Petroleum Engineering Alumni Newsletter - August 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

The semester started on August 24th.  We do not have firm accounts of the number of students enrolled in our program at this time.  I hope to have this information to you before next month’s newsletter.  Based on our class sizes, it is fair to assume that we have grown more than last year – both in undergraduate and graduate programs.  

We have close to 70 seniors in our program and I am little worried about the job prospects.  I have had discussions with many companies over the summer and I am told that companies will continue to hire new graduates next year, although at a slower pace.  I am hoping that it is true and we will be able to place most of our students with good jobs.   

As discussed in the last newsletter, both Drs. Brill and Brown are selected for Legends of Production recognition.  It turns out that four out of the eight people selected have had some association with The University of Tulsa.  In addition to Drs. Brill and Brown, Joe Mach and Harry McLeod are also included on that list.  Joe Mach graduated from TU working with Dr. Brown, and Harry McLeod was head of Petroleum Abstracts before joining Conoco Oil Company.  Having graduated from TU, you probably have taken a class or two with either Drs. Brill or Dr. Brown.  However, here is some background information on both of them.  

After graduating from Texas A& M University with a degree in Petroleum Engineering, Brown worked for oil companies before joining the University of Texas to pursue his M.S. and his Ph.D.  His Ph.D. work was related to gas lift measurements.  Ultimately, he became known for his expertise in artificial lift methods.  Although he has written many journal articles, Dr. Brown considers the books he as written as the major contributions to the industry.  Among the four volumes he wrote on artificial lift and nodal analysis methods, the most famous book he was The Technology of Artificial Lift Methods – Volume 4: Production Optimization of Oil and Gas Wells by Nodal Systems Analysis. This book is still used today by many people in the industry.  His ability to make complicated subjects simple was valued by many people who took his short courses and attended his classes at TU.  Without question, Dr. Brown advanced the science of production engineering for which he is receiving this legends recognition.  

Dr. Brill received a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1962 and his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1966 under the guidance of Dr. Brown.   After spending a year in the industry, Brill joined TU at the urging of Dr. Brown.  Brill started the Tulsa University Fluid Flow Projects (TUFFP) in 1973 and is Director Emeritus of the consortium.  This consortium has made many contributions to multiphase flow in the industry and is omnipresent in many commercial programs dealing with production of oil and gas.  Among his many contributions, the most important is the multiphase correlation he developed with his student Dale Beggs.  The Beggs and Brill correlation is widely used in the industry to predict the pressure drop under multiphase flow conditions in pipes.  Another achievement is identifying large slugs in a large diameter pipelines in the Prudhoe Bay field. This resulted in better design of slug catchers and separators. Even after officially retiring from The University of Tulsa in 2000, Dr. Brill remains engaged on the campus.  He is writing a book with one his former students, was recently issued a patent with two of his faculty colleagues, and has been instrumental in shaping the Tulsa University Chevron Center of Research Excellence (TUCORE).     

We want to salute both of these individuals for making contributions to the industry, and for making TU one of the best schools in production research.  For more about Drs. Brown and Brill, please visit Petroleum Engineering - SPE Legends of Production

Keep sending your comments.

Mohan Kelkar
Chairman and Williams Endowed Chair Professor

Petroleum Engineering Dept.
(918) 631-2533