Comments: Academic Leaders
- John Donnelly (JPT Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- February 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 16 - 16
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 26 since 2007
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With sadness, we note the loss of two members who mentored countless students and colleagues during their distinguished careers on different sides of the globe. Kermit Brown, a longtime professor at the University of Tulsa and the University of Texas, died on 10 December at the age of 86. Ion Cretu, a professor and leader in the Romanian scientific community, died on 15 November. He was 76. Colleagues speak warmly of both men and the influence they had on them and others in the profession.
Brown was honored at last year’s SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition with the JPT Legends of Production and Operations award. He was a noted authority on artificial lift and changed the way the industry viewed that technology, and contributed to the industry as an educator, researcher, and consultant in a career that spanned more than 50 years. He wrote portions of the Gas Lift Manual that transformed the way that technology was used and became the gas-lift authority in the industry. His book on nodal analysis is still widely used by those both inside and outside academia.
It was at the University of Tulsa that Brown had his biggest impact. Colleagues say he changed that school’s petroleum engineering department forever through his bold and innovative leadership. He started a doctoral program there, and he created a research model that other universities would later adopt. Brown developed a consortium in which oil companies would contribute a small amount of money each year and university faculty and students would conduct research of specific interest to the industry. The program put the department closer to the needs of oil and gas companies, benefiting students greatly in the process, and reduced the school’s reliance on government funding. Thorough his leadership, the University of Tulsa began its first research program, called the Tulsa University Drilling Research Project.
Cretu began working in 1958 with the Oil, Gas, and Geology Institute in Bucharest and then for the Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti as a lecturer, associate professor, and, beginning in 1978, as professor in the Department of Hydraulics, Thermotechnics, and Reservoir Engineering. He held numerous positions at the university during his academic career, including head of the department, vice dean and dean of the Well Drilling and Reservoir Exploration Faculty, and vice rector of the school. He supervised more than 45 doctoral trainees at the university.
He was well known in the Romanian scientific community, was widely published, and was active in the International Association of Hydraulic Research, the Romanian National Committee of World Oil Congresses, and the Scientific Council of the Ministry of Geology. Cretu also served as president of the SPE Romanian Section.
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