habachy studied at the University of Texas at Austin where he received his BS in petroleum engineering in 2000. Post-graduation, Habachy began his career in industry quickly realizing the need for further education. Habachy enrolled in the remote graduate program in the fall of 2003 earning his MS in petroleum engineering in the spring of 2006 while working fulltime for Hilcorp Energy Company

Habachy has been chief operating officer and executive vice president of Wildhorse Resource Development Corporation and WildHorse Resources Management Company since September 2016. Habachy joined WildHorse Resources, LLC in 2010 as a partner and served as vice president of operations from May 2010 to December 2012. From January 2013 through September 2016, he served as vice president of operations for WildHorse Resources Management Company.  From March 2007 to April 2010, Habachy was a Partner of Winter Ridge Energy LLC where he served as vice president of engineering and operations. Prior to 2007, Habachy served in a wide variety of technical engineering and management roles in Louisiana, East Texas and the Gulf Coast with Anadarko Petroleum and Hilcorp Energy Company.

Further, Habachy serves on the External Advisory Committee for the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and the UT Systems Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. 

Habachy and his wife Vanessa believe in giving back through the Steve and Vanessa Habachy Chancellor’s Excellence Endowment as well as the Steve and Vanessa Habachy Endowed Scholarship.

Habachy and his wife reside in Houston, Texas and are the proud parents of daughter Lilly and son Luke.



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A third generation Longhorn graduate, Jillian Jopling earned her BS in petroleum engineering in 2004. She originally enrolled in The University of Texas at Austin as a chemistry major, but found her passion in engineering and changed majors. 

She began her career at Hilcorp Energy Company. Being driven by competition her entire life she found Hilcorp’s competitive and entrepreneurial culture was a perfect fit for a long, successful career. Joplin spent her early years as a reservoir engineer finding oil and gas bypassed by her predecessors. Her favorite moments were the rewarding feelings that came with a successful recomplete or drill well confirming that all those long hours of research and investigation were worth the investment! Her career with Hilcorp started in the Texas Gulf Coast at the famous Tom O’Connor field and continued moving east to the Louisiana Gulf Cost where she took on additional challenging roles of operations engineer and senior reservoir engineer.

After developing into a proven “oil finder,” Jopling took on a leadership role as Hilcorp’s asset team leader in southeast Louisiana. This new role gave her the responsibility to manage all aspects of the oil and gas business. Under her leadership, she pushed her team to achieve stretch targets; transforming it into one of the company’s most profitable set of assets. Following Hilcorp’s largest acquisition, the San Juan Basin, Jopling became part of the leadership team tasked with integrating the COP and XTO operations into the Hilcorp culture. She is now committed to increasing the value of these newly acquired assets by spreading the innovative oil and gas-finding culture to her new team members. During her time in this position, she has found a new passion in leading with transparency and alignment. In addition, she loves to mentor employees and interns by providing them the tools they need to achieve their full potential. 

Her success at Hilcorp has allowed her and her husband Peter to give back to The University of Texas through funding two endowed scholarships – one in the Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering and one in the Department of Geological Sciences. She learned at Hilcorp that geologists are as important as engineers; her scholarships reflect that value. She has served on the UT PGE External Advisory Committee and currently serves on boards for the non-profits Citizens for Animal Protection and Houston’s Alley Theatre. Jopling and her husband are also active supporters of the Houston Police Foundation and the Houston Heritage Society. Outside of their philanthropic activities, they enjoy spending time with their two dogs, traveling to explore new foods and cultures, and, of course, supporting Longhorn sports. 



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Richard Folger is managing general partner of Colbridge Partners, Ltd., a private investment partnership. In April 2015, he retired as chief executive officer and president of Warren Equipment Company, a position he held since 1999. Under his leadership, the company expanded significantly and was named to the Forbes 400 list of America's Largest Private Companies. Warren Equipment Company designed and manufactured industrial systems for the petroleum, electrical generation, construction, transportation and mining industries. Prior to that, he was president and chief operating officer of Compressor Systems, Inc.

Folger is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in finance and petroleum land management and a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering. He received a master of science in finance from the University of Notre Dame. Richard is also a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. Richard has been recognized by The University of Texas Cockrell School with the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award and by the Society of Petroleum Engineers with the Public Service Award and the Distinguished Member Award.  

Folger’s involvement with The University of Texas include: chairman of the Red McCombs School of Business Advisory Council, the University Development Board, President’s Associates, the Cockrell School Engineering Advisory Board, and University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. His community and professional affiliations include: Director and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas - El Paso Branch, Board of Governors and Immediate Past-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Midland Memorial Hospital, Advisory Board for The Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust and The Rea Charitable Trust, and Director of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. Active memberships include the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Natural Gas Society of the Permian Basin.

Folger is a lifetime member of the Texas Exes and has supported the University through endowments including the Leadership Chair in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, endowed scholarships in petroleum engineering, President’s Associates Endowment, the Chancellor’s Excellence Endowment, and the Dean's Leadership Chair in the McCombs School of Business. He and his wife Lois reside in Midland, Texas.




Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208