TU Professor Earns Outstanding Engineer Award

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

Steve Tipton, a mechanical engineering professor at The University of Tulsa, has received the Outstanding Engineer Award from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers. Tipton was cited for the computer-based work he completed last year for Schlumberger, an oil field service company in Houston.

The award also noted his record at TU, participation in professional and technical society activities and community and civic involvement. He has been with TU since 1984.

Tipton developed software programs and techniques to help Schlumberger design its products more quickly and more efficiently. Schlumberger designs custom-made “down-hole” tools used deep inside oil and gas wells. Examples include valves that control the flow of fluids or parts that can perforate the side of a well to enhance the flow of oil. Tools might be used repeatedly, but different conditions require unique revisions.

“What I’ve been doing is developing design methodologies that incorporate existing Schlumberger expertise,” says Tipton. “I worked with their engineers to learn how they design certain features, then wrote programs that utilize that information, along with the application of solid mechanics theory.”

He says company designers can now engineer complex features in down-hole tools more quickly and inexpensively, and with greater reliability and efficiency.

Tipton consulted for the company while he was on a one-year sabbatical. He has returned to full-time teaching duties, but will continue to advise the business.

At TU, Tipton’s research ranges from fishing tackle to coiled tubing used in the oil industry. Many projects designed and built by his students have won awards.

In Tulsa, he has been a baseball and soccer coach for more than 10 years. He has also served as judge for district science fairs and as deacon at Forest Park Christian Church.

Tipton received the award Aug. 8 at the society’s annual meeting in Norman.