The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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May 2015

Tongwei Zhang, Daniel Enriquez, and Xun Sun operate instruments that allow detailed characterization of gas and liquid hydrocarbons and of source-rock pores
The Bureau of Economic Geology is in the midst of an ongoing effort to modernize the extensive laboratories and other facilities of its Building 131, and to construct a new core viewing facility for use by its researchers and graduate students. The effort received a huge boost recently when University of Texas at Austin president Bill Powers approved a University investment of $7.5 million in the project.

“President Powers recognized that the Bureau has been delivering outstanding research and reputational benefit for the University,” said Bureau director Scott W. Tinker, “and that we are doing fundamental work related to energy, the Jiemin Lu and Brent Elliott transfer a water sample taken from a high T/P autoclave reactorenvironment, and the economy that is core to the University mission. He feels that upgrading our laboratory infrastructure is a great investment, and we are very grateful for his confidence in our research capabilities.”

The campaign to raise the additional funding required to complete the project will continue, and many opportunities remain to contribute, including naming opportunities for individual laboratories or for entire research complexes housed within the building. For more information about the laboratory renovation campaign and how you can help, please contact Belle German, Jackson School Director of Development & Alumni Relations.


Award Winner Maria Nikolinakou with Director Scott W. Tinker
Published articles are the tangible products that the Bureau of Economic Geology can display as evidence of its scientists’ research successes. At its annual First Author Publication Awards Dinner held in April, the Bureau paid tribute to researchers who were first authors of papers published in 2014. Thirty-six first authors were recognized at this year’s event, eight for the first time. Akand Islam, a Bureau post-doc, had the most first-author publications in 2014, with a remarkable five articles. Bill Ambrose and Bob Loucks shared the distinction of being honored the most times, seven, with at least one first-author publication every year since the ceremony’s inception in 2009.

The Tinker Family BEG Publication Award is presented each year to a Bureau researcher (or researchers) for the best peer-reviewed publication in the previous year. This year’s recipients were Maria Nikolinakou, Peter Flemings, and Michael Hudec for two articles, “Modeling stress evolution around a rising salt diapir” and “Comparison of evolutionary and static modeling of stresses around a salt diapir,” which both appeared in Marine and Petroleum Geology. Unanimous runners-up for the Tinker Award were Julia Gale, Steve Laubach, Peter Eichhubl, and Andras Fall for “Natural fractures in shale: a review and new observations,” published in the AAPG Bulletin. The Bureau community congratulates all of its authors for their diligent efforts to add to the body of knowledge about energy, the environment, and energy economics.

Bureau Director Scott Tinker speaks about “The Upsides of a Down Cycle.”
Bureau of Economic Geology researchers and graduate students took the show on the road recently to help host the Bureau’s annual Industry Day, held this year at the Houston Research Center (HRC). The 2015 theme for Industry Day was “The Power of Research in a Down Cycle,” and invited guests from the oil and gas industry, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations (NGO’s) were treated to a wide range of posters illustrating the breadth of the Bureau’s energy, environmental, and energy-economics research. Participants also toured the HRC’s massive repository of 800,000 boxes of core and other rock material and got a feel for how vital this archive has been, and will be, to the world’s understanding of the Earth’s subsurface. Marilu Hastings, Vice President of Sustainability Programs at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

Speakers at Industry Day included Marilu Hastings, Vice President of Sustainability Programs at the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, who presented “George P. Mitchell’s Sustainability Legacy in the Shale Age”; Mark Houser, new Chief Executive Officer of University Lands, University of Texas and Texas A&M systems, who spoke about “Effectively Managing Resources Through Down Cycles”; and director of the Bureau, Scott W. Tinker, who provided a thorough assessment of the world’s current energy situation in his presentation, “The Upsides of a Down Cycle.”

The goals of Industry Day were to familiarize interested people from the Houston area with the wide range of opportunities that exist for productive research collaborations with the Bureau of Economic Geology, to convey some thought-provoking information, and to provide a useful venue for networking with the Bureau’s graduate students and researchers.
Beverly DeJarnett gives a tour of the  massive core facility at the Bureau's Houston Research Center


 
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