Heidari Wins International SPE Formation Evaluation Award

July 31, 2023

Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering (UT PGE) Associate Professor Zoya Heidari has won the 2023 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Formation Evaluation Award. The international award is given annually to one recipient for outstanding achievements or contributions to the advancement of petroleum engineering in the area of formation evaluation. Dr. Heidari will be honored at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in San Antonio in October.

Dr. Zoya Heidari

Heidari directs UT Austin’s Multi-Scale Rock Physics Research Program, which conducts fundamental rock physics research in porous media to develop advanced methods for integrating multi-scale formation data (i.e., physical properties of rock-fluid systems from molecular to reservoir scale) to enhance characterization of petrophysically challenging rock formations. Examples of such formations include spatially heterogeneous, tight, unconventional and carbonate formations.

Heidari and her team jointly analyze the outcomes from experimental data, analytical rock physics model development, and numerical modeling to evaluate static and dynamic properties of rocks. The impact of her work is on improved description and quantification of complex subsurface reservoirs, which leads to improved description of multi-phase fluid transport and enhanced production and recovery factors in spatially complex hydrocarbon reservoirs, such as carbonates and organic-rich mudrocks (shales), as well as in carbon capture and sequestration and geothermal applications.

SPE has previously honored Heidari with its Cedric K. Ferguson Medal (2017); Distinguished Membership Award (2019); the Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award (2019) given jointly by SPE and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME); the Gulf Coast and Southwest North America Regions Formation Evaluation Award (2016); and the SPE Innovative Teaching Award (2015). She has also received prestigious awards from other technical societies including the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA) and the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE), including the SPWLA Young Professional Technical Award (2020), the SPWLA Distinguished Technical Achievement Award (2021), and EAGE Arie van Weelden Award (2019).

Heidari joined the UT PGE faculty in 2015 and in 2019 received the department’s Outstanding Faculty Award. She earned a PhD in Petroleum Engineering from the department in 2011, and an MSc in Biomechanical Engineering (2007) and BSc in Mechanical Engineering (2005) from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran.