USC Viterbi Alum Wins High Honor From Society of Petroleum Engineers

| November 29, 2017

Professor Mukul Sharma has received the prestigious John Franklin Carll Award.

Professor Mukul Sharma, USC Viterbi School of Engineering alumnus and professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Texas at Austin (photo/Mukul Sharma)

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering can now add another alumnus to its already lengthy list of prestigious award-winners. This honor goes to Mukul Sharma, M.S. CE ‘ 81, Ph.D. PE ’85, who received the 2017 John Franklin Carll Award by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The SPE John Franklin Carll Award is an award of extreme distinction. Established in 1956, the award recognizes “distinguished contribution in the application of engineering practices to petroleum development and recovery.”

“As I look at the list of previous recipients of this award, I feel deeply honored to be included in such a distinguished list of past recipients, including Dr. [Iraj] Ershaghi,” said Sharma. Ershaghi, the Omar B. Milligan Professor and director of the Petroleum Engineering Program at USC Viterbi, won the award back in 2010.

The honor went to Sharma because of his superb work over the course of his career, specifically in the field of hydraulic fracturing, which is what he has focused on for the past 10 years. His work focuses on delving into fundamental questions about how fractures grow in geologically complex formations, specifically in regards to developing unconventional oil and gas reservoirs. These questions include how far apart the wells should be spaced, as well how many perforations should be present in each cluster of wells.

This is not the first time Sharma has won recognition in his field. In 2009, he received the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal, which is the Society of Petroleum Engineering’s highest technical award. He also won the Lester C. Uren Award in 2002 and the SPE Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty in 2004. Sharma served as a SPE Distinguished Lecturer in 2002.

Sharma is currently the W. A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. Centennial Endowed Chair in Petroleum Engineering in the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering.

John Franklin Carll was a geologist born in 1828. During his substantial career, he created much of the theoretical framework that eventually developed into the creation of petroleum engineering technology.