William Fleckenstein

William Fleckenstein



I also chaired two faculty searches. One was for a FAST director, which was successful. Dr. Abass has his section in the newsletter. The other, for a drilling/completions faculty was not successful. This will be redone this year; so, if you know of a good candidate, please let the department know.

Susan and I are planning on attending the Amsterdam ATCE this October. I do hope to see you there. The IADC/SPE Drilling Conference is frequently held in Amsterdam so I can tell you it is a nice place. Although, I will say the place does give a whole new meaning to “window shopping”.


Many thanks to many….

Rifle Frac Site

placement shortly after graduation. Shale development is generating controversy also, with nearly weekly inquiries to my office from the local and national press on the various aspects of development. Is “fracking” safe? Will it hurt the water? Earthquakes? If anyone has watched the “Gasland” documentaries, it is easily understood why these inquiries are coming, and why it is important to ensure that, a Mines education prepares our graduates for the harsh glare of public scrutiny. Shale development is also changing the subject matter of petroleum engineering, since most wells are now being drilled horizontally, and completed with multi-stage hydraulic fracturing. What is the meaning of Darcy flow when it is measured in nano-darcies? How do we use decline curves to predict unconventional reserves? It is a seismic shift in our industry, and we must respond to the changes to continue to provide cutting edge educations to our graduates.

Greetings from Mines. My commitment to act as Interim Petroleum Engineering Department Head ended, and I am transitioning back to my original part-time status in the department. Dr. Erdal Ozkan has graciously agreed to assume the role of Interim Petroleum Engineering Department Head. I would like to thank the members of the extended family of the Mines Petroleum Engineering Department, from the faculty and staff on campus, to the many alumni and supporters throughout the world, for the invaluable help during my tenure. The job of the PE Department Faculty has become more challenging, driven by the continued success of our industry in addressing the world’s energy needs, with greater resultant interest in everything associated with our industry. Proof of that interest is the continued growth in the number of students that choose petroleum engineering as a major. Mines has a tradition of allowing students to use their first year on campus to explore their interests and then to pick any major on campus, and students are expressing their interest in petroleum by choosing to enter the PE department in droves. Last year we had 170 seniors and 205 juniors, this year we have 190 seniors and 220 juniors, and I suspect that half the sophomore and freshman classes have stopped by Marquez Hall to kick the tires.

The “shale revolution” is driving this growth and allowing our graduates to command higher salaries and nearly perfect

Kuwait project meeting

Once again, the support of the PE Department’s alumni and friends, with financial and in-kind donations and time commitments, has been invaluable. The Petroleum Department enjoys a unique relationship with our alumni, industry partners and supporters that has been a tremendous help. For instance, we have had to reach out to fill our gaps; many thanks to John and Jane Wright for assisting us on short notice in finding great adjuncts to teach our Petroleum Economics class when our faculty search for that position was unsuccessful. There are many other examples of invaluable assistance, and many thanks again to the various companies