Petroleum Engineering Alumnus of the Month - March 2010

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Mustafa Onur, Ph.D.

Mustafa Onur

Mustafa Onur is Professor and Chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. He has taught at various academic institutions in different countries - Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey; King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA - and has been involved in various industrial projects for private and public major oil and service companies since 1989. His expertise and interests are in pressure transient tests including wire-line formation and well testing, reservoir simulation, reservoir performance predictions (automatic history matching and prediction) methods, geothermal reservoir engineering, and nonlinear parameter estimation. He holds a B.S. degree from Middle East Technical University, Turkey (1982), and M.S. (1986) and Ph.D. (1989) degrees from The University of Tulsa, all in petroleum engineering. He has served on the editorial committees of the Turkish Journal of Oil and Gas, SPE Reservoir Evaluation and Engineering, SPE Journal, CT&F (Ciencia, Technologia y Futuro, ecoPETROL) as both technical and associate editor. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) and United Chambers of Turkish Petroleum Engineers. He was the recipient of the SPE Outstanding Technical Editor Awards in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Further, He has over 35 refereed journal publications, over 60 papers presented and/or published in conferences and proceedings, and over 10 funded research projects. Dr. Onur is also co-author of the book titled “Pressure Transient Formation and Well Testing: Convolution, Deconvolution and Nonlinear Estimation,” to be published in September 2010 by Elsevier.

How did you decide to come to TU?

In 1983, when I was looking into choices for premier petroleum engineering universities where I could pursue my M.S. and Ph.D. studies on well test analysis, as a sponsored student of Turkish Ministry of Education, TU was at the top of my list because it was simply the best having the eminent professors (Albert C. Reynolds and R. Raghavan) with a significant record of research papers and publications in this specific area of petroleum engineering. Hence, this made TU the natural choice for me.

Did TU prepare you well for future career?

Certainly I should say yes. I spent six years (from 1983 to June 1989) of my graduate education by pursuing both my M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The 6-year graduate education that I received at TU from the eminent PE faculty in various areas of petroleum engineering as well as the Math and Chemical Engineering faculty has been the key for me to be able to specialize in many aspects of reservoir and production engineering, transport phenomena, and applied mathematics. Besides the faculty, the overall caliber of the graduate students (a few of them that I had a close interaction are Ding Wenzhong, Alvaro M. Peres, Kelsen Serra, Leslie Thompson, Rodolfo Camacho, Jack Jones, Yeh N-S., Erdal Ozkan, Randhal Roadifer, Fawzi Guehria, Reidar Bratvold) with whom I interacted back then were excellent. The discussions, graduate seminars, and sharing knowledge with these dear friends were certainly shaped up my career. Also, I should certainly say that Professor Al Reynolds has profoundly played a significant role in my career development where I am standing now. I have never known a professor and researcher like him that is quite sharp, hard working, following his students research work very closely, and most importantly concerned with his students’ personal problems. I feel myself very lucky and proud to be his student. He has always been my idol and mentor.

Any fond memories you would like to share?

I have so many fond memories during my six-year stay in TU and Tulsa; I made life-long friends; I got married to my wife and partner in life, Aysegul, while I was just starting my Ph.D. in 1986, and then I had two lovely daughters; Berfin and Selin; born in 1987 and 1989, respectively, in Tulsa. I will never forget the days of working for 24 hours without any sleep and then going to have breakfasts with Al Reynolds and Alvaro Peres at Denny's. Also, the surprise party organized by Ovadia Shoham and my wife in the department as well as the party that Al and Anne Reynolds gave at their home to celebrate my Ph.D. graduation are unforgettable moments of my life. I hope that Anne and Al have forgiven me for my drinking so much liquor in the party at their home and spoiling their carpet! TU and Tulsa have and will always have very special place in my life and family.

Petroleum Engineering Dept.