Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Shahid Ullah

The 2005 BCS College Football National Championship game went down in the record books as a milestone day in Longhorn history. It was also a game-changer for The University of Texas at Austin Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (UT PGE).

Witnessing the Longhorns capture the coveted crystal football trophy in Pasadena, Calif., Shahid Ullah (BSPE ’82) was overcome with pride for his alma mater ranking #1 in the college football polls. In his athletic enthusiasm, he also realized UT PGE is “Always #1,” propelling his passion to ensure the department continues scoring big in academics and research.

Ullah is founder of Energy Eagles, an Advisory and Oil & Gas Investment firm in Houston, Texas. Prior to that, Ullah has over 32 years of experience in the international energy sector, investment banking, mergers and acquisitions, exploration and production and also the service sector. Ullah has held senior management positions with many multinational companies in the U.S. and Europe.

In 1997, the Cockrell School of Engineering selected Ullah as an Outstanding Young Graduate. In 2012, he was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus for his major contributions to the oil and gas industry and service to the university. Ullah is the only engineering graduate to receive both honors from the Cockrell School.

One of the leading inspirational factors for his giving is supporting UT-Austin students. He has done this through developing a gift from Baker Hughes for $500,000 in scholarships, establishing the Afren graduate student fellowship for $1 million and funding summer programs for engineering students in Africa.

His passion for UT PGE and philanthropy has played a large role in ensuring the department remains a respected and well-known program around the world. In 1999, he saw the opportunity to garner a star professor, Dr. Carlos Torres-Verdin, and brought his recruitment to fruition with the support of several corporate partners.


Ullah initiated a strategic partnership in 2004 between UT PGE and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), providing the department a stronger international presence while generating revenue. The program enhanced several key research projects hosted at UT PGE with contributions from UTT graduate students. In addition, the UT PGE faculty facilitated building the BS and MS curriculum at UTT and taught BS level courses.


Through his leadership and support, the production of the nationally broadcasted UT PGE documentary, “The Hunt,” was made possible. At the 2011 UT PGE Distinguished Alumni reception, he saw an incredible story in the department’s history that could be used as a valuable tool to expand the understanding of petroleum engineering to a broad audience and showcase UT PGE’s impact on ensuring an energy-secure future through its innovative research and alumni.


His most recent contribution was establishing the $2 million Shahid and Sharon Ullah Endowed Chair in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, honoring Dr. Larry W. Lake, one of Ullah’s beloved former professors.


“I am a big believer in giving back,” said Ullah. “A significant amount of my success is due to my degree – without it I would not be where I am today. A lot of the professors from the department, especially Dr. Larry Lake, served as my mentors helping me to prosper in my career.”


To celebrate Ullah’s support, the department hosted a surprise reception in April attended by the Ullah family and UT PGE faculty and staff. During the event, Dr. Larry Lake accepted the new Chair.


“Shahid is an incredibly generous person,” said Lake. “I am honored to receive this Chair from someone who is not just a former student, but a close personal friend.”


The “Hook ‘Em” passion is avid throughout the Ullah family. Shahid’s wife, Sharon, is a University of Texas at Austin graduate with a degree from the College of Natural Sciences. Their son Zachary graduated from the university in 2012 with a BS in engineering and Plan II Honors and their daughter Lorena graduated from the university in 2014 with a degree in education.






Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208

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