Lincoln F. Elkins ’40

PE Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Lincoln F. Elkins was a pioneer in enhanced oil recovery and contributor to the technology of reservoir and production engineering, publishing more than 20 papers in the Journal of Petroleum Technology in the field of applied reservoir engineering.

Elkins graduated from Mines in 1940 with a professional degree in petroleum engineering, where he was also a four-year letterman on the basketball team.

He immediately began a 40-plus-year career in the oil and gas industry, first as a research engineer with Stanolind Oil and Gas Company, then as a production engineer with Conoco. In 1947, he joined Sohio Petroleum Company (now BP), where he worked for 36 years, culminating as senior consulting engineer. He retired in 1983, then was a part-time petroleum engineering consultant.

Elkins served as an adjunct professor at Mines, teaching a course in applied reservoir engineering that was heavily based on his experience developing engineering tools, working on utilizations, equity redeterminations and solving unique problems industry experienced over the years. He also volunteered with his class reunion and was a member of the special gifts committee. Elkins died in 2001.

Professional Societies

  • President, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
  • Director, Association of International Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME)
  • Chairman, AIME Oklahoma City Local Section
  • Chairman, SPE-AIME General Editorial Committee
  • Executive Committee Chairman, Exploration and Production Research, American Petroleum Institute


  • Distinguished Achievement Medal, Colorado School of Mines
  • Honorary Member, Society of Petroleum Engineers (awarded to 0.1 percent of members)
  • Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal for contributions to reservoir and production engineering, AIME
  • Distinguished Lecturer, SPE-AIME
  • DeGloyer Distinguished Service Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • Member, National Academy of Engineering
  • Enhanced Oil Recovery Pioneer, SPE Improved Oil Recovery Conference