Ralph J. Schilthuis ’30

PE Hall of Fame Class of 2022

Schilthuis while at CSM
Schilthuis dressed formally

Ralph J. Schilthuis was a thought leader in applying production research and engineering principles to problems of industrial management.

After graduating with honors from Mines in 1930 with a professional degree in petroleum engineering, Schilthuis launched a 34-year career with Humble Oil, interrupted by four years of service at the Office of Petroleum in Washington, D.C. during World War II. A major contributor to the division’s work, he testified about policies and rules to Congressional committees and the Texas Railroad Commission.

His work focused on applying research and engineering principles to sound oil and gas conservation processes. He also published fundamental papers on general material balance principles and the role connate water plays in efficient oil displacement. He also earned an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Schilthuis was a lifetime Mines donor and was the E-Day speaker in 1958, which focused on ethics. When he died in 1964, he was executive vice president for production and a member of Humble Oil’s board of management.


  • Distinguished Achievement Medal, Colorado School of Mines
  • Alfred Nobel Prize for an outstanding technical paper written by a member under age 30, founding societies of the Association of International Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers

John Franklin Carll Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers