John receiving his award

Alumnus honoured with Petroleum Award

Alumnus John Williams (Chemistry, 1974 and PhD, 1979) has been honoured with the 2019 Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Middle East and North Africa Region.

After earning his PhD, John gained broad industry experience with Shell, the Schlumberger Group in France and the US, and as an independent consultant. This was followed by work in the Middle East with Saudi Aramco, and then with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company’s Petroleum Institute.

On his arrival at the Petroleum Institute John was immediately involved in developing and teaching the first Petroleum Engineering course, and has now taught fourteen courses ranging from freshman level to the Graduate School.

The SPE regional awards recognise members who contribute exceptional service and leadership, as well as making significant professional contributions within their technical disciplines. The Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty recognises superiority in classroom teaching, excellence in research, special effectiveness in advising and guiding students, and there is a rigorous judging process.

John said: “Managers, colleagues and students nominated me for the award, and the SPE invited me to submit a document to support the nomination. I knew competition was tough, as I’d been nominated in the previous two years without success.

“I’m sure the jury took into account the broad range of work I’d done, especially the wide range of courses I taught, in addition to research achievements. Then there was also a major contribution in ‘Service’ activities such as founding and supporting the SPE Student Chapter, making critical contributions to successful accreditation campaigns, setting up procedures and coordinating student advising, and teaching numerous industry courses.

“It was a great honour to win the award, and confirmation that industry believed I was doing a top job.”

Date: 4 December 2019

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