Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Head shot of Varadarajan 'DW' Dwarakanath

Varadarajan “DW” Dwarakanath was born on April 30, 1970, in Bombay (now Mumbai), India to Champa and K. Varadarajan.  His grandparents on the maternal side were Rajalakshmi and Govindarajan and on his paternal side were Rajalakshmi Ammal and Krishnasami.

Soon after his birth his parents relocated to New Delhi, and began his education at the age of only three.  His mother Champa, a highly motivated parent with a talent for teaching, inspired DW to excel academically throughout his primary education.  He excelled in math and history, while his mother prompted a rigorous course of 18th and 19th century English literature, including a great number of Charles Dickens’ novels.  By the time of his 10th grade board exams in 1984, DW ranked 27th out of 70,000 nationally in India, including the highest score in English and the second highest in Sanskrit, and went on to major in science during his final two years in high school.  DW tackled the Mining Engineering program at the Institute of Technology Banaras Hindu University, graduating with a B. Tech in Mining in 1990.  A family friend in Yemen encouraged DW to consider petroleum engineering as a career, and he suggested only one school:  UT PGE.   DW completed his MSPE under Dr. Martin Chenevert in 1992, followed by his PhD under Dr. Gary Pope in 1997.

DW began his professional career at Austin-based INTERA as Senior Geoscientist in March 1997.  During his time at INTERA, DW became known for his expertise in environmental contaminant identification and remediation strategies.  But his passion lay in the energy industry, and the innovative EOR applications Chevron was developing with Dr. Pope at UT PGE motivated him to relocate to Houston and join Chevron in 2005.

In just six months, DW rose from Reservoir Simulation Engineer at Chevron into the EOR group within Chevron Energy Technology Company as a lead Reservoir Engineer.  In 2008 he assumed his current role as Team Manager for Reservoir Performance and Characterization, where he helps Chevron implement emerging EOR technologies in mature fields.  Under DW’s leadership, the company has one published patent and several more patent applications under consideration, as well as 18 peer-reviewed technical publications on a wide range of surfactant flooding and tracer research applications for EOR research applications.

He married Sumitra Subrahmanyan in May 2006 and has two daughters:  Kritika, age 4, and Malavika, age 1.  He lives in Houston, TX with his wife, two daughters and his father.


Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208