Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

George Stegemeier

George Stegemeier is an engineer with more than 60 years' experience in oil exploration and production. He holds degrees in petroleum engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla (BS '52) and from the University of Texas (MS '53), and (PhD '59). He was born in Wood River, Illinois, the son of George H. and Rose A. (Smola) Stegemeier. There, along with his two brothers Rich and Bob, he grew up in the carefree freedom of his parent's small town and on his grandparent's farms.

Stegemeier began his oil and gas career in 1952, as a roustabout for the Ohio Oil Company in the Robinson, Illinois field. In 1953, he was employed by Shell Oil Company as an exploitation engineer in the Tulsa Area. Upon graduation from UT, he joined Shell Development Co. at the Bellaire Research Center, where he worked as a research engineer on a variety of improved oil recovery processes, and later became a manager and consultant for fundamental research.

In 1965-1966 he was named exchange scientist in thermal recovery research at the Shell International Research Laboratorium in Rijswijk, Holland. From 1970 to 1974 he worked for Shell Oil, as a reservoir engineer in their West Coast Division, in Los Angeles.

Stegemeier, a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, is the author of over 25 professional society publications, over 50 unpublished Shell reports, and more than 100 patents. Some of the technical subjects of his work include: reservoir test analyses, including interwell transient pressure testing and tracer testing; exploratory reservoir engineering and petrophysics; and research and development of oil recovery processes, including caustic flooding, miscible/CO2 flooding, surfactant flooding, hot water flooding, steam drive, and thermal conduction by electric heating. He participated in, or directed, over thirty field projects and pilots. Upon retirement in 1993, Stegemeier formed GLS Engineering, Inc. and thereafter has provided consultation and invention for Shell's TerraTherm technology, an in-situ thermal process for environmental remediation of soils and subsurface formations, and for Shell's thermal conduction processes for oil shale and tar sands.

Of all the projects on which he participated, Stegemeier's most significant technical contribution to Shell's oil production was the use of theoretical and experimental models of field pilots to develop an understanding of steam drive recovery of heavy oil. The ability to accurately predict the oil/steam ratio encouraged Shell to install its first major steam drive in the watered-out Mt. Poso field. Since that proof of concept, steam drive has resulted in over one billion barrels of thermal oil for Shell in the US alone and several more worldwide.

In recent years Stegemeier has been engaged in thermal engineering studies of global warming and in the preparation of a book, Principles of Geo-Solar Engineering, An Energy Balance of the Earth's Atmosphere.

For past contributions to the oil and gas industry and to the environmental industry, Stegemeier was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2001, and to the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science in 2004. In 2006 he was appointed a University of Missouri Distinguished Research Professor, and in 2013 a Distinguished Adjunct Professor at the University of Houston.

In addition to the professional aspects of his life, George has enjoyed the fulfillment of a close, immediate family and a broad, extended one. In 1958, he married Paula E. (Ross) Stegemeier, now deceased. In their close-knit family, they had two children: Mark, and Catherine, now deceased. George currently resides in Houston, and his immediate family includes daughter-in-law Cindy, son-in-law Andre M. Luyckx and six grandchildren: Chris, Greg, Eric, Stuart, Annelise and Will. They continue to be a source of pride and deep joy.



Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208