Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Tad Patzek

Photo of Patzek, Tad


Phone: (512) 232-8368

Research Areas: Reservoir Engineering and Rock Mechanics; Process Control; Thermodynamics; Sustainability; Energy Policy; Field Pilot Design and Interpretation; Offshore Engineering; Unconventional Resources; Environmental Engineering; Hydrology; Contaminant Cleanup

Educational Qualifications:

M.S. ChemE, 1974, The Silesian Technical University, Gliwice Poland

Ph.D. ChemE, 1980, The Silesian Technical University, Gliwice Poland

PGE Courses Taught:

PGE 102 (Introduction to Petroleum Engineering)

PGE 379/383 (E4: Earth, Environment, Energy and Economics)


For the last four years, my research has emphasized the use of unconventional natural gas as a fuel bridge to the possible new energy supply schemes for the U.S. My work focuses on the producibility of mudstone formations and the interactions between hydrofractures and natural fractures. I am engaged in the studies of complex systems, focusing on the ultra deepwater offshore operations, ecology of large agricultural systems and biofuels systems.

Awards & Honors:

PNAS Cozzarelli Prize, 2014.

SPE Distinguished Member, 2013.

Full Professor, President of the Republic of Poland, April 12, 2012.

Member of the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee for the Department of Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).

The Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Chair, 2011 - present

The Cockrell Family Regents Chair #11, 2008 - present

Highlighted Publications:

Blog, LifeItself - 100,000 views as of January 2014

"Drilling Down: The Gulf Debacle and our Energy Dilemma," a popular book co-written with Joseph Tainter

Publications by year