Message from Dean Stice: Runar Nygaard Named Director of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering

Dear Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased announce the appointment of Runar Nygaard as the new director of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering. He joins a long line of directors of this historic program.

As the search committee embarked on the seemingly impossible task of filling Chandra Rai’s shoes, we were impressed with Runar’s research credentials as well as his teaching and leadership acumen. One aspect that most impressed us was his vision of creating further connectivity between the School of Geosciences and the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering. Here at the Mewbourne College, we are uniquely situated for increased collaborations between our disciplines.

Runar joins us from Oklahoma State University where he was director of the Petroleum Engineering Program and held the Harold Courson Chair in Petroleum Engineering. His research centers around the construction of safe and efficient wells. His main area of expertise is in petroleum geomechanics and wellbore integrity. Runar has ongoing projects addressing drilling efficiency in hard rock for geothermal energy, sensor deployment in wells, and plug and abandonment of offshore wells.

He originally hails from Norway and completed his education at the University of Oslo, earning a doctorate degree in Geomechanics in 2004.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Chandra Rai for his years of service as director. I hope he enjoys a new season of renewed focus on his research and students. I would be remiss if I also didn’t thank Deepak Devegowda, who served as interim director of the Mewbourne School throughout the summer.

I am looking forward to the 2019 academic year for the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering and the College as a whole.


Mike Stice
Mewbourne College Earth and Energy
Dean and Lester A. Day Family Chair


Runar Nygaard, OU


Ph.D., Geomechanics, University of Oslo, 2004
M.Sc., Geotechnics, University of Oslo, 1996
B.Sc., Geology, University of Oslo, 1995

It is a dynamic time to join the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering. We are celebrating our centennial anniversary and looking back on the last 100 years of tradition and excellence. At the same time, we have a number of mid-career and early-career faculty. It is exciting to be a part of creating the next generation of research rockstars.

I am looking forward to working with the faculty and board to create a strategic direction for the School that will involve all stakeholders — including alumni, students, companies and the State — and that will grow the research endeavors in the school.

I am enjoying getting to know Norman. My family and I are especially enjoying trying all of the local restaurants!

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