OU Faculty Receive Honor from the Society of Petroleum Engineers

The Society of Petroleum Engineers recently honored two University of Oklahoma Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering faculty. Professor Chandra Rai and emeritus professor Subhash Shah were named SPE Distinguished Membership at the organization’s Member Monday Awards Session in October.

Established in 1983, the Distinguished Member award recognizes SPE members who achieve distinction deemed worthy of special recognition. This award acknowledges members who have attained eminence in the petroleum industry or the academic community, or who have made significant contributions to SPE

Chandra S. Rai is the Martin Miller Chair Professor where he served as the director of Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering from 2007 to 2019. During his tenure he was responsible for modernization of all the undergraduate teaching laboratories, hiring 20 new faculty members and managing six-fold increase in undergraduate enrollment. Along with fellow professor Carl  Sondergeld, Rai started two industrial consortia, Experimental Rock Physics and Characterization of Unconventional Reservoirs.

Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma, he was with Amoco Production Company Research Center and with BPAmoco in various technical and management positions. At Amoco he was member and then team leader of the team responsible for doing R&D in the broad area of rock physics and petrophysics. He was associated with the development of rock properties database, on-site core characterization system, and rock modeling software. He obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Indian School of Mines, and in 1977 earned a doctorate in the area of Geology and Geophysics from the University of Hawaii.

Shah is the Shell Chair professor and chief mentor in the School of Technology at Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University in India. He retired from OU after serving 22 years as Stephenson Chair Professor and two years as the School’s director.

During his tenure at OU, Shah also served as the Director of OU’s Well Construction Technology Center. He has a distinguished career in the oil and gas industry that spans over 45 years.

Part of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering has a history in Oklahoma that spans more than a century. It is a leader in energy education.

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