William (Will) Fleckenstein

Research Professor, Petroleum Engineering

Will FleckensteinMy research is focused on developing new technologies for well drilling and completions. I also am the Director of Strategic Business Development, Office of Global Initiatives and Business Development, and I was the Petroleum Engineering Interim Dept. Head during 2012 – 2014. Before joining the Colorado School of Mines, I worked in industry, first as a roughneck for Loffland Drilling Co., drilling geothermal wells by the Salton Sea, and then joined Scientific Software, a leading provider of reservoir simulation consulting. In 1990, I joined Bechtel Petroleum at the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve as a Drilling Representative/Engineer and was involved in the design and well site supervision of drilling, completion and workover operations on over 200 wells, ranging in depths from 1,000’ to over 17,000’, in conventional, tight sand and shale reservoirs. I was the onsite operator representative overseeing operations performed by drilling, completion and workover rig companies and various subcontractors. My drilling experience includes PDC, roller cone, RWD and bi-center bits, directional (including horizontal) wells, under reaming, coring, foams, fishing and multiple mud system experience. My completion and workover experience include acid and fracture stimulation, foam operations, sand control, remedial cementing, cased hole fishing, on both flowing and artificial lift wells (rod pump, gas lift, ESP). I also designed and supervised numerous thru-tubing workovers, coiled tubing stimulation and cementing operations. I worked as an to Area Engineer, responsible for the reservoir and production engineering for a large reservoir under both gas and water injection for pressure maintenance. I was credited with Elk Hills most successful workover on a converted shut-in water injector, resulting in a 1,400 BOPD producing oil well. I am also the Chairman of the Board of the Credit Union of Colorado ($2,000,000,000 assets)

My research initially focused on studying wellbore stresses using finite element modeling but later I became involved with ice coring and hot water rig designs and troubleshooting for glacial studies supporting the US science efforts in Antarctica and Greenland. I was a Co-PI on a major NSFSRN: “Routes to Sustainability for Natural Gas Development and Water and Air Resources in the American West”. I’m the PI on a $6.3 million DOE grant titled “Development of Multi-Stage Fracturing System and Wellbore Tractor to Enable Zonal Isolation During Stimulation and EGS Operations in Horizontal Wellbores”. My research is now focused on developing technologies, and I work closely with the Capstone Design course to build a variety of prototypes, some of which become patented technologies. I have presented at many workshops and conferences worldwide and served as a 2017-18 SPE Distinguished Lecturer. I received the SPE Regional Completions Optimization and Tech. Award in 2019 and received the Mines Inventor of the Year Award in 2018. I’m also a registered professional petroleum engineer in the state of California (#1666).



  • B.S., Colorado School of Mines
  • M.E. ,Colorado School of Mines
  • Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines


Room 305 Marquez Hall
Fax: 303-273-3189

Labs and Research Centers

  • Director, PERFORM Research Center
  • Principal Investigator, DOE FORGE Geothermal Tools . 
  • Co-Principal Investigator, NSF SRN on Natural Gas Impacts
  • Co-Principal Investigator, Deep Ice Coring Rig Assessment