Newswise — The Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering is celebrating the completion of its new $22.8 million research facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, merging technological advancement with the excitement of future generations.
Funded entirely by industry and private contributions, the Terry Fuller Petroleum Engineering Research Building is named in recognition of lead benefactors and Texas Tech University graduates, Terry and Linda Fuller of Frisco, Texas, following a long-standing practice of honoring donors who contribute more than half the construction costs of a new building.
“Texas Tech’s Petroleum Engineering Department is one of the best in the country and now is home to one of the best facilities in the country as well,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “Thanks to so many alumni, friends and donors, this state-of-the-art building is not only a beautiful addition to our campus, but also will allow us to educate more students, expand research efforts and make an even bigger impact on the petroleum energy industry.”
The primary goal of the new building is to provide a facility that integrates formal teaching environments with hands-on practical applications using cutting-edge research facilities and techniques. It houses 42,000 square feet of modern classroom and research space, and sets the national benchmark for petroleum educational facilities.
“Ever since I started teaching at Texas Tech, I have dreamed of a facility that would allow me to teach from a visual aspect,” said Marshall Watson, chair of the Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering. “I wanted so much to bring to the class what I’ve done in the field for the last 30 years. This new facility fulfills that dream.”
Some of the highlights of the modern facilities include smart classrooms, state-of-the-art integrated research and teaching laboratories, and collaborative student study areas, which will keep Texas Tech students and faculty on the leading edge of petroleum engineering techniques and innovations. Additionally the increased space of the building will accommodate anticipated departmental growth for years to come.
There also is a new contribution to the Public Art Program, located in the courtyard to the south.
The new Terry Fuller Petroleum Engineering Research Building features a unique cluster of laboratories. Through a tight integration of these areas, a systems approach will be taken in petroleum engineering education that covers the entire spectrum of exploration and production, including business profitability analysis. Key courses in the new facility will address responsible and efficient use of water.
“The building is a testament to Texas Tech’s commitment to expanding petroleum engineering research,” said M. Duane Nellis, Texas Tech University president. “Together with this facility and its technology, the Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering will continue to lead the way, graduating top-quality engineers and sending them to meet the worldwide demands of the industry.”
The Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering is one of the largest petroleum engineering departments in the world and is staffed with industry-experienced faculty. The department’s curriculum is focused on production, operations and completion. This educational niche is critical, as Texas Tech is a major supplier of petroleum engineers to the Permian Basin and the energy industry worldwide.
At the request of donors, one of the building’s classrooms will be named the Herald Winkler Auditorium. The classroom honors Professor Emeritus Herald Winkler, known to students and colleagues as “The Wink,” who served as professor and chairman of the Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering from 1970 to 1985.
“The Terry Fuller Petroleum Engineering Research Building will help prepare our students to be at the forefront of production engineering and will produce future energy leaders for the state of Texas and the world,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. “I cannot thank our friends and alumni enough for their foresight to provide us with the support to make this building and this approach to engineering education possible.”
About the Fullers
Terry Fuller is CEO, president and founder of Phoenix PetroCorp, an independent oil and gas production and operating company headquartered in McKinney, Texas. He graduated from Texas Tech University in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in petroleum engineering, and is married to Linda Schlinkman Fuller, who received her bachelor’s degree in English from Texas Tech University.
Terry Fuller was selected as a member of the Academy of Petroleum Engineers by the Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering in 2009 and named a Distinguished Engineer by the Whitacre College of Engineering in 2011. He serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Texas Tech Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and promotes the Texas Tech University System and its universities.
Longtime supporters of their alma mater, the Fullers have established a scholarship endowment in every college and every sport at Texas Tech University. The couple has been recognized for their lifetime contributions with membership in La Sociedad de la Espuela (The Spur Society), the Engineering Key Society and the Athletic Hall of Legacy.