Three UT PGE Professors Win International SPE Awards

August 10, 2022

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has recognized Dr. Matt Balhoff, Dr. Kishore Mohanty and Dr. Kamy Sepehrnoori with three of its most prestigious international awards. These awards recognize individuals who make significant technical and professional contributions to the petroleum engineering profession and to the worldwide oil and gas industry.

Selection is based on members’ technical contributions, professional excellence, career achievement, service to colleagues, industry leadership and public service. Balhoff, Mohanty and Sepehrnoori will be officially recognized during SPE’s 2022 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Houston in October.

Professor Matt BalhoffProfessor Matt Balhoff received the Lester C. Uren Award for Technical Excellence, which recognizes distinguished achievement in the technology of petroleum engineering. Balhoff’s research focuses on modeling, understanding and validating fundamental flow and transport behavior of subsurface fluids with applications to hydrocarbon recovery, carbon sequestration, groundwater remediation and nuclear waste storage. He is also director of the Center for Subsurface Energy and the Environment.

Uren award recipients must have been younger than 45 when the work being recognized was completed, and they automatically become SPE Distinguished Members. The award, established in 1963, honors petroleum engineering pioneer Lester C. Uren, and author, researcher and educator who wrote the first petroleum engineering textbook in 1924 and founded the first curriculum for petroleum engineering in 1915. An amplification of his textbook, now three volumes, is used as a standard reference work in most petroleum schools and oil companies.

Professor Kishore MohantyProfessor Kishore Mohanty received the John Franklin Carll Award for Distinguished Professionals, which was established in 1956 to recognize distinguished contribution in the application of engineering principles to petroleum development and recovery. Mohanty’s research focuses on transport of simple and complex fluids in complex microstructured materials for applications in energy, environment and biotechnology.

Carll award recipients automatically become SPE Distinguished Members. The award’s namesake was a geologist who developed many of the subsurface geological methods still in use today. More than a century ago, he expressed the principles of petroleum engineering and geology that established much of the framework for the development of petroleum engineering technology.

Professor and Associate Department Chair Kamy SepehrnooriProfessor Kamy Sepehrnoori received SPE’s major technical award, the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal for Technical Leadership, which honors distinguished achievement in the identification and development of new technology and concepts that enhance the process of finding or producing petroleum. Sepehrnoori’s research focuses on the development and application of compositional reservoir simulators for enhanced oil recovery, modeling of asphaltene deposition in reservoirs and wellbores, development and application of reservoir simulators for naturally fractured reservoirs, EOR processes, development and application of reservoir simulators for unconventional resources, development of parallel reservoir simulators, and CO2 sequestration.

Lucas medal recipients automatically become SPE Distinguished Members. Established in 1936 by SPE’s parent organization, the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, the medal is named for the father of petroleum engineering who successfully drilled the famous Spindletop field in Beaumont, Texas, in 1901 and ushered in the beginning of the modern petroleum industry.