Energy - The University of Tulsa

An Energy Center of Excellence

The University of Tulsa is uniquely positioned among other institutions of higher education as a nationwide leader in energy. Home to students from 66 countries, TU offers an internationally renowned petroleum engineering program while embracing a multi-disciplinary approach to energy education. The energy field encompasses faculty, students, research and employment placement from the Collins of Business, the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences and the College of Law. TU’s historic North Campus has been a beacon of technical research, hands-on learning opportunities and cutting-edge innovation for more than 50 years. While honoring its 90-year history in oil and gas research, TU is evolving into a center of excellence for all energy resources now including solar, wind, nanobatteries and biofuels.

Tulsa’s Energy Center

A leader in energy education and research for 90 years

  • TU’s McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering was named the world’s best university for oil, gas and petroleum engineering, according to the 2017 CEOWORLD magazine university rankings.
  • TU, named the greenest university in Oklahoma, powers its Case Tennis Center through rooftop solar panels.
  • Ranked No. 4 among petroleum engineering graduate schools by U.S. News & World Report
  • Recipient of ARPA-E and U.S. Department of Energy grants for solar power research and other alternative energy projects.
  • Longstanding program excellence in energy law
  • Renowned programs in Native American law and sustainable energy and natural resources law
  • Energy Law Journal edited by TU’s law students on behalf of practicing members of the Energy Bar Association
  • ABA’s Year in Review publication section on Environment, Energy and Resources Committee also edited by TU’s law students
  • Ranked 15th among U.S. law schools for job placement for the Class of 2017 (National Law Journal 2018), including placements in the energy field
  • The Energy Management Program is one of only 10 such university programs in the United States. In July 2014, the Collins College of Business established the School of Energy Economics, Policy and Commerce in response to growth in the energy industry and the university’s energy business degree programs.
  • TU houses one of only two undergraduate energy management programs at a private institution accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen.
  • Master of Energy Business program ranked No. 49 by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Program and one of only three post-baccalaureate programs accredited by the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL).
  • Degree Programs

    Petroleum Engineering – BSPE, ME, MSE, PhD
    Energy Business – BSBA, MEB
    Energy Law – JD, SERL Certificate, JD and LLM in Energy and Natural Resources Law, LLM in Energy & Natural Resources Law for Foreign Lawyers, MJ in Energy Law
    Chemical Engineering – B.S. with options in materials, refining, pre-med, business and environmental, M.S.Ch.E.
    Chemistry – B.A., B.S.., M.S., Ph.D.
    Biochemistry – B.S., M.S.
    Engineering Physics – B.S., M.S.
    Physics – B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
    Geosciences – B.S., M.S., B.S., B.A., J.D./M.S., Ph.D.
    Mechanical Engineering – B.S., M.S., Ph.D.
    Computer Science – B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

  • Consortia Related to the Energy Industry
  • Research/Patents

    Chemical Engineering

    • Developing genetic engineering tools to facilitate algae biofuels development
    • Experimental investigation and modeling of flow assurance issues to control many solid deposits such as paraffin, hydrate and asphaltenes in oil and gas pipelines and well bores.
    • Applying thermodynamic principles to practical problems of hydrocarbon energy industry.
    • Produced water purification using novel technologies.
    • Using sub and supercritical water to convert biomass to biofuels (renewable energy).
    • Catalytic methane dehyroaromatization to produce liquid fuels
    • Liquefaction of biochar to produce value-added chemicals and fuels
    • The Fundamentals of Delayed Coking Joint Industry Project has been studying, for the past 20 years, ways of understanding and improving the delayed coking petroleum refining process
    • Using zeolites for all types of oil refining processes including cracking, hydrocracking, isomerization, reforming and hydrogenation.

    Chemistry and Biochemistry

    • Synthesis and fabrication of photovoltaic (PV) materials where nanostructuring greatly enhance the PV system. This work has received more than $1M in Federal funding.
    • 3D Printed Electrodes for Electrochemical energy storage. 3D printing opens new doors for battery fabrication. This work has resulted in four patents.
    • Nanostructured battery materials (electrodes and electrolytes) to enhance the energy storage capabilities. This project has had more than $3M in Federal and Industrial funding. This work has resulted in seven patents.

    Geosciences

    • Reservoir characterization research particularly aimed at understanding permeability anisotropy related to facies architecture elements to improve reservoir exploitation strategies.
    • Geothermal and petroleum related fluid injection induced seismicity forecasting and alert systems development to better inform industry and regulator decision making.
    • Geophysical imaging and signal processing to improve petroleum exploration and exploitation efforts.
    • Research geophysical theory and applications for effective delineation and production of fossil fuel reservoirs.
    • Educate our students, providing a strong foundation in geophysics to enable participation in the energy business.
    • Educate our students in computational geophysics enabling their ability to create geoscience solutions for energy applications.
    • Teach our students on how to participate and contribute within a multidisciplinary geoscience team for hydrocarbon exploration and production.
    • Instruct our students to be critical thinkers and socially aware with respect to world energy concerns regarding fossil fuel production.
    • Guide our students to act in a responsible and ethical manner with respect to fossil fuel operations, including environmental preservation, induced seismicity mitigation and public safety.

    Computer Science

    • Situational awareness tools for cyber security in the energy sector (oil & gas, electric power); researchers have developed a number of specialized tools for protocol analysis and intrusion detection
    • Patent for a Compliance Method for a Cyber-Physical System with applications and use in regulated energy-related environments
    • Cyber risk assessment methodology for nuclear reactor control systems
    • Automated tool for identifying critical digital assets in nuclear reactors
    • Use of machine learning algorithms and data science to determine optimal parameters for multiphase flow models
    • Tulsa Cyber Summit 2019 includes sector panels on energy, oil & gas
    • Scaled down electric power substation to test and evaluate cyber security solutions for the electric power sector

    Physics

    • Professor Parameswar Hari serves as the director of the Oklahoma Photovoltaic Research institute which is an interdisciplinary, inter-university (TU, OU and OSU) center dedicated to the design, fabrication, and testing of third generation photovoltaics (PV). This institute is operated from the physics department at TU.
    • The primary mission of the Institute is to design, model, and fabricate new generation of cost-effective solar cells.
    • The secondary mission of the institute is to foster interdisciplinary research between faculty and students in Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering disciplines at TU. In addition, through the institute projects we will share resources between three major Oklahoma research universities on PV research.
    • Solar energy research at TU has attracted funds more than $5 million in the past 5 years.
    • We have three ongoing projects supported by OK-NASA EPSCoR for over $2.25 million
    • Currently, 6 TU faculty (physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering), 6 graduate students (3 in physics) and 2 undergraduate (physics) students are engaged in solar energy related research projects.
    • We have two dedicated labs in the physics department with 21 instruments utilized in solar energy projects.
    • PV institute annual symposium in 2018 had 42 participants, 6 students’ talks and 16 poster presentations.
    • The higher operating efficiencies and longer lifetimes make light-emitting diodes (LEDs) highly competitive in the general illumination market. This technology is expected to reduce energy consumption by 40% in 2030, which corresponds to energy saving of 261 TWh and budget saving of $26 billion. Current generation white LEDs are realized by incorporating yellow phosphors into III-nitride based blue LEDs. The challenges of cool color and limited material availability of the rare-earth elements need to be solved to realize the widespread adoption of white LEDs in the general illumination market. Therefore, the utilization of cost-effective approaches to achieve high-efficiency LED with superior color quality is instrumental in the application of this technology in the general illumination market. The key for obtaining photo down conversion materials to acquire high quantum yield materials with emission in the blue, green, and red ranges. We are developing cost-effective approaches to achieve high-quality white LEDs using the earth-abundant elements with goal of widespread adoption of white LED in general illumination market. This will result in a significant reduction in energy consumption.
    • Ferroelectric thin films and heterostructures are unique multifunctional nanomaterials for energy applications that include electromechanical and photovoltaic energy generation, ultrahigh density capacitive energy storage, and energy efficient electronic components such as non-volatile memories and ferroelectric field-effect transistors. Our research aims at the fundamental understanding of electrostatic and electromechanical interactions at ferroelectric interfaces in order to craft recipes for advanced energy materials with new and enhanced functionalities.
  • Energy Partnerships

    International University Partnerships in Energy

    China University of Petroleum East China
    China University of Petroleum Beijing and Karamay
    Robert Gordon University, Edinburgh
    Siegen University
    Singapore Management
    University College Dublin
    University of Cantabria
    University of Auckland
    Catholique de Lille

    Student Internships/Externships in Energy

    BOK
    Buffalo Land & Title
    Canyon Creek
    Chesapeake
    Chevron
    Concho
    ConocoPhillips
    EDP Renewables
    Hilcorp
    Navico
    Newfield
    North Dakota, Bismarck, ND
    OCP, Ecuador
    ONEOK
    Paladin
    Phillips 66
    Tital Energy
    Vega Energy
    WCM Resources
    Williams
    XTO
    Yukon Minerals
    Chesapeake Energy
    Cimarex Energy
    Devon Energy
    Dox Chemical
    Environmental Resources Management
    Foundation Energy Management
    Halliburton
    Hilcorp Energy
    Newfield Exploration
    Nomac Services
    ONE Gas
    Saudi Aramco
    Schlumberger
    Unit Corporation
    Victory Energy
    Zeeco
    Okie Crude Company
    Oklahoma Corporation Commission
    WPX Energy
    Blueknight Energy Partners
    Cypress Energy Partners
    Nichols Brothers, Inc.
    Law Offices of Lee W. Paden, PC
    Energy Source Advisors
    Hugh W. Savage, Attorney at Law
    Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission
    Oklahoma Water Resource Board
    Patrick, Miller, Kropf
    The Railroad Commission of Texas
    NGL Energy
    OK Department of Agriculture
    TX Department of Agriculture
    Oklahoma Water Resources Board
    Indian & Environmental Law Group
    Needham & Associates
    Army Core of Engineers
    Grand River Dam Authority
    Nichols Brothers, Inc.
    Breathe Utah
    Cypress Energy Partners
    Energy Source Advisors
    Patrick Miller Noto
    WPX Energy
    QuikTrip
    Blueknight Energy Partners
    Texas RCC
    Oklahoma Corporation Commission
    Williams
    Hall Estill
    Environmental Defense Fund
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • Employment of TU Alumni in Energy-Related Roles
  • TU Faculty

    Randy Hazlett, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: unconventional reservoirs, discrete well modeling, pressure and rate transient analysis, multiphase flow in porous media, productivity modeling of complex wells, production from complex fracture systems, flow in fractures, computational fluid dynamics applications in reservoir engineering, Lattice Boltzmann methods for petroleum engineering, enhanced oil recovery
    • Teaching Interests: reservoir engineering, production engineering, rock and fluid properties, enhanced oil recovery

    Mohan Kelkar, Ph.D., J.D.

    Professor Emeritus of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: integrated reservoir modeling, liquid loading
    • Teaching Interests: petroleum economics and property evaluation, unconventional resources, geostatistics, integrated reservoir modeling

    Jun Lu, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    Stefan Miska, Ph.D.

    Jonathan B. Detwiler Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: drilling hydraulics, drillstring, tubing and casing mechanics, drilling optimization, geomechanics
    • Teaching Interests: drilling, well completions, geomechanics

    Mustafa Onur, Ph.D.

    Chair and McMan Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: pressure transient (well test) analysis, wireline formation testers, reservoir engineering methods, reservoir simulation and modeling, assisted history matching, nonlinear parameter optimization, naturally fractured reservoirs, EOR methods, geothermal reservoir engineering, unconventional oil and gas reservoirs
    • Teaching Interests: well test analysis, reservoir engineering, rock properties, reservoir modeling and simulation, computer applications in petroleum engineering

    Mauricio Prado, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: artificial lift, dewatering and boosting, multiphase flow, production optimization, dynamic of multiphase flow in pipes
    • Teaching Interests: production engineering and artificial lift, fluid and rock properties, multiphase flow

    Ovadia Shoham, Ph.D.

    Floyd M. Stevenson Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: production, transportation and separation of multiphase flow, two phase flow modeling
    • Teaching Interests: production engineering, two phase flow modeling

    Rami Younis, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: numerical reservoir simulation, software design paradigms, nonlinear and linear solvers, discretization of coupled flow and transport, geomechanics in fractured porous media, applications of simulation in unconventional reservoirs and EOR
    • Teaching Interests: advanced reservoir engineering, reservoir simulation, geostatistics, well test analysis, high performance computing

    Mengjiao Yu, Ph.D.

    Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: drilling and well completion, drilling fluids, fluid rheology and hydraulics, wellbore stability, shale and shale stability, cuttings transport, UBD/MPD, drillstring mechanics, downhole and surface measurement, drilling automations, large scale engineering simulations
    • Teaching Interests: drilling engineering, drilling fluids, math modeling in drilling engineering, engineering programming

    Hong-Quan Zhang, Ph.D.

    Williams Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: artificial lift, multiphase flow in wells and pipelines, heat and mass transfer, computational fluid dynamics, heavy oil and emulsion rheology, oil and gas production, flow assurance
    • Teaching Interests: production engineering, advanced production design, transient multiphase production design, multiphase flow modeling, artificial lift, flow assurance

    Albert Reynolds, Ph.D.

    Research Professor of Petroleum Engineering and Mathematics

    • Research Interests: assisted history matching, waterflooding, optimization, closed-loop reservoir management, uncertainty quantification, optimal well placement and control, data-driven models for prediction and control reservoir simulation, multiphase flow well testing
    • Teaching Interests: reservoir engineering, reservoir simulation, optimization, well testing, inverse problems, closed-loop reservoir management

    Evren Ozbayoglu, Ph.D.

    Executive Director of TUDRP, Wellspring Associate Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: drilling engineering, fluid and solid mechanics, directional horizontal drilling, cuttings transport, fluid characterization, hydraulics
    • Teaching Interests: drilling engineering

    Eduardo Pereyra, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: multiphase flow, flow assurance, gas well deliquification, artificial lift, multiphase flow metering, separation technologies, uncertainty analysis
    • Teaching Interests: flow assurance, two-phase flow modeling, oil and gas production, artificial lift, petroleum economics, surface production facilities, transient two-phase flow

    Cem Sarica, Ph.D.

    Director of TUHWALP, F.H. “Mick” Merelli/Cimarex Professor of Petroleum Engineering

    • Research Interests: production engineering, multiphase flow in pipes, flow assurance, horizontal wells
    • Teaching Interests: production engineering, multiphase flow, flow assurance

    Daniel Crunkleton, Ph.D., J.D.

    Professor of Chemical Engineering

    • Research Interests: process modeling and simulation, computational fluid dynamics, alternative energy/biofuels
    • Teaching Interests: thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, alternative energy, transport phenomena

    Todd Otanicar, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    • Research Interests: heat transfer, nanoparticles, optics, solar energy, building energy
    • Teaching Interests: heat transfer, thermodynamics, alternative energy, heating and refrigeration, building systems

    Parameswar Hari, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Physics

    • Research Interests: solar cells, nanotechnology, condensed matter physics, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)
    • Teaching Interests: solid state physics, nanoscience, math methods

    Hema Ramsurn, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering

    • Research Interests: supercritical fluids, biofuels, bio-based value-added products and their applications, graphene, gas to liquid conversions
    • Teaching Interests: thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, chemical engineering principles, renewable energy, health and safety, reaction engineering

    Dale Teeters, Ph.D.

    Chair and Professor of Chemistry

    • Research Interests: nanochemistry and materials chemistry as they apply to battery electrode and electrolyte materials
    • Teaching Interests: general chemistry, physical chemistry, polymer chemistry, materials chemistry, nanochemistry

    Ty Johannes, Ph.D.

    Wellspring Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

    • Research Interests: directed evolution, synthetic biology, algae biofuels
    • Teaching Interests: chemical reactor design, biochemical engineering, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer

    Kenneth Roberts, Ph.D.

    Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    • Research Interests: spectroscopy, nanomaterials, environmental, solar energy
    • Teaching Interests: analytical, environmental chemistry, chemical separations

    Gabriel LeBlanc, Ph.D.

    Wellspring Assistant Professor of Chemistry

    • Research Interests: electrochemistry, 3D printing, materials chemistry, alternative energy
    • Teaching Interests: analytical chemistry, electrochemistry

    John Hale, Ph.D.

    Tandy Professor of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

    • Research Interests: computational biology, bioinformatics, neuroinformatics, medical informatics, information security, high-performance computing, formal methods, digital humanities, social computing
    • Teaching Interests: computer architecture, information security, high-performance computing, computational biology, neuroinformatics, medical informatics, enterprise computing

    Mauricio Papa, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Computer Science

    • Research Interests: network security, distributed process control, network intrusion detection, protocol analysis
    • Teaching Interests: operating systems, computer networks, network security, computer graphics, cyber physical systems, critical infrastructure protection

    Michael Keller, Ph.D.

    Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering

    • Research Interests: synthesis and characterization of multi-functional materials, experimental mechanics of complex synthetic and biological materials
    • Teaching Interests: mechanics, materials science, instrumentation, experimental techniques, composite materials

    Tim Coburn, Ph.D.

    Professor of Energy

    • Research Interests: Statistical estimation of remaining unconventional oil and gas resources, energy analytics and data management, energy applications of quantitative decision making, infrastructure and asset management in the energy space, energy logistics and transportation issues, energy risk modeling, improving or developing methods for estimating remaining oil and gas resources in unconventional plays
    • Teaching Interests: analytics and data management, quantitative decision analysis, management of energy operations, logistics and supply chain, asset management, risk modeling, energy policy and economics

    Rob Moore, M.B.A.

    Applied Assistant Professor of Energy Business

    • Research Interests: energy capital efficiency, upstream operations and management
    • Teaching Interests: supply chain management, finance, statistics, economics, deal-making, upstream operations & engineering

    Linda Nichols, Ph.D.

    Director, School of Energy Economics, Policy and Commerce and Charles Funai Professor of Energy

    • Research Interests: energy accounting and financial reporting, international accounting and financial reporting
    • Teaching Interests: U.S. and international upstream energy accounting, financial reporting; international accounting

    Buford Pollett, J.D.

    Genave King Rogers Assistant Professor of Energy Law

    • Research Interests: corporate decision analysis, legal and regulatory aspects of oil/gas well facilities abandonment and decommissioning in onshore and offshore production environments, maritime energy law, legal and financial transactions in international energy commerce
    • Teaching Interests: energy tansactions, regulations and compliance, maritime and Shipping Insurance, real property, oil and gas law, perspectives on energy business

    Ron Ripple, Ph.D.

    Mervin Bovaird Professor of Energy Business

    • Research Interests: economics of crude oil and natural gas markets, energy commodities financial derivatives markets, relationship between energy consumption and income
    • Teaching Interests: energy business, energy markets, energy finance, energy derivatives markets

    Tom Seng, M.B.A.

    Applied Assistant Professor of Energy Business

    • Research Interests: energy markets and commodities risk
    • Teaching Interests: supply chain management, energy commodities markets, global oil and gas industry, power industry, petroleum refining and petrochemical industries, current issues in energy management, energy risk and hedging

    Robert A. Butkin, J.D.

    Professor of Law, SERL Director, Energy Law Journal

    • Research Interests: For six years, Professor Butkin has served as an appointee of the Governor of Oklahoma to the Oklahoma delegation of the Uniform Law Commission.
    • Teaching Interests: contracts, state and federal administrative law, commercial law, particularly selling and leasing of goods and secured transactions

    Warigia Bowman, Ph.D., J.D.

    Assistant Professor of Law

    • Research Interests: energy policy and natural resources
    • Teaching Interests: administrative law, water law

    Melissa J. Luttrell, J.D.

    Assistant Professor of Law

    • Research Interests: The appropriate use of microeconomic principles in legal decisions that relate to environmental and public health risk regulation; the ways decision makers actually use available evidence, in the absence of perfect information; and the integration of idealistic notions of what protective environmental and public health laws can and should do with the pragmatic realities of the world that actually exists.
    • Teaching Interests: environmental law, climate change and property

    Judith V. Royster, J.D.

    Professor of Law

    • Research Interests: American Indian law, with a concentration on issues of water rights and mineral and energy development
    • Teaching Interests: administrative law, civil procedure, legislation, federal Indian law, Native American natural resources law, an on-line master’s class in Indian property rights

    Rex J. Zedalis, L.L.M., J.D.

    Professor of Law

    • Research Interests: His most recent research interests have focused on aspects of Iraqi oil and gas law, but have included international economic law, arms control, and self-defense.
    • Teaching Interests: international energy, international trade law, property law and associated courses such as land use controls, and financing land transactions


					chemistry research lab


					energy business commodity trading class


					students at north campus


					student at north campus


					Photovoltaic Institute Lab


					Todd Otanicar in the lab


					drilling simulator show


					Group of workers