Logo: University of Southern California

Mork Family Department Ph.D. Student Wins Prestigious Fellowship

Specialist in smart oil production techniques is one of only two winners worldwide

March 26, 2008 —

The Society of Petroleum Engineers has named Viterbi graduate student Hamid Jahangiri as recipient of the Nico Van Wingen Fellowship.

Jahangiri is working for a doctorate degree in the Mork department under Dongxiao Zhang, while working as a teaching assistant in two courses. At the department's October 16, 2007

Don Zhang, Iraj Ershaghi, Hamid Jahangiri, and Kristian Jessen.
student research symposium, he presented a poster on “Production optimization using Smart Well Technology with differential evolution algorithm” based on research he did prior to coming to the Viterbi School from the  Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, where he received B.S. degrees and electrical engineering and petroleum engineering, and an M.S. degree in petroleum engineering.

He received his place at Sharif University by ranking 36th in the Iranian National University Entrance exam, taken by more than 500,000 hopeful would be students.

He is a member of the USC student chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, a pre-requisite for the award, which is named after Nico Van Wingen, who researched and taught at USC from1950-1973. 

"When he passed away his estate established the Nico Van Wingen  worldwide  SPE Fellowship to attract high caliber  PhD  candidate  eventually pursuing academic lives as their career goals.  In this noble cause the Van Wingen estate has set the pace to address a critical shortage issue that is facing the academic institutions worldwide," said Iraj Ershaghi, Omar B. Milligan Professor and Director of the Mork Department's Petroleum Engineering Program

The award is given to students who plan to pursue careers in research and academia, rather than in industry provides $5000 per year for up to 4 years.

Competition is rigorous. Only two awards are given per year, from candidates proposed worldwide by local student SPE chapter. The other 2008 recipient is at the Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands.

Nico van Wingen was a graduate of the California Institute of Technology, and earned an MS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of California and a DSc degree from Adamson University in Manila. He worked as an evaluation engineer, consultant and then as a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma followed by his service at USC. He played a major role in the development of oil production technology in the U.S, Austria, Canada, West Germany, Iran, Turkey and Venezuela. He was active on many SPE committees and won the Anthony F Lucas Gold Medal and SPE Distinguished Member award in 1985.