Penn State professor awarded technical honor from Society of Petroleum Engineers | Penn

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Russell Johns, professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State, was selected to receive the 2023 SPE/AIME Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal from the International Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for technical leadership. The medal is SPE’s highest international technical award. Johns will receive the award at the 2023 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition scheduled for Oct. 16 – 18 in San Antonio, Texas.

The Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal was established in 1936 by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) as the first major institute award to recognize contributions in petroleum engineering. The medal honors those responsible for developing new technology and concepts and demonstrating distinguished achievement in improving the technique and practice of finding and producing petroleum.

“I am very grateful to SPE, who faithfully provided an infrastructure for technical exploration, and also to my many graduate students at UT-Austin and Penn State, who really did all of the work,” said Johns, who is acting head of Penn State’s John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering and holder of the George E. Trimble Chair of Energy and Mineral Sciences. “I also thank the numerous faculty from UT-Austin, Penn State, and Stanford who spurred me and my students on over these many years.”

Johns specializes in advanced oil recovery research. His research on using water, carbon dioxide and surfactants has led to more efficient recovery practices. Johns has more than 250 publications in enhanced oil recovery, thermodynamics, phase behavior, unconventional gas engineering, multiphase flow in porous media and well testing. He currently co-directs the Subsurface Energy Recovery and Storage (SERS) consortium in the EMS Energy Institute at Penn State.

Before joining the Penn State faculty, Johns served on the petroleum engineering faculty at the University of Texas at Austin from 1995 to 2010. He also has nine years of industrial experience as a petrophysical engineer with Shell Oil and as a consulting engineer for Colenco Power Consulting in Baden, Switzerland.

Johns is an SPE Distinguished Lecturer and former editor-in-chief for all SPE technical journals. He received the SPE Cedric K. Ferguson Medal, SPE Distinguished Member Award, SPE Ph.D. Pipeline Award, SPE International Award in Reservoir Description and Dynamics and more recently the SPE IOR Pioneer Award.

Johns earned his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in petroleum engineering, both from Stanford University.

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