Honors and Awards for 2021

Bureau Researchers Honored for Accomplishments

December 1, 2021


Top left to bottom right: Kitty Milliken, Charles Kerans,
Alexander Sun, Farzam Javadpour

Significant honors were bestowed upon Bureau of Economic Geology researchers in 2021 in recognition of their broad accomplishments. Among those were:

Kitty Milliken was granted Honorary Membership in the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM).

Charles Kerans received the Lifetime Membership Award from the West Texas Geological Society.

Alexander Sun was selected to receive the 2020 Editors’ Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for Geophysical Research Letters by American Geophysical Union (AGU) Publications.

Farzam Javadpour and co-authors were included in Energy & Fuels’ Top 25 Most Cited Articles in 2018 for their paper, “Supercritical Methane Diffusion in Shale Nanopores: Effects of Pressure, Mineral Types, and Moisture Content.”

2021 GCAGS Transactions Volume Dedicated to Robert G. Loucks

November 4, 2021

2021 GCAGS Transactions Volume Dedicated to Robert G. Loucks

One would be hard-pressed to list a more energetic senior research scientist in the history of the Bureau of Economic Geology, or one with a broader range of publications, leadership service, and individual accolades, than Robert G. Loucks. At the recent GeoGulf2021 conference, Bob Loucks added yet another significant tribute to his work and reputation when it was announced that the 2021 Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) Transactions Volume would be dedicated to him by the Austin Geological Society and GCAGS “in recognition of his exceptional contributions to carbonate geology and the Gulf Coast geological community.”

No one was more surprised by the announcement of this honor than Dr. Loucks himself! Despite his best efforts to determine why colleagues urged him to attend the conference awards ceremony, Bob was totally surprised when his name was called, no doubt an unexpected thrill.

Robert Loucks began his professional career as a petroleum geologist with Texaco in 1968.  After receiving his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, Bob joined the Bureau of Economic Geology in 1976 where he worked until 1980. Following stints at Mobil, Cities Service and Arco, Loucks returned to the Bureau of Economic Geology in 2000 and has greatly contributed to its research and mission ever since.

Bob Loucks’ research has covered a range of geologic subdisciplines over the years, including carbonate deposition and diagenesis, carbonate stratigraphy and sedimentology, sandstone stratigraphy and diagenesis, mudrock geology, pore characterization, karst processes and paleocaves. His service record shows a long history of leadership and advisory contributions, and he has served as a mentor and advisor to dozens of students throughout his career. A prolific author, Dr. Loucks has received the GCAGS Journal Best Paper Award three times, the A. I. Levorsen Award for best paper at GCSSEPM and WTGS twice, and the Wallace E. Pratt Award for best AAPG Bulletin Paper. Additionally, among his honors are the AAPG Bob Berg Outstanding Research Award and the Karst Water Institute Research Award.

Please join all of us at the Bureau of Economic Geology in congratulating distinguished geoscientist Dr. Robert G. Loucks for being recognized with this exceptional tribute!

Trio of Bureau Honorees Bestowed Awards

May 20, 2021

Trio of Bureau Honorees Bestowed Awards

It is not unusual for the researchers and staff of the Bureau of Economic Geology to receive accolades for their distinguished research and service, but three of them have been honored in just the past few weeks.

Bureau Research Associate and reservoir engineer Dr. Bo Ren has just been awarded the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers Southwestern Region Young Member Outstanding Service Award. Bo is an improved low-carbon energy recovery engineer working for the State of Texas Advanced Resource Recovery (STARR) program. His research interests include CO₂-enhanced oil recovery, hydrogen, geological carbon sequestration, and reservoir optimization and management.

In addition, longtime Bureau of Economic Geology IT specialist Joseph Yeh was recently recognized with two important awards. He was nominated by Bureau colleagues and is now one of only 30 recipients of The University of Texas at Austin President’s 2021 Outstanding Staff Award. Joseph has worked tirelessly since the initial evacuation of Bureau facilities last year at the start of COVID-19 safety precautions to ensure that researchers and staff have the equipment and the technical ability to work remotely. He was also honored this week by the Bureau of Economic Geology with its 2020 Bureau Staff Excellence Award for his vital role in successfully transitioning the Bureau to an entirely different way of conducting daily operations.

The third awardee is none other than Bureau Director Scott W. Tinker. Scott was just recognized by Hart Energy as the recipient of its special Energy Leadership Award. He is being recognized “for his influential writing, speaking, and documentary production and appearances, which advance understanding of resource development and the world's energy needs.”

Please join all of us at the Bureau of Economic Geology in congratulating these distinguished individuals for their great work and these noteworthy awards.

Bureau Researchers Honored at First Author Publications Awards Ceremony

May 6, 2021

Bureau Researchers Honored at First Author Publications Awards Ceremony

(Left to right) Scott W. Tinker, Jake Covault, Zoltán Sylvester, Jinyu Zhang.

Each year, the Bureau of Economic Geology recognizes researchers who are the first authors of published papers, as well as the authors of the year’s best papers, during its First Author Publications Awards event. For the event held recently honoring authors of 2020 publications, participants had to forgo the annual dinner and in-person ceremony due to COVID-19 safety concerns. However, over 70 researchers and staff joined the formal Zoom ceremony, hosted by Director Scott W. Tinker.

Bureau authors reported 140 publications for 2020. Among the researchers whose papers were published, seven were first-time first authors last year. Bob Loucks and Bill Ambrose tied for the lead for most times honored at the event (13), and Sahar Bakhshian, Qilong Fu, and Ashraf Rateb tied for most first-authored papers in 2020 with three each. Sergey Fomel had the most student first-authored papers in 2020 with seven.

The most anticipated moment at the event was the presentation of the 2021 Tinker Family BEG Publication Award, presented to the author or authors of the previous year’s best paper. This year there was a tie for runner-up for the 2021 award. The first runners-up were Tim Dooley and Mike Hudec for “Extension and Inversion of Salt-Bearing Rift Systems,” published in Solid Earth. Their paper was tied with two papers. Sahar Bakhshian, Seyyed Hosseini, and their coauthors wrote “Scaling of Imbibition Front Dynamics in Heterogeneous Porous Media,” published in Geophysical Research Letters; and Bakhshian, Hosseini, and coauthors also wrote “New Insights into Complex Interactions between Heterogeneity and Wettability Influencing Two‐Phase Flow in Porous Media,” also published in Geophysical Research Letters.

The winners of the 2021 Tinker Family BEG Publication Award, presented for “advancing the scientific understanding of controls on sedimentary basin filling using novel computational approaches,” were Jinyu Zhang, Zoltán Sylvester, and Jake Covault for their important journal article, “How do Basin Margins Record Long-Term Tectonic and Climatic Changes?” published in Geology.

During the ceremony, a Special Recognition Award was presented to the Bureau’s Amanda Masterson in appreciation of her many years of service on its Editorial Board, and a Special Recognition Award was also presented posthumously to the family of Dr. Steve Ruppel “in recognition of career contributions to the understanding of the geologic evolution of the Permian Basin.”


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