It is with sad hearts and grateful memories that the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy remembers emeritus professor Jean-Claude Roegiers. You may view his full obituary here.
Dr. Roegiers joined the faculty of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering in 1988 as professor and McCasland Chair, serving later as director of the school. He would go on to stay at the university until he retired with emeritus status in 2016.
Dr. Roegiers was one of the top geomechanic engineers in the industry. He helped design and build OU’s hydraulic fracturing characterization facility and was a leader in the development of the science of borehole stability and fracture mechanics. Roegiers co-advised more than 85 graduate students, obtained in excess of $28 million in external funding, founded a world-class Rock Mechanics Institute, and co-authored more than 250 technical papers.
In his work as an honorary professor at China University in Wuhan and an international fellow in Japan, Roegiers’ impact can be seen across the world. At last count, his curriculum vitae contained 53 pages.
Many of the Mewbourne College family wished to share some of their memories with Dr. Roegiers.
Dr. Roegiers will be remembered for his passion for science, mentorship and humility. We will miss him, but his legacy will live on.
Emeritus Professor at Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering
Dr. Roegiers was a pioneer in petroleum geomechanics. During his more than 30-year career at OU, he established the petroleum engineering program to be recognized as one of the best programs in the world. In the last two years, I was fortunate to get to know Dr. Roegiers, whom I had only known by reputation since I was a graduate student. In addition to his brilliant mind and genuine interest in the petroleum program, it was the warm welcome he gave me as the new director of the School that I will remember the most.”
Director, Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering
Fall of 1999, Dr. Roegiers, a distinguished professor with a visionary mindset, headed the Rock Mechanics lab at OU.
I was a Petroleum Engineering student starting out my junior year, desperate to find that first job in my field of study.
Dr. Roegiers sits at his desk, in his quiet office full of memoirs from travels and paperwork of projects to come. Without haven’t met him before, he greets me with a welcoming smile as I knock on his door. “Come in!” he tells me. I introduce myself and proceed to tell him the purpose of my visit. He graciously listens to my struggles to find employment and kindly allows me to work at his lab as an apprentice.
Dr. Roegiers took a chance on me and turned that job into a Rock Mechanics Award, a scholarship given to encourage undergrad students in the field of Rock Mechanics. He added hours of mentorship and advice as I tried to find my first paid internship outside the OU campus. Through his tutelage and help, I succeeded in finding that first internship that would eventually lead to two job offers during my senior year. I can still hear his voice and words of encouragement, pressing me on. “Don’t worry. Don’t give up, and don’t forget…joi de vivre”.
Dr. Roegiers believed in me when few people did. He opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and exemplified leadership rooted in selflessness, humility, respect, and trust. Not many people have the privilege of meeting someone like Dr. Roegiers. I was one of the lucky ones.
Thank you Dr. Roegiers for the legacy you left in our lives. It is a legacy of kindness that inspired us to dream more, learn more, and remove self-imposed limits to our potential. A legacy that has carved your name in our minds and hearts. I’m immensely grateful for the privilege to have known you.
Claudia Molina (BS Petroleum Engineering 2001, MBA 2006)
Photos courtesy of Ahmad Ghassemi
Dr. Roegiers’ grandchildren created a touching video in his honor.