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Digital Energy and Resource Recovery Pioneers Yortsos and Paul Receive SPE High Honors

Yortsos and Paul were honored at SPE's annual technical conference in November
Gloria Hayes
December 05, 2011 —

Dean Yannis C. Yortsos and Professor Donald L. Paul received top international awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) at the society's Annual Technical Conference and Exposition this November in Denver.

The meeting drew more than 9,000 oil and gas professionals from 57 countries. Topics included balancing the increased demand for resources with ensuring the highest safety standards. Experts in exploration, political affairs and space travel discussed how the industry might improve its performance.

Yortsos was named an SPE Honorary Member in an awards banquet ceremony. The holder of the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering and the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Petroleum Engineering, Yortsos is an active SPE member who has served a four-year term as editor-in-chief of all technical journals (2006 to 2010). He was also an executive editor of SPE Journal, has delivered numerous papers and addresses at SPE conferences, and is recipient of the 2008 SPE Western North America Reservoir Description and Dynamics Award. Limited to an elite 0.1 percent of the total roster, honorary membership is the highest award the organization bestows. Those named have provided outstanding service to the organization or have “demonstrated distinguished scientific or engineering achievements in the fields within SPE’s technical scope,” according to the society.

Yortsos' internationally recognized studies helped transform production, setting the foundation for the maximized recovery of trapped hydrocarbons and oil from regions previously bypassed. He was cited "for significant contributions to the theory and technology in the general areas of fluid flow, transport, and reaction processes in porous media, for his extensive technical publications, and for his noteworthy service to SPE and many national and international committees." 

Paul, Executive Director of the USC Energy Institute and the William M. Keck Chair of Energy Resources, was named recipient of the Management and Information Award, one of the foremost technical accolades given a member. “This honor recognizes outstanding achievements in and contributions to the advancement of management and information in the industry,” notes SPE.

A keynote speaker at nearly all SPE conferences on information management, Paul served as vice-president and chief technology officer during the last decade of an eminent career with the Chevron Corporation, prior to joining USC in 2009. He is often referred to as the author of the "digital energy" concept; his world-renowned framework for integrated asset management changed the thinking of oil company executives and petroleum engineers on the convergence of IT with oil and gas operations. He also championed efforts to build cooperative industry-government collaborations in energy research and development, alternative fuel infrastructure, high performance computing, and cyber security. Paul continues to build on his lengthy and distinguished track record of public service with the development and implementation of practical energy solutions for the present and future.