Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Professor and Associate Department Chair, Kamy Sepehrnoori is one of three recipients of the 2015 SPE Faculty Recruitment Award.

The honor is awarded to faculty who have developed innovative techniques to recruit PhD students, faculty from other disciplines and industry personnel to consider an academic career in petroleum engineering.

Sepehrnoori, who received his PhD in petroleum engineering from UT PGE in 1977, supervises one of the largest research groups in the world in the area of reservoir simulation development and application. His research group has about thirty members consisting of PhD and MS students, postdocs, research associates, students and faculty visitors for other institutions.

Many of his ex-students serve as faculty members in departments of petroleum engineering all over the world or are working for major oil companies in a reservoir engineering related area. Thus far, more than 100 MS students and 86 PhD students have graduated under his supervision at The University of Texas at Austin.

Sepehrnoori has been a member of the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) since he joined the department as an assistant professor in 1981. He has served as chair for the Admissions Committee and the Graduate Studies Committee. For the last 17 years, he has been the graduate advisor. Due to the efforts by Sepehrnoori and fellow faculty, the Graduate School has rated the petroleum engineering graduate program as one of the most efficiently run graduate programs at UT Austin.

As a member of the GSC, and as the graduate advisor for the UT PGE Department, Sepehrnoori performs a variety of tasks related to recruiting and admissions. Every year the department holds recruiting sessions by inviting the top students to the department (fall and spring semesters) in order for the students to visit the campus and the department to see the departmental facilities, meet with the faculty and obtain information about various ongoing research activities.

He travels all over the world to present at various universities on his research related activities, and at the same time, he spends an extra day during his trips to devote time to recruiting talented students to UT PGE. He has made trips to several universities in Brazil, China, Korea, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, and many other countries.

In addition, Sepehrnoori has been influential in bringing top-tier faculty into the department. In his capacity as a committee member, as well as chair of the faculty recruiting committee, he has been actively involved in contacting non-petroleum engineering faculty members in other universities who have done related work that fits well with the ongoing teaching and research activities in the department to encourage them to apply for teaching positions. Ryosuke Okuno, who is joining the department this fall as an assistant professor, was recruited from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta.

Sepehrnoori will be recognized at SPE ATCE in Houston on September 28.