Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Fred Stephens

Fred Stephens has been a part of the "oil patch" since his college days at UT PGE in the late 1940's working summers as a roughneck in Wink and roustabout in Ozona. In 1949, after graduating from UT Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering, Fred's career began when he accepted an engineering job in Wichita Falls with Cable Engineering, a company owned by Joe Cable, the father of one of Fred's classmates. Fred left the roughneck job to go to work for Cable Engineering and never looked back. His new wife, Jane, made the move with him to Wichita Falls.

During the 1950's, the engineering firm went through various ownerships, becoming Cable & Stephens and eventually Stephens Engineering. Today, Stephens Engineering is a consulting engineering firm specializing in all phases of the oil and gas industry, including the planning, installation, and supervision of secondary recovery projects. Stephens Engineering also performs the services of preparing valuations of oil and gas properties and oil and gas reservoir studies.

In 1959, Fred sold part of the company to Joe L. Johnson, Jr., and this partnership continues today in the form of Stephens Engineering. In 1962, S & J Operating Company was formed and began contract operating oil and gas properties for others and during the late 1970's began purchasing properties and operating for themselves. In 1993, Stephens & Johnson Operating Co. was formed and took over all of the property operations. SJOC continues to operate properties in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and North Dakota and is a highly respected operator within the industry. Recently, SJOC was ranked as one of the top 100 largest private operators in the nation, according to the December 2012 edition of the Oil and Gas Financial Journal.

A proud Longhorn Engineer, Fred is dedicated to providing career opportunities to UT PGE graduates, having offered several young graduates their first jobs after graduation, and serving as a business and professional mentor for multiple generations of UT PGE graduates. As a result of his success in the oil & gas industry, Fred has been able to give generously to the University of Texas, as well as United Regional Healthcare System, Midwestern State University and hundreds of smaller charities. Through the Stephens Family Foundation, Fred established the Stephens Family Endowed Excellence Fund in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering in 2007. Fred is a Texas Exes Life Member and a longtime supporter of Friends of Alec.

Fred has many interests outside of the office. He owns over 12,000 acres in Clay, Archer and Wichita Counties where he runs cattle and "tries" to hunt quail and enjoy a great Texas sunset, too. He has always said that he couldn't afford to be a cattleman if he wasn't an oilman!

The family enjoys their home at Possum Kingdom Lake, as well as a home on the Taylor River in Colorado, where they spend a portion of their summer and Christmas holidays together. In addition to ranching and hunting, he enjoys fly fishing and collecting western art, as well as attending every Longhorn football game possible.

Fred had three children with Jane, who passed away in 2001: Susan Geyer (UT BA Art History '74) and Katherine Smethie, both of whom live in Dallas, and Tom Stephens (UT BBA PLM '81) who lives in Wichita Falls. Among his nine grandchildren, three have graduated from UT, Stewart Geyer (UT BS AE '05), Janie Stephens (UT BBA Finance '05), Emily Stephens (UT BS Advertising '09), and son-in-law Steven Smethie (UT BS PE '80).


Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208