OU celebrates the achievements of its talented faculty through a variety of awards and recognitions. Regents Awards are among the highest accolades that can be bestowed upon a member of the OU community, and this year, it was a privilege, to see Professor Carl Sondergeld, presented with the Regents Award for Superior Teaching.
Sondergeld joined OU in 1999 and has become an icon. He has served as associate dean for the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy and operates the Integrated Core Characterization lab with Chandra Rai. His reputation for quality research is eclipsed only by the quality of his instruction. Sondergeld, known for difficult curriculum, demands excellence from his students and role models the kind of behavior he wishes to see. Time after time, students leave OU remarking on how much they gained from his courses and from him.
In addition to his work in the classroom, Sondergeld has made a lasting impact upon the curriculum of the program and the laboratories students are taught in. When joining MPGE, the undergraduate rock properties laboratories consisted of a few poorly maintained instruments of limited use to actual practice. Sondergeld wrote several industry proposals and was able to secure $5 million in funds for upgrades. Today, OU has the most advanced undergraduate laboratories among U.S. petroleum engineering programs.
He, also, is heavily invested in mentoring. He is the faculty advisor to OU SPE and has been instrumental in enhancing student engagement and the number and quality of SPE programs. In additions, he devotes considerable time and effort weekly to each graduate student he advises (30 MS, 3 PhD) and in mentoring junior faculty members. These efforts are largely unseen, yet, the investment he makes is critical in shaping the careers and lives of these individuals.
His service to the scientific community has been highly valued. His accomplishments have resulted in several recognitions and awards, not only within the field of petroleum engineering but, also, from the scientific community at large. Some notable achievements include being nominated as Society of Exploration Geophysicists Distinguished Lecturer in 2010, being awarded the Brandon Griffith Award twice in 2009 and 2012 by the OU College of Engineering and receiving the Amoco Special Technical Presidential Award for developing novel geophysical mobile modules.
While at OU, Sondergeld has contributed to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy as an advisor and reviewer over several years, and continues to assist the Norwegian Research Council and is as expert committee member of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (2016-2017).
Carl Sondergeld is an valuable asset to OU, the scientific community and society, and MPGE is proud to have him as part of our faculty.