On March 13, 2020, the university closed due to COVID-19. Starting March 14, the faculty were given two weeks, an extended spring break, to take an unprecedented action in shifting all their classes online to finish the rest of the semester.

Earlier this year, UT PGE assistant professor Wen Song received a $320,000 grant from the UT Energy Institute to co-lead a multidisciplinary project on “Enabling the Sustainable Energy Transition: Economic Recovery of Rare Earth Elements”.

UT PGE remains the No. 1 graduate program in petroleum engineering, according to the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings.

The University of Texas at Austin Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (CPGE) appointed Hildebrand Department professor Matthew Balhoff to director. His appointment, which began on January 8, 2020, succeeds the center’s previous director Dr. Kishore Mohanty.

Moises Velasco Lozano and Eduardo Maldonado Cruz both grew up in rural regions in the southern part of Mexico near the Pacific Ocean. Not being known for its oil and gas production, the journey to petroleum engineering was unlikely for both Velasco and Maldonado particularly since they did not know each other until college. With a deep passion for learning and a drive to succeed as well as some chance encounters along the way, Velasco and Maldonado were led to each pursue a doctoral degree in petroleum engineering in the Hildebrand Department as prestigious Fulbright-Garcia Robles Scholars.

In the five different scenarios presented in the 2019 BP Energy Outlook report, oil and gas account for at least half of the energy mix that will be used in 2040. With the continued global need for oil and gas, Drs. Mukul Sharma, Hugh Daigle and David DiCarlo believe it is critical to continue tackling and finding innovative solutions for current sustainability challenges in water, land, and air.

With a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Cockrell School of Engineering is launching a unique initiative that aims to make The University of Texas at Austin a national hub for geothermal energy expertise and startups.

According to Forbes, the worldwide big data market is projected to grow from $42 billion in 2018 to $103 billion in 2027 and more than 150 zettabytes (150 trillion gigabytes) of data will need analysis by 2025.

Thanks to an extraordinary commitment from UT PGE alumnus and former EOG Resources Inc. President Gary L. Thomas, the Cockrell School of Engineering is officially naming its newest building the Gary L. Thomas Energy Engineering Building.

The Hildebrand Department continues to hold a No. 1 undergraduate petroleum engineering program ranking, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings.