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New Director.................................4 New Faculty..................................5 Faculty Research...........................6 Convocation 2009........................7 Student Spotlight..........................8

09 Mewbourne School

of Petroleum and Geological Engineering

13 ConocoPhillips


School of Geology and Geophysics

16 Oklahoma Geological Survey Keller Named New Director

19 Recognition at Its Best Alumni Awards November 2008

21 International Corner OUtreach

22 Alumni Alumni Interviews.......................22 Colombian OU Alumni Assoc......25 ClassNotes..................................28

27 Spring 2009 Student Awardees 29 Development Update 30 Calendar of Events

22 Earth & Energy University of Oklahoma Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Designer: Old Hat Creative Managing Editor: Naïla Williams Photo Credits: Maria Cardenas, Sebastian Bayer, Jenny Cole, Sue Crites, Austin Heape, Norman Party Pics, Shevaun Williams and Associates Commercial Photography, Inc., Rose Marie Sondergeld, Michelle Summers, Robert Taylor, Yoana Walschap, Naïla Williams. Contributing Writers: I. Yucel Akkutlu, Jenny Cole, Sue Crites, Elizabeth Ehrhardt, Larry Grillot, Austin Heape, David London, Megan Elwood Madden, Samuel Osisanya, Connie Smith, Chandra Rai, Allison Richardson, Yoana Walschap.

Earth & Energy magazine, printed by the University of Oklahoma Printing Services, is issued by the University of Oklahoma. 5400 Copies have been prepared and distributed at no cost to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma. The University

of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. The mission of the University of Oklahoma is to provide the best possible educational experience for our students through excellence in teaching, research and creative activity, and service to the state and society. Funding for this publication is provided by the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Board of Visitors. For more information, contact: Naïla Williams Alumni Communications Coordinator Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy The University of Oklahoma 100 East Boyd Street, Room 510 Norman, OK 73019-1006 Phone: (405)325-3821 Fax: (405)325-3180 Website: Email:


Larry R. Grillot Dean

Donna Ade Staff Assistant

Yoana Walschap International Outreach Web Support

Constance White Manager, Administration and Operations


Linda Goeringer Coordinator Academic Student Services

Allison Richardson Alumni Relations

Ameil Shadid Director of Development

Carl Sondergeld Associate Dean

Naïla Williams Alumni Communications Coordinator

Pam Conine Financial Administrator


Elizabeth Ehrhardt Academic Counselor Academic Student Services

Scott Wright Director/Field Representative

MCEE BOARD OF VISITORS — MEMBERS 2009 - 2010 J. Denny Bartell Chris Cheatwood Douglas Cummings James C. Day Jim Gallogly James A. Gibbs S. Kim Hatfield Ronnie K. Irani T.H. McCasland, Jr. Jere W. McKenny Robert McKenney

Brian O’Brien Bill Z. Parker Pamela S. Pierce Mike Pollok Ted Sandridge Conley Smith Robert L. Stephpenson Charles Stephenson, Jr. Robert Thomas Gene Van Dyke Cyril Wagner, Jr.

Kenneth Waits Lew Ward, III

EX-OFFICIO Joseph Dischinger Eric Erickson Larry R. Grillot, Dean Emmitt Lockard Tom Hooper

LETTER FROM THE DEAN Dear Alumni and Friends, Welcome to the second edition of Earth & Energy and to the start of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy’s fourth academic year as a college. As I reflect back on the past three years and all that we have accomplished, it gives me great pleasure to share with you some of those successes and to give you a glimpse of future plans. In this issue, we highlight a few of the many activities going on in the lives of our students, alumni, faculty and staff, all of which have greatly contributed to the success of our college. This year marked the largest graduating class to date, with 108 graduates participating in the spring convocation ceremony. As you will see, our students continue to excel in many areas, both inside and outside the classroom. Our faculty have continued to provide strong teaching and research, and some of these activities are highlighted in the magazine. We not only appointed four new faculty in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, but G. Randy Keller was named Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Keller holds a split position, continuing his role as professor of geophysics in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics. We also welcomed Ameil Shadid as Director of Development; he will oversee a “restructured” development group within the college, which includes Allison Richardson and Naïla Williams. We are seeing the direct benefits of our program to upgrade our labs and other teaching facilities, such as the geology and geophysics labs, the petroleum engineering undergraduate labs, M-I SWACO fluids lab and the Crustal Imaging Facility. In August, we will begin the installation of the drilling simulator, provided to the University of Oklahoma by National Oilwell Varco, and also hope to move forward with a new OU geology field camp. We also will be starting the overall remodel of the Sarkeys tower to provide improved space for some of the facilities mentioned here.


I would like to take this opportunity to again thank our alumni, industry and other supporters for their help in the upgrade of our labs and other teaching facilities. Your contributions have enabled the college to continue its heritage of strong “hands-on,” laboratory-based education, which, I believe, is one of the strengths of our programs.


Larry R. Grillot Dean, Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Lester A. Day Family Chair

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Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Welcomes New Director of Development Ameil Shadid “I am proud to be a part of a college with a rich history. OU is where I want to be, and I’m totally committed to the mission of the university.” Those are words you will hear when you ask Ameil Shadid why he chose to apply for the director of development position in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. Shadid joined the college in February, replacing John Ritz, who returned to industry after many years at OU. Shadid cites Dean Larry R. Grillot as another of his reasons for joining the Mewbourne College. He says that the dean is a perfect leader for the college as it continues to grow and take shape. He knows that Grillot is well respected both on and off campus by other deans, as well as alumni. Passionate about his family, the university and his job, Shadid grew up in Norman and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in communication in 2001 and a master’s degree in human relations in 2003. A member of OU Development for almost six years, Shadid joined the President’s Associates staff in August 2003 before moving to the Price College of Business in August 2004, where he worked as a development officer for the college. Shadid considers himself to be a self-starter, and likes to be “on the move,” meeting with alumni as well as visiting with college faculty. He has built strong relationships across the university, both with the OU Foundation and

OU’s Office of Development, and values the many good friendships he has established with alumni over the years. Shadid’s goal for the college is to close out the campaign in a timely fashion, given the current economic environment. Currently, the MCEE Campaign has raised $56 million of the $80 million goal. He sees the role of the college as providing students with the resources and opportunities necessary to set them apart from their peers as leaders in their fields. Based on evidence from past graduates, Shadid says it is important to continue this trend which, he says, can be accomplished by providing a handson lab environment for the students, rather than through a virtual experience, making them more attractive to potential employers.

I am proud to be a part of a college with a rich history.

When asked about his hobbies, Shadid lists spending time with his wife, Kristy, and 2-year-old son, A.J.; playing golf; cooking; and working in the yard. He is still active in his fraternity, Delta Upsilon. He also is involved in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and hopes to become more involved on the District IV Board. With Grillot’s leadership, coupled with key support from alumni and corporate partners, Shadid is totally committed to the mission of the college and university.

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MPGE Faculty Ramadan Ahmed Ramadan Ahmed joined the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering in the fall of 2008 as an assistant professor. Before coming to OU, Ahmed worked for five years as a senior research associate and adjunct professor at the University of Tulsa. His specializations include drilling fluid rheology, borehole hydraulics and cuttings transport. Ahmed holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia; he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in petroleum engineering from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He has authored more than 30 research and technical articles. Ahmed also is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Jeffrey G. Callard


Jeffrey G. Callard is an assistant professor of petroleum engineering at OU. He teaches courses in petroleum project evaluation, advanced production engineering, and natural gas engineering, while conducting research in decline curve analysis in tight sand and shale gas reservoirs. Prior to joining OU, Callard worked for 16 years in exploration and production and related industry. He received his degrees in petroleum engineering from OU, Stanford and LSU. Callard is a member of SPE and has previously published papers on decline curve analysis in its journal. He also currently serves as an undergraduate adviser in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering.

Deepak Devegowda Deepak Devegowda came to OU in August 2008 as an assistant professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering. His research interests lie in the areas of high-resolution reservoir description using inverse methods, data assimilation schemes for stochastic reservoir modeling and geostatistical reservoir characterization. His research also is geared toward understanding, modeling and management of unconventional oil and gas reservoirs, enhanced recovery processes, groundwater systems and contaminant transport. Devegowda holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, India. He earned his master’s

From left: Deepak Devegowda, Jeffrey Callard, Ben Shiau, Ramadan Ahmed

and doctoral degrees in petroleum engineering, from Texas A&M University. From 1998 to 2001, he was engaged in formation evaluation services with Halliburton for clients in Egypt and India.

B.J. Shiau B.J. Shiau is an assistant professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering and director of the Applied Surfactant Laboratory. He comes to us with an educational background in chemical engineering and civil engineering. Before joining MPGE in the fall of 2008, Shiau worked for Surbec Environmental and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He has many years of research experience in designing groundwater remediation systems, including in situ surfactant flushing, permeable reactive barriers, chemical oxidation, and ex-situ soil washing. In the past few years, Shiau has conducted numerous full-scale projects and demonstrations using surfactant flushing at Department of Defense sites (such as Hill Air Force Base, McClellan Air Force Base, Dover Air Force Base) and industrial or underground storage tank sites. He was granted several U.S. patents for the work conducted at Surbec in developing newgeneration surfactants for remediation of fuel oils and heating oil. In MPGE, Shiau is working on novel surfactant systems and chemical flooding for enhancing crude oil recovery. His recent research interests also include CO2 capture and injection, biosurfactants, nanotechnology and applied colloid chemistry for characterizing reservoir conditions and enhancing oil recovery. Shiau is a professional engineer and a licensed environmental remediation consultant. He has published 20 refereed articles and three U.S. patents.

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Elwood Madden Receives NASA Grants to Explore the Role of Water on Mars Megan Elwood Madden, assistant professor in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, is a planetary geochemist. Planetary geochemistry is a rapidly growing sub-discipline of geology and planetary science, applying what geochemists have learned about minerals, fluids, isotopes, and rocks on Earth to fluid-rock interactions, mineral assemblages, and suites of rocks on other planets. Using geochemical modeling, terrestrial analogs, and laboratory experiments, Elwood Madden and her students are working to determine the nature of fluids on Mars and other planets. Elwood Madden recently was awarded two NASA grants totaling $500,000 to examine the history and geochemistry of water on Mars. The first, “Establishing constraints for coupled jarosite dissolution and iron (hydr)oxide formation: Assessing rates and environmental conditions,” with co-investigator Andrew Madden, also an assistant professor in CPGG, will measure the lifetime of jarosite, an iron sulfate mineral observed on Mars. Jarosite acts as a stopwatch, forming quickly in liquid water and then slowly dissolving until

Devon Funds Research on Gas Shale: Advanced MEMS of Nature

I. Yucel Akkutlu, assistant professor in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, recently received new research support from Devon to investigate gas transport mechanisms in shale. Akkutlu says that “if the interest on natural gas production from these resources is here to stay with us, within the next several years there will be a new generation of reservoir flow simulators for the shale gas producers to accurately predict and optimize their gas production. These simulators are going to be far more complex than the conventional simulators. With this project, Devon has decided to strategically position itself among the other shale-gas producers by engaging the OU researchers to augment internal capabilities. This is basic science research,” he argues. “It is a small project, but a very important and timely one.” Akkutlu says that the complexity is inevitable in this case, because shales have a multi-scale pore structure with micropores scaling down to nanometer. Natural gas resides in those small pores, which are part of an intricate pore-network structure. The main difference between fluid mechanics of natural gas at micro-scale and in the reservoirdomain is non-continuum effects, pore-wall dominated effects, low-Reynolds number effects, and, lastly but more importantly,

it disappears. Measurements jarosite lifetimes will determine how long Mars was wet in areas where the mineral is observed. Her second project, “Water Elwood Madden with John Leeman and Shayla Zahrai and Carbon Reservoirs: Combining thermodynamics and kinetics to develop geologic models of gas hydrate distribution and flux on Mars,” investigates the rate of gas hydrate formation and decomposition under Mars’ relevant conditions to determine the role gas hydrates may play in global change on Mars and other planets, including Earth. For more information on Elwood Madden’s research, visit her Web page at multi-scale and multiphysics effects. He says some currently tend to look lump these as “non-Darcian” effects, which appear in the usual picture as a nuisance requiring corrections, while using the conventional engineering techniques. Akkutlu, however, thinks these Akkutlu with international graduate students (from effects may be the left) Ebrahim Fathi and Mery Diaz-Campos. dominant ones. He adds: “We are not dealing with a reservoir flow problem with non-Darcian effects; what we have on the table is a complex non-Darcian flow problem. . . . gas shales are indeed the most complicated micro-fabricated MEMS product of nature an engineer can face throughout his/her career.” In addition to his teaching and active research interests, Akkutlu serves as the graduate liaison for MPGE and is actively involved with international outreach (see “International OUtreach” section on pg. 21). For more information on Dr. Akkutlu’s research, visit

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Clockwise from top Left: Dean Grillot, Emad Alabbad, Grads having fun, students leading the OU chant


The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy held its

Following the dean’s welcome, MCEE Outstanding Senior,

fourth convocation ceremony on Saturday, May 16, in the

Emad Alabbad, delivered a speech that was both amusing

elegantly appointed Donald W. Reynolds Performing Arts

and inspiring. Carl Sondergeld, associate dean of the

Center. This year marked the largest graduating class to

MCEE, filled the role of convocation enunciator as the

date, with 108 graduates participating in this momentous

students made their way across the stage to receive their


diplomas. Faculty advisers were on hand to perform the


special hooding of their doctoral candidates, followed by The ceremony began with the playing of “Pomp and

master’s and bachelor’s candidates. Also in attendance was

Circumstance,” while graduates, led by CPGG and MPGE

Regent Richard Dunning, who congratulated the graduates

faculty dressed in full regalia, streamed into the historic

as they made their way across the stage. To close the event,

auditorium carrying the school and college banners. Dean

graduating students Lindsay Guest, Damilola Olusola,

Larry R. Grillot welcomed graduates, their families and

Andrew Thiel and Beau Utley led the audience in the OU

guests, and spoke about the impressive accomplishments of

Chant, accompanied by Dean Grillot on piano.

the MCEE students and faculty during the past year.

Following the ceremony, graduates and guests were treated to sounds of Mozart, performed by the Rotavele String Quartet, at a reception held in Oklahoma Memorial Union.

tt h h ee U Un n ii v v ee r r ss ii tt Y Y oo ff o ok k ll a ah ho om ma a

Emad Alabbad Selected as Outstanding Senior

Emad Alabbad accepts his Outstanding Senior award from OU President David L. Boren; with Dean Larry Grillot and Mary Martha Stewart, president of OU Parents’ Association

Emad A. Alabbad was selected as the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy’s outstanding senior for 2008-2009 at an awards ceremony in Oklahoma Memorial Union on Oct. 31, 2008. He was presented with a certificate and check by Dean Larry Grillot at the MCEE Board of Visitors’ meeting last November. Alabbad’s other honors and activities include MPGE Outstanding Junior, Saudi Aramco scholar, Saudi Student Association president and International Advisory Committee member. Alabbad, a senior in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, will graduate with special distinction and serve as the college’s banner carrier in the May graduation ceremonies. He says he has gained many benefits from his experiences at OU that will stay with him always. Alabbad is the son of Abbad and Najat Alshakis Alabbad of Dharhran, Saudi Arabia. He will return to Saudi Arabia after graduation to begin a career with Saudi Aramco.


Study-Abroad Student Inducted Into Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society Nicole McMahon, a senior in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, was nominated for membership into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. McMahon is the daughter of Stephen and Geneva McMahon of Bethel Acres, Okla. Currently, McMahon is studying abroad at the Universitat Jaume I in Castellón de la Plana, Spain, one hour north of Valencia on the east coast. She is majoring in geophysics, with an option in exploration and a minor in Spanish with honors.

McMahon says it is a thrill to wake up every day in a foreign country with the opportunity to explore and experience its culture. She says she has gained a greater appreciation for international cultures as well as her own. “Honestly, you have to experience another culture before you can truly reflect on and appreciate your own. Studying abroad is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life.” In addition to missing her family, McMahon says she misses the little things like free water and refills in restaurants. McMahon returns to the United States at the end of July and will graduate from OU in the summer. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in international programs at Michigan Tech University. While there, McMahon will join the Peace Corps for two years, studying hazard mitigation in Pacific Latin America. G. Randy Keller, Director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, professor and McCollough Chair in CPGG, is Nicole’s undergraduate adviser.

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M-I SWACO/MPGE PARTNERSHIP Yields New Drilling Fluids Lab


On Feb. 19, the Mewbourne College hosted a luncheon in appreciation of a gift from M-I SWACO to refurbish the MPGE drilling fluids laboratory. M-I SWACO, the country’s largest drilling fluids company, provided close to $1 million to renovate the drilling fluids lab used by professors Sam Osisanya and Carl Sondergeld for their undergraduate students. M-I SWACO also donated brand-new equipment and other teaching resources for the lab, which has been moved into newly refurbished space. According to Chandra Rai, director of MPGE, “It was a pleasant experience working with M-I SWACO during rebuilding of the laboratory. They made sure that we get the same equipment that a mud engineer will use in the industry. The training in this laboratory will go a long way in keeping with our vision to produce engineering graduates sought among the first by the industry.” Rai says that in the current environment of rapid technology change, it is imperative that the curriculum and teaching laboratory facilities be changed, too. The latter requires significant resources that are always a challenge to obtain. He considers this an important opportunity for MPGE and feels fortunate to have this partnership with M-I SWACO. According to Rai, the drilling fluids undergraduate teaching laboratory “is one such example of industry-university partnership that helps us in providing and teaching the latest technology to students.”

From left, Jim Bruton, M-I SWACO; John Yearwood, Smith International, Inc.; and Chandra Rai, MPGE Director, unveil photographs of the new drilling fluids lab.

Osisanya thanked M-I SWACO personnel present for providing the students with a lab that “makes it possible for all the students to have hands-on experience exactly the way they will be doing it after graduation at the rig site.” Osisanya also explained that the successful drilling and completion of oil or gas wells depend on selecting the best drilling fluid. The new M-I SWACO lab is being used to

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teach undergraduate students how to test, evaluate and develop an understanding of these fluids. Two undergraduate students who are benefitting from the lab, Casie Sudderth and Jonathan Chastain, were invited to speak on behalf of the students. In her remarks, Sudderth, who is graduating in the spring, stated that this equipment is not available to students at other universities, “so it is great knowing that I have the opportunity to take my unique knowledge out into the industry when I graduate.� Sudderth thanked M-I SWACO for their donation and for contributing not only to her education, but to that of her classmates and those who will follow after them.

Professor Sam Osisanya with students in lab


Professor Osisanya demonstrating lab equipment

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Among the First . . . 2006 MPGE Alumna Reflects On Graduating From a New College

Maria Isabel Cardenas came to Norman in 2003 to study English at the Center for English as a Second Language, with the intentions of pursuing a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. Conversations she had with University of Oklahoma students led Cardenas to apply to OU and says that, “OU filled my educational expectations because its master’s program in petroleum engineering offered the choice to learn from new and integrated fields of knowledge. In my case, I wanted to gain a background in areas such as geology and geophysics, which helped me to become an interdisciplinary professional.” In 2004, Cardenas began her petroleum engineering program which, at that time, was in the College of Engineering. In May 2006, Cardenas, along with other colleagues, joined the elite group of first-time graduates in the newly established College of Earth and Energy. That first year, the college graduated approximately 82 students. This past May, the college had its largest graduating class since its inception with nearly 140 students. When asked what it meant to be a part of a new college, Cardenas 11 said, “I was excited to graduate from the new college because I believed that the new approach to education made me a stronger and more competitive professional in my field. Being under the guidance of Making history, Cardenas at the first convocation ceremony in the College of Earth and Energy, May 2006.

First graduates of the College of Earth and Energy, May 2006.

Dr. Roger Slatt from the (ConocoPhillips) School of Geology and Geophysics, and Dr. Chandra Rai from the (Mewbourne School of ) Petroleum Engineering, gave me the opportunity to apply different points of view to my thesis and to make it interdisciplinary, by successfully combining my background as a petroleum engineer with geology.” Cardenas is a reservoir engineer for ConocoPhillips in Houston. She currently is working on simulations projects with experienced engineers. Upon completion of her current project, she would like to work in Indonesia for a few years before working with unconventional resources in South America.

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MPGE Faculty and Staff Members Honored by College of Engineering Carl Sondergeld, professor of petroleum and geological engineering and associate dean in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, and Francey Freeman, coordinator of

Undergraduate Student Relations in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, were honored by the College of Engineering at the 96th Engineers’ Week banquet on Feb. 21 in Oklahoma Memorial Union at the University of Oklahoma. The Brandon H. Griffith Outstanding Faculty award was presented to Sondergeld for excellence in teaching and extraordinary support for students. Established in 1969 in honor of Brandon H. Griffith, faculty receiving this award have demonstrated their dedication in making the College of Engineering a world-class institution. Freeman received the Cherry Griffith award, established in 2005 in honor of a devoted student advocate for the College of Engineering. It recognizes extraordinary support for students and for going above and beyond the call of duty to help College of Engineering students succeed.

From left, Brian Davis, Kyle Ray, Francey Freeman, Carl Sondergeld, Mark Ballard and MPGE Director, Chandra Rai. Photo courtesy of Rose Marie Sondergeld.

MPGE Student Elected UOSA VP Dewey Bartlett, a senior in the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, was elected the UOSA vice president for the academic year 2009-2010.


Bartlett, who served as the Interfraternity Council president during this past academic year, jumped at the chance to run when he was approached by Katie Fox and asked to be her running mate as vice president of UOSA. “I’ve always been very proud of our great university and want to improve it in as many areas as I can.” Among their goals for the coming year, Bartlett lists starting a UOSA tailgate on game days for all students, creating a Fine Arts season pass, and creating a director of international affairs position within the executive branch. He says he will do his best to bring new ideas of improvement to the university and listen to the needs of the students.

Bartlett, who is from Tulsa, Okla., is the son of Dewey Bartlett, Jr. and Susan Bartlett.

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CPGG Faculty Wins American Mineralogist Best Paper Award David London, Stubbeman-Drace Presidential Professor and Norman R. Gelphman Professor in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, recently received The American Mineralogist’s Best Paper Award from the Friends of Mineralogy. The award was presented in absentia at the annual Friends of Mineralogy reception in Tucson on Feb. 14. His article, “The Barite Roses of Oklahoma,” has been reprinted from The Mineralogical Record July– August 2008 in the Oklahoma London in his office surrounded by his prize rocks Geological Survey’s Information Series 13. The Mineralogical Record is the premier journal of mineralogy for amateur scientists and collectors. Papers are chosen on the basis of impact, scientific content, innovation/originality, organization and readability. In his article, London provides answers to many of the questions surrounding barite roses (Article courtesy of Neil Suneson, OK Geologicala Survey).


London was born and raised in Ardmore, Okla. He received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University (Connecticut) in 1975 and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Arizona

State University in 1979 and 1981, respectively. He spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Carnegie Institution’s Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, D. C., before joining the OU faculty in 1983. Most of London’s research pertains to the origins and chemical evolution of felsmic magmas that solidify as granites, rhyolites and pegmatites. In addition to his research, London teaches a number of graduate and undergraduate courses. “The Friends of Mineralogy make a $1,000 donation annually to the publishers of The Mineralogical Record and to the Rocks and Minerals Magazine for the best article of the year published by each journal. For more information on the Friends of Mineralogy, visit

With students in the lab from left, Rika Burr, Brian Harms, Stacey Evans and Kevin Hathaway.

London Nominated for MSA Distinguished Lecture Series London also has been selected as one of three lecturers for the Mineralogical Society of America in 2009-2010. The titles of the talks to be offered are: “Gem-Bearing Pegmatites: Nature’s ‘Fancy’ Rocks,” and “The Experimental Foundations of Igneous Petrology.” For more on the program, visit

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STUDENT NEWS AAPG/SEG Spring Break Student Expo

Among the First . . . 2006 CPGG AlumnUS Reflects On Graduating from a New College W. Sebastian Bayer originally came to the University of Oklahoma as an undergraduate student in the exchange program between the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and OU. In fact, he was the very first student from the geology program at his university in Bogota. During his time here as an undergraduate, Bayer worked on his thesis with Dr. Shankar Mitra, a professor of geology and geophysics. Bayer recalls being impressed by the friendly manner of the professors and people in the college, as well as the technical excellence in the field of geology, in exploration and production of hydrocarbons. These reasons made it easy for him “to accept a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” that was later offered to him, by Professor Roger Slatt, to join the graduate program in geology and geophysics. Bayer says, “It was a very rewarding feeling to graduate from a college that is so diverse. Being part of the College of Earth and Energy gave me the opportunity to interact with students from different backgrounds, many countries, and what I value now significantly, multiple disciplines.” He finds the experience and knowledge he gained working on his master’s thesis that was co-directed by Slatt and Mitra invaluable, and credits the multidisciplinary system available in the school as good preparation for his career. Bayer currently is an asset team geologist with Marathon Oil Co. in Houston. His parents, Kurt Bayer and Fabiola Prince de Bayer, live in Bogota, Colombia. His future plans are to continue working for Marathon Oil Co. in their international production operations division, with a goal of working in Angola deep water, and, ultimately, ultra-deep water exploration and new ventures.

OU Geology and Geophysics students Carlos Santacruz and Kevin Hathaway

March 12 through 14, OU’s ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics hosted the ninth annual American Association of Petroleum Geologists/ Society of Exploration Geophysicists Spring Break Student Expo in the Sarkeys Energy Center. They had a record-breaking registration of 221 students from 62 universities, including a student who came from Mexico. Of the 221 students registered, an estimated 205 attended the Expo. The event was sponsored by 37 companies, 23 of whom had representatives in attendance with display booths. Universities represented at the spring expo included: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, with a contingent from

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STUDENT NEWS (Cont.) Canada as well. Companies or individuals providing sponsorships included: Event Sponsors ($3,000 and up) Chesapeake Energy Devon Energy Shell Platinum Sponsors ($1,500 to $2,999) SEG Chuck Noll (Alumnus) Gold Sponsors ($500 to $1,499) Minerals Management Service MAP Exploration, Inc. CGGVeritas SandRidge Energy EnCana Oil & Gas Marathon Oil Noble Energy ExxonMobil Fugro Seismic Imaging Mewbourne Oil Chevron BP America Continental Resources Mt. Dora Energy Schlumberger Nexen Petroleum IHS Brian E. O’Brien (Alumnus) Kirkpatrick Oil Co. Myra B. Ward (Alumna) Core Laboratories Robert Stephenson (Alumnus) Questar Jon Withrow (Alumnus) Silver Sponsors ($100 to $499) ConocoPhillips Marlan Downey (Alumnus) Jim Caylor (Alumnus) Burk Royalty Company, Ltd. Bill Clopine (Alumnus) (Alumni) Kate Moore (Alumna) Robert W. Allen (Alumnus) David Campbell (Alumnus)

OU Teams Come Up BIG winners in SEG Challenge Bowl! The third annual SEG Sooner Challenge Bowl was held in conjunction with the spring expo, also at the university. A total of eight teams participated-three from the University of Oklahoma, three from the University of Houston, one from Saint Louis University, and one from the University 15

First- and second-place winners at SEG/AAPG Challenge Bowl, University of Oklahoma, March 2009: Bradley Wallet, Oswaldo Davogustto, Peter Duncan, Jonathan Funk, Jefferson Chang

of Texas at Dallas. Peter Duncan of MicroSeismic was the bowl emcee. Two teams from OU won both first and second places. The OU team going to national competition includes Bradley Wallet and Oswaldo Davogustto, whose prize includes a trip to the finals in Houston in the fall, sponsored by Shell and MicroSeismic. Second place team winners were Jonathan Funk and Jefferson Chang. All four are graduate students in CPGG.

Spring Break Expo Golf Tournament a Big Hit! This year’s first-ever AAPG/SEG Spring Expo Kickoff Golf Tournament - held March 11 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course - was a great success. Although the weather was a windy 35 degrees for much of the day, players were in high spirits. Fifty-six players registered for the event, which included a near 50/50 mix of students from both Oklahoma and visiting schools, as well as members of the oil and gas industry who chose to support AAPG/SEG. The event gave companies the opportunity to meet and play with students both from OU and others visiting for the expo. Their vision was to match up teams with employees from industry, alumni from the university, and students. The winning team consisted of Scott Heape, Monta Sewell, Carlos Santacruz and Austin Heape, with a score of 62.5, after factoring in handicaps. Despite the weather, the event was a success, and positive comments were received from the participants. According to AAPG vice The winning golf tournament team l-r: Monta Sewell, Carlos Santacruz, president, Austin Heape, Austin Heape and Scott Heape “We hope to make this tournament a tradition in the following years, so we hope that all of those who played return to play again next year. We would also like to extend one last ‘thank you’ to all the sponsors who made the tournament possible.” AAPG/SEG raised more than $1,000, which will be allocated to the school’s student organizations. (Contributing writers, Jenny Cole and Austin Heape)

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g. Randy Keller appointed new oGS director Although not quite a “new” face, faculty, staff and students gathered in Sarkeys Energy Center on Feb. 27 to officially congratulate and welcome new Oklahoma Geological Survey Director, G. Randy Keller. The gathering provided his MCEE colleagues a chance to visit Keller’s new offices and talk with him about plans for Survey activities in the coming years. Larry Grillot, MCEE dean, introduced Keller and talked about the enthusiastic response from OGS staff and others when Keller applied for the position. Keller became interim director in November 2007, following the retirement of Charles J. Mankin, who had held the position of director for 40 years. Keller stepped in with enthusiasm and a clear direction for the OGS, putting the Survey on track to celebrate its centennial in November 2008. Keller says he began to think about applying for the director’s job on more than an interim basis soon after that centennial lookback at the first 100 years of the OGS. “After I had been with the Survey for some time, I came to have a real appreciation for the staff, for the work they do and for the variety of programs carried out,” he said.

“As I became more involved, I also realized that my own research and the ongoing OGS programs are a great fit. It’s also exciting to be affiliated with the College of Earth and Energy, because the Survey’s wide range of expertise provides so many opportunities to collaborate on projects across the college and interact with students.” Keller also will continue as professor and McCollough Chair in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, and will teach geophysics and tectonics and work with students. He emphasizes that the OGS will continue to work in the areas where it has had much success, serving the needs of industry and academia through research and outreach, while not overlooking the basic mission of public service. As always, the Survey’s work will reflect the current needs of Oklahoma and the nation. (Submitted by Connie Smith, OGS information officer/Web manager.)

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CPGG winning students from left, Michael Murrell, Andrew Thiel, and Christopher Althoff are shown with OGS Director G. Randy Keller. Not shown: OU student Sarah Fadaiepour.

CPGG Students Benefit From Real Deal Mid-Continent Prospect Expo 17

Geologists, geophysicists, landmen and engineers from Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Colorado gathered for the Real Deal Mid-Continent Prospect Expo on Oct. 29, 2008. The Expo, which was held at the Oklahoma Museum of History in Oklahoma City, was a huge success. The Expo, a joint venture between the Oklahoma Geological Survey and Oklahoma City Geological Society, was designed to be a service to OCGS members and the geologic community in the Mid-Continent.

students at OU and Oklahoma State University. Four students in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics at OU were awarded scholarships: Christopher Althoff, Sarah Fadaiepour, Michael Murrell and Andrew Thiel. Twenty-four prospect booths and 15 vendors displayed prospects and goods and services. The general consensus was that the expo was a successful venture, both for prospect exhibitors and the 230 attendees.

Because of the Expo’s success, OCGS and OGS were able to fund a total of eight scholarships to geology and geophysics

the UniversitY of oklahoma

Left: Brian Cardott reviewing his poster display (Photo courtesy of Connie Smith) Right: OGS staff and professionals at the centennial celebration (Photo courtesy of Robert Taylor)

100 Years of History . . .

OGS Celebrates Centennial The Oklahoma Geological Survey celebrated 100 years of service to Oklahoma with an open house and a reception on Nov. 21, 2008, at the Sarkeys Energy Center. The Survey was written into the 1907 Oklahoma Constitution before becoming operative in 1908, with a legislative mandate to “investigate the state’s land, water, mineral, and energy resources and disseminate the results of those investigations to promote the wise use consistent Provost Nancy Mergler and G. with sound Randy Keller cut the cake at the environmental OGS centennial open house. practices.” One (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.) hundred years later, the words are still relevant and appropriate. The centennial began with an open house in the Survey offices and a poster display in the adjacent hallways and OGS conference room. The wide range of topics included current OGS projects, mapping status, Survey history, staff members, and various publications and projects. Survey staff members were on hand to talk about the

displays and to chat with the visitors, some of whom have been OGS friends and associates for a very long time. A reception followed in the west atrium to officially mark the OGS Centennial. G. Randy Keller, OGS interim director, welcomed the standing-room-only audience of more than 200 people and recognized visitors from state and federal agencies. Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Dean Larry R. Grillot thanked Keller for serving as interim director upon Charles J. Mankin’s retirement on Oct. 31, 2008. Grillot also talked about the Survey’s unique relationship with MCEE and its important role in the future. He then introduced OU Senior Vice President and Provost Nancy L. Mergler, who spoke about the Survey’s unique connection with OU and the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics. Mergler pointed out that the first OU president, David Ross Boyd, was instrumental in establishing the Survey, as was Charles N. Gould, the Survey’s first director, OU’s first professor of geology, and the founder of the School of Geology. She spoke briefly about the history of the OGS, and outlined various programs instituted over the years to respond to the changing needs of Oklahoma and the nation. With the current focus on environmental issues and sustainable resources, she said, the Survey’s past body of work and future studies will be even more important. She

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noted that while new technology has helped make advances in the science of geology, the geologist must still walk the land and make observations critical to research. “While technology may Dean Grillot presents an constantly evolve, the inscribed pick hammer to need for educated and Provost Nancy Mergler . resourceful people will (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.) continue to grow,” she added, bringing to mind the exciting collaboration between the Oklahoma Geological Survey and MCEE. The day was a tribute, a look back at the Survey’s contributions to the Earth sciences, a homecoming, and a celebration of the people, the projects, and the promise of the next 100 years. (Article courtesy of Connie Smith)

Connie White and Jan Coleman serve refreshments at the OGS centennial open house. (Photo courtesy Connie Smith.)


From left, Dean Larry Grillot, James Gibbs, David Campbell, Marlan Downey, J. Denny Bartell, Roy Knapp, Roger Slatt, Jon Withrow, College of Engineering Dean Tom Landers, Robert Stephenson, Claudia Landrum, S. Kim Hatfield. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Recognition at its best . . .

College Inaugural Distinguished Awards November 2008



he Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy’s inaugural Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards dinner took place on the evening of Nov. 21, 2008. Those honored at the event were: Distinguished Alumni Awards Recipients - J. Denny Bartell, David G. Campbell, James A. Gibbs, Lawrence G. Rawl (posthumously), and Jon R. Withrow; and Distinguished Service Award Recipients - Marlan W. Downey, G. Carl Hale (posthumously), Roy M. Knapp, Roger M. Slatt and Robert L. Stephenson. Posthumous awards were received by Dean Thomas Landers of the College of Engineering on behalf of the Rawl family, and by Claudia Landrum on behalf of her father, G. Carl Hale. MCEE alumni, faculty, and staff visit at the reception prior to the Distinguished Alumni and Service Awards dinner Nov. 21, at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman. (Photos courtesy Robert Taylor.)

The event, which was graciously sponsored by Crawley Petroleum, Doug and Peggy Cummings, and Gene Van Dyke, was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center in Norman, Okla. The celebration began with a reception, followed by a dinner and program. Dean Larry R. Grillot welcomed the attendees, which included award recipients and families, college and school board members, alumni, and college faculty and staff. Following the welcome, Dean Grillot shared with guests the purpose and history of the awards. The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy’s Board of Visitors chair, S. Kim Hatfield, announced the award winners, and Grillot recognized the recipients by reading their biographies. Each award winner, or his representative in attendance, was invited to share a few words at the podium. In closing, Grillot thanked alumni and guests for attending and for their support of the college.

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S. Kim Hatfield, Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Board of Visitors Chairman presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to J. Denny Bartell. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to David G. Campbell. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to Jon R. Withrow. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Service Award to Professor Roger M. Slatt. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to James A. Gibbs. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Service Award to Marlan W. Downey. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Service Award to Robert L. Stephenson. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)


Hatfield presents the Distinguished Alumni Award to College of Engineering Dean Thomas Landers who accepted the award on behalf of the Lawrence G. Rawl family.. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

Hatfield presents the Distinguished Service Award to retired Professor Roy M. Knapp. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

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Hatfield presents the Distinguished Service Award to Claudia Landrum who accepted the award on behalf of her father, G. Carl Hale. (Photo courtesy Robert Taylor.)

International Outreach Corner

Pictured here in Lima, Peru, from left, Subhash Sha; Jaya Sha; Kelly Philp; Paul Philp; Guliz Civan and Faruk Civan.

2008 was a good year for the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy and its international OUtreach in Latin

400 potential

America. The Energy Institute of the Americas, directed by


Yoana Walschap, coordinated the outreach efforts of several

students have

college professors to present papers, talks and short courses


in Ecuador, Peru and Colombia. Some of the conferences


included: International Congress of Conventional and

on the college’s

Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in Cartagena,

programs in

Colombia; the Fifth Annual Energy and Petroleum Seminar

the past 18

in Quito, Ecuador; and VI International Seminar on


Exploration and Production of Oil and Gas (INGEPET International

2008) in Lima, Peru.

I. Yucel Akkutlu with students at ESPOL University, Guayaquil, Ecuador

students also are connecting with the college through Several professors from the Mewbourne School

video conferences organized by the student chapters of

of Petroleum and Geological Engineering and the

professional societies in other countries. The first video

ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics

conference took place on April 21with the help of the

provided short courses for the industry, as well as for

OU American Association of Petroleum Geologists

professional societies, such as the Colombian Association

student chapter, and a handful of active student leaders

of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists, and the SPE

in three Colombian universities representing professional


Latin American

societies, such as the Society of Exploration Geophysicists,


the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and the Colombian

(LACPEC 2009).

Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists.

In 2008, the

The hour-long technical conference facilitated 85 students

EIA started an

in Bogota, Medellin and Bucaramanga, who listened to a

academic alliance

talk on reservoir characterization by Roger Slatt, CPGG

with PetroGroup, a

professor. Plans are already under way for fall 2009 to hold

training company

a second video conference involving Venezuela, Ecuador,

in Colombia, and

Colombia and Spain.

organized more Video conference at OU; Roger Slatt (in hat) with Carlos Santacruz

than 10 short

With Latin American MCEE alumni scattered throughout

courses for the

the Western Hemisphere, OUtreach initiatives provide

industry in Bogota during the summer. These courses

opportunities to reconnect with our International alumni

have raised the awareness of the college, not only within

and encourage our young alumni to learn more about the

ECOPETROL, the Colombian State Oil Co. and one

college’s goals and plans for the future.

of the major beneficiaries of the courses, but with other national and international companies in that country (over

Article and photos courtesy Yoana Walschap the UniversitY of oklahoma

Alumni Features

Gene Van Dyke

Forging New Frontiers Thinking small is not in Gene Van Dyke’s vocabulary. Van Dyke has devoted his life-long career in the oil industry to being a step ahead. He is a man with vision who, in 1973, formed his company, Vanco Energy Co., to forge a new frontier . . . deepwater exploration. Today, his company is one of the biggest net acreage holders in deep water off the west coast of Africa. In 1988, when everybody said he was crazy, Van Dyke was pushing for the use of floating production, storage and offloading vessels in the North Sea. Now, many companies are using them. Van Dyke graduated from the University of Oklahoma in January 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering and went to work for Kerr McGee in Oklahoma City. He was later sent by the company on a seismographic crew in western Oklahoma and northern Texas. In 1951, he left Kerr McGee and went to work for an independent oil company in Wichita Falls, Texas, called S.D. Johnson. He worked there for one year before going out on his own in Wichita Falls as a geologist and independent oil operator. In 1958, Van Dyke moved to Houston, where he has lived ever since. When asked what he has learned about himself and the industry since leaving OU, he says, “When you’ve been on your own that long, you get to know the oil business very well.” Van Dyke has been involved in upstream oil, primarily in exploration and drilling, both domestically and internationally. He also has been active in the North Sea and West Africa, and has travelled extensively to Africa and, especially Europe, from where his Swedish wife, Astrid, hails. As far as changes in the industry in the past 10 years, Van Dyke tells us that offshore drilling has become much more sophisticated. “It is very big and expensive business.”


Van Dyke has been a great friend and benefactor to the University of Oklahoma and to the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. Through his generous leadership gift, the plaza level in the Sarkeys Energy Center will be renamed the “Gene Van Dyke Plaza,” and renovations to house a formal conference room and three computer lab classrooms will begin in the fall.

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Alumni Features

James “Jim” Henry The Right Stuff You can take the man out of Oklahoma, but you can never take Oklahoma out of the man. A resident of Midland, Texas, since the early 1960s, Jim Henry still maintains ties to Oklahoma. Originally born in Andagoya, Colombia, Henry graduated from Classen High School before attending the University of Oklahoma, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1957 and his master’s degree in 1958, both in petroleum engineering. He still returns to Oklahoma City to visit family and attend high school reunions, and feels fortunate to have 14 of his high school colleagues also residing in the Permian Basin area. Henry chose petroleum engineering because “it seemed the natural thing to do.” He had an aptitude for math and physics, and his father was an engineer. In 1969, he started Henry Petroleum Corp. in the Permian Basin, which has provided employment for folks in that area for 40 years. As an engineer, Henry says he was “trained to be more attuned to facts and figures than to people.” He credits Toastmasters Club and the local drama theatre with helping him develop the art of public speaking as well as his people skills, two traits that would prove invaluable in running his company and becoming involved with service organizations later in life.


In the early 1990s, he turned over the reins of his company to devote his time to helping others and became involved with United Way and Casa de Amigos. Back in the 1980s, he started several agencies, one of which was the Forum for Exploration, Production and Acquisition, and later Applied Petroleum Technology Academy in 2000. Around six years ago, Henry Petroleum Co. was the first to massively develop the fracturing technique for the Wolfberry, yielding

hundreds of millions of barrels of reserves. In July 2008, Henry Petroleum Co. was sold to Concho Resources, Inc. OU football still holds a place in his heart, and he looks forward to attending the OU/Texas games annually, where he reconnects with fellow alumni. He and his wife, Paula, who was a history teacher at Midland College, have three children and six grandchildren. On April 23, Henry was inducted into the Petroleum Hall of Fame at the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum in Midland.

the UniversitY of oklahoma

MPGE Alumnus,

Ted Collins, Jr., receives Top Hand Award On Jan. 28, Ted Collins, Jr., was honored by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association with its 2008 Top Hand Award. The award, given for outstanding achievement and for contributions to the industry and the community, was presented to Collins at the Petroleum Club of Midland, Texas. The event was attended by Dean Larry Grillot and Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Director of

western Canada. With his former partner, they started

Development, Ameil Shadid. When asked about receiving

Collins & Ware in 1988, later selling to Apache.

his award, Collins says he was surprised and humbled by his recent awards. “If you live long enough, they run out of

Collins is president of Collins & Ware Investments Co.


of Midland. “Just surviving and being active in the oil business has been very rewarding and enjoyable,” says

Collins graduated from the University of Oklahoma

Collins. “The new technology has kept our business

in 1960 with a bachelor of science degree in geological

exciting and interesting.”

engineering. He then went to work for Pan American Petroleum Corp. in Andrews, Texas, as a petroleum

Collins has two sons, Patrick and Michael, who live in

engineer. Raised in Fort Worth, Collins moved to Midland

Dallas and New Orleans, respectively. He says seeing his

in 1964, where he has lived ever since. Since a junior in

sons start their own businesses is thrilling.

high school, he has always wanted to be in the oil and gas business. He referred to his former long-time partner and

Collins was inducted into the Petroleum Hall of Fame on

OU geology alumnus, Herb Ware, who passed away in

April 23.

2003, as a blessing and smart and talented geologist and business man, drilling wells all over the United States and

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From left, Felipe Gallego, Larry Grillot, Abel Chacon, Yoana Walschap, Alejandro Carrascal, Luz Angela Lozano, Luis Carlos Rodriguez

From left, Sebastian Bayer, Ameil Shadid, Larry Grillot

COUAA Hosts First Reunion in Houston After two years in existence, the Colombian OU alumni living in Houston gathered for the first time on Feb. 12. With the support of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, and particularly Dean Larry Grillot, the Colombian OU Alumni Association hosted a reunion and fundraising reception at the Houston Petroleum Club. More than 35 alumni gathered that evening and enjoyed meeting with the college representatives in attendance: Ameil Shadid, Director of Development; Allison Richardson, Alumni Relations; and Yoana Walschap, Energy Institute of the Americas director. Also in attendance at the reunion were alumni from Guatemala, Bolivia and Venezuela. 25 From left, Yoana Walschap, Allison Richardson, Luz Angela Lozano, Larry Grillot

Grillot spoke about the new college and plans for the future, while Abel Chacon, 2008 COUAA president, talked about the importance of giving back to the alma mater and the fundraising efforts for the scholarship fund, which is the main goal of the association. Yoana Walschap, COUAA treasurer and COLSA adviser, thanked COUAA officers for their hard work in setting up the association and encouraged the group to donate to this noble cause. The objective of the group is to provide scholarships to the OU Colombian Student Association (COLSA) members. Since 1995, when the Energy Institute of the Americas was established, many Colombians have come to OU, mainly to study in the areas of petroleum engineering, geology and geophysics. Currently, there are approximately 50 graduates in the Houston area and close to 20 students in the college. The group raised over $6,000 for scholarships, which will be matched by the OU Alumni Association. On Feb. 28, during the eighth annual Colombian Night event, $12,000 in scholarships was awarded to 16 students. Of the 16 students, four are from the Mewbourne College. (Yoana Walschap, contributor) To find out more about COUAA, or to become a member, e-mail Yoana Walschap at or visit the COUAA Web site at the UniversitY of oklahoma


Recently, the Colombian OU Alumni Association awarded scholarships totaling $12,600 to Colombian Student Association members. Among the recipients were four students in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. Recipients are chosen anonymously by COUAA alumni on the basis of need and GPA, and are required to submit an essay. The scholarships, which are matched by the OU Foundation, were announced by Dean Larry Grillot at Colombian Night on Feb. 28. Schlumberger DCS contributed $1,000 towards the scholarships. COUAA thanks Schlumberger for their generous donation, and especially Bob Davis, Scientific Adviser, who made this possible. The lucky college recipients were as follows: Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Juan S. Galindo/undergraduate ($2,000) David Galvis/graduate ($500) Bielenis Villanueva/graduate ($500)

COUAA has close to 20 members, most of them alumni of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.

ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics Diana Parada/graduate ($500)

For more information on how to join the association, visit the COUAA Web site at

From left, Bielenis Villanueva, David Galvis, Diana Parada. Not pictured, Juan S. Galindo. (Photo courtesy Yoana Walschap.)

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Honoring Our Student Awardees Eight students in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy were honored at the spring 2009 Campus Awards program on April 3. Dean Larry R. Grillot presented certificates to the following students:

The ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics:

Mohammed Salih K. Altarooti Estwing Hammer Award

Bethany Carolyn Hogrefe Charles N. Gould Outstanding Senior Award

Andrew Daniel Thiel David W. Stearns Outstanding Senior Award

Aliya M. Urazimanova Alan Witten Outstanding Senior Award

The Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering:


Kylie Michelle Bohanan Outstanding Freshman

Kristin Alexandra Weyand Outstanding Sophomore

Nkiruka Ifunanya Nweze Outstanding Junior

Emad Abbad Alabbad Outstanding Senior

Photos courtesy Robert Taylor

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Alumni ClassNotes... (To be included in Alumni ClassNotes, send your updates and photos to Christopher Bellman, MEE, MA 2007, project and trade finance analyst for Arab Petroleum Investments Corp. (APICORP), was married in Austin in December 2008. Both Bellman and his wife, Sirena, are now living in Bahrain. As APICORP maintains offices in both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Bellman splits his time between both places, spending a couple of days each week in Saudi Arabia. Bellman is an alumnus of the Managerial Energy Economics Program, formerly of the MCEE. Martin Calmels, MEE, MA 2008, has joined the French investment bank, Natixis, as a project finance analyst. While attending the University of Oklahoma, Calmels participated in the Managerial Energy Economics’ exchange program with the IFP School in Paris during the spring 2008 semester. Originally from Paris, Calmels now resides in Dubai, UAE. William “Randy” George, MPGE, BS 1981, retired in 2007 after a 22-year career in the U.S. Air Force as a weather officer. His assignments included a tour of duty in Germany, working at the Pentagon, and teaching at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. He currently is working as a technical director on the OU Research Campus for an engineering company (BCI, Inc.) doing R&D on the National Severe Storms Lab Multi-mission Phased Array Radar project. George and his wife, Tamara (College of Allied Health ’83), live in Norman. Their daughter, Melinda, is a sophomore at OU, majoring in communication. Sara Kaplan, CPGG, BS 2003; MS 2006, is co-owner of Native Roots Market in Norman, Okla. Opened in August 2007 in Norman’s downtown historic business district, the store offers a wide array of exotic spices, organic foods and products from fair trade organizations and other merchants from around the world, and grass-fed beef supplied by local farmers. Kaplan’s mantra is “saving the world, one meal at a time.” She credits her geology field camp experience with former adviser, CPGG professor Lynn Soreghan, as the impetus for becoming health conscious. Kaplan plans to offer instore classes on sustainable and natural living, and hopes someday to pursue her doctorate in environmental science and to teach geology. Learn more about Native Roots Market at

Sara Kaplan (Photo courtesy Naïla Williams.)

program that only accepts 5 percent of newly hired engineers or scientists each year. It consists of an initial, temporary field assignment lasting between 15 to 18 months in one of their field locations worldwide. Its main purpose is to provide selected research, development and manufacturing employees with experience in field operations, creating a group of scientists and engineers who have obtained experience within a few years of joining the company.

Obinna Okoye

Norelis Rodriguéz, CPGG, MS 2007, and Gustavo Diáz, CPGG, MS 2008, gave birth to a son, Diego Ignacio, on July 27, 2008. Rodriguéz works for Chevron in Houston as a geochemist. Diáz is a development geologist for ConocoPhillips in Houston. Marinus Tabak, MEE, MA 2008, an alumnus of the former MEE program, returned home to the Netherlands after graduating in December 2008. He is working as a management/trainee for RWE/ Essent, one of the biggest utility/natural gas firms in Europe. While in the program at OU, Marinus participated in the IFP Exchange Program with the French Petroleum School in Paris.

Left: Norelis Rodriguéz Below: Gustavo Diáz

Akinwale Ogunkoya, MEE, MA 2007, is working as a project planner for Air Liquide in Houston. While in the MEE program, Ogunkoya participated in the IFP Exchange Program with the French Petroleum School in Paris. Air Liquide’s U.S. operation, American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. (American Air Liquide), is part of an international group specializing in industrial and medical gases and related services. Obinna Okoye, MEE, MA 2007, is currently on a temporary field assignment on a rig in Colorado. Okoye is employed with Schlumberger in their tech and field program, a special training (Students’ photos courtesy Shevaun Williams & Associates Commercial Photography, Inc.) ME W B O U RNE c o l l e g e o f e a r t h a n d e n e r g y


DEVELOPMENT CORNER The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy is pleased to report another successful year in 2008. The goal of the university, shared by its alumni, is to see the academic programs in the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics and the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering continue to be recognized among the elite programs in the world. Both schools continue to be national leaders, competing well with peer schools for top students and faculty. To achieve this goal, the college launched an $80 million capital campaign in November 2006. Campaign goals breakdown:

• Fellowships and Scholarship Endowment: $30 million; current: $16,615,261

• Faculty Endowments: $14 million ($7 million in


private gifts and $7 million in the Oklahoma Regents for Higher Education match); current: $6,105,250 • Facilities and Resources: • Sarkeys Energy Tower Renovation: $8.5 million; current: $6,400,200 • Laboratory Resources and Endowments: $16 million; current: $5,471,045 • Oklahoma Petroleum Information Center: $2.5 million; current: $90,000 • Enrichment Endowments: • Student Enrichment (lab software, field camp, field trips, activities, recruitment): $7 million; current: $19,034,581 • Faculty Research Enrichment: Faculty Research Enrichment: $1 million; current: $120,000 • Library Endowment: Library Endowment: $1 million; current: $1,681,510 As of December 2008, approximately $56 million has been contributed from more than 2,200 corporate and individual gifts toward the $80 million goal, nearly half of which has been given to support student scholarships and fellowships. The leadership and generosity of Curtis Mewbourne, a 1958 graduate of OU’s Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, has been a driving factor in scholarship and fellowship giving. Mewbourne agreed to match all undergraduate scholarship and fellowship gifts given by individual donors to the MCEE through March 31, 2008. More than 250 individual donors took advantage

of the opportunity to have their endowed scholarship and fellowship gifts doubled. For more information on development opportunities, please contact Ameil Shadid, director of Development, at or at (405) 325-3821. MCEE 2008 Annual Fund Report The annual fund allows the dean to immediately respond to the college’s most strategic needs, solving problems as they arise and providing the flexibility to seize unexpected opportunities. Gifts to the college through the annual fund provide support for such needs as student travel, research, programs and events, computing, laboratory needs, tutoring and student organizations. Every gift, large or small, is important to our students, and it all adds up to success! Annual gifts received July 2008 through May 2009 – 437 in the amount of $494,531.35 Your MCEE 2009 Annual Fund request will be arriving soon. Your gift makes a difference every year. Please consider how you can give back to the college and to OU, so that current and future students may have enriching academic experiences and successful life opportunities. For more information on annual giving opportunities, please contact Allison Richardson, Alumni Relations, at or at (405) 325-2449. Renovations Update Renovation of the 15th floor of Sarkeys Energy Center, which will house the MCEE Dean’s administrative offices, will begin early fall. Renovations to the Sarkeys Energy Center tower, home to the new Gene Van Dyke Plaza, are scheduled to begin late fall. Also in the early planning stages is an update to the Youngblood Energy Library. Please visit our Web site at for updates in the coming months. Previous space on the plaza will become three new computer classroom laboratories and one conference room. The addition of casual seating areas and an updated look to walls, floors and lighting will complete the renovation. The long overdue replacement of the materials used to cover the large east and west atria also will be completed in fall 2009, along with a fire and safety upgrade to the entire complex’ alarm system. the UniversitY of oklahoma

CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2009-2010 Sept. 19-26

Sept. 30

The Society for Organic Petrology

Gramado, Brazil -

2nd Annual Real Deal Mid-Continent Prospect Expo

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Contact: Michelle Hone -;

Oct. 3-7

American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Annual Meeting

Oct. 4-6

Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission 2009 Annual Meeting

Oct. 4-7

Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

Oct. 8

2009 Oklahoma Oil & Gas Trade Expo

Oct. 18-21

Geological Society of America (GSA)

Oct. 25-30

Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)

Oct. 30-31

University of Oklahoma Alumni Reunion and Homecoming

Nov. 11

OU College of Engineering Board Meeting

Nov. 12

Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering Industry Advisory Board

Nov. 13

Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Board of Visitors Meeting

Nov. 13

Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Trailblazer Award and Fundraising Dinner

Mar. 11-13

AAPG Spring Break Expo

Apr. 4-11

New Orleans, Louisiana

May 14

University of Oklahoma Commencement

May 15

Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Convocation

Grand Junction, Colorado - Biloxi, Mississippi - New Orleans, Louisiana -

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma -

Portland, Oregon - Houston, Texas -

Norman, OK -

University of Oklahoma, ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics Contact: Niki Chapin at

AAPG 2010 Annual Convention and Exhibition Contact: MCEE Student Services Office, 405-325-4005

ME W B O U RNE c o l l e g e o f e a r t h a n d e n e r g y


Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID UNIV. OF OKLAHOMA

100 East Boyd, Room 510 Norman, OK 73019-1006 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED

Coming Fall 2009... the

OU Football Schedule! — Boomer Sooner! Sept.5 OU vs. Brigham Young at Arlington Sept. 12 OU vs. Idaho State at Norman Sept. 19 OU vs. Tulsa at Norman Oct. 3 OU vs. Miami at Miami Oct. 10 OU vs. Baylor at Norman Oct. 17 OU vs. Texas at Dallas Oct. 24 OU vs. Kansas at Lawrence Oct. 31 OU vs. Kansas State at Norman Nov. 7 OU vs. Nebraska at Lincoln Nov. 14 OU vs. Texas A&M at Norman Nov. 21 OU vs. Texas Tech at Lubbock Nov. 28 OU vs. Oklahoma State at Norman Dec. 5 Big 12 Championship at Arlington

new Van Dyke Plaza! Upcoming Events in Fall 2009! OCTOBER SPE Technical Conference, New Orleans Oct. 4-7 OU President’s Associates “Beat Texas” Weekend Oct. 16-18 SEG, Houston Oct. 25-30 Homecoming Weekend Oct. 30 - Nov. 1 MCEE OU Reunion Reception – ’54,’55,’59,’60,’64,’65 Friday, Oct. 30 NOVEMBER School and College Board Meetings Nov. 12-13 Trailblazer Award Dinner Nov. 13

Earth & Energy Magazine 2009  

Official 2009 Magazine of the Mewbourne College of Earth & Energy

Earth & Energy Magazine 2009  

Official 2009 Magazine of the Mewbourne College of Earth & Energy