Nov 30, 2022  
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering


Marshall Watson, Ph.D., Chairperson

Professors: Heinze, Hussain
Associate Professors: Gorell, Ispas, Menouar, Sheng, Watson
Assistant Professors: Emadibaladehi, Ettehadtavakkol, Gamadi, Panacharoensawad
Instructors: Bullard, Giussani, Henderson

CONTACT INFORMATION: 210 Terry Fuller Petroleum Engineering Research Building, Box 43111, Lubbock, TX 79409-3111, T 806.742.3573, F 806.742.3502,

About the Department

This department supervises the following degree programs:

Mission. The mission of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering has four elements:

  • To provide excellent instruction and design experiences essential for graduates to enter the practice of petroleum engineering and pursue life-long professional development.
  • To conduct research that generates, communicates, and applies new knowledge for the betterment of society.
  • To foster a spirit of service and leadership among students and faculty and assist the public in addressing issues concerning the use of resources, protection of the environment, and development of infrastructures.
  • The department fulfills an obligation to the people of the state of Texas and the nation in making available the technical expertise for the safe and efficient development, production, and management of petroleum reserves.

Program Educational Objectives. The Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering supports the mission of the university and the college through its undergraduate program by providing students with an appropriate curriculum and educational experience.

The course selection and content remain current through continuous assessment by faculty, students, alumni, Petroleum Industry Advisor Board (PIAB) members, and industry employers.

To accomplish this mission, the petroleum engineering faculty, with advice from students, alumni, PIAB members, and industry employers, endorse program educational objectives to generate petroleum engineering graduates who will accomplish the following during the first few years after graduation:

  • Be successful in diverse career paths in the petroleum industry.
  • Continue professional development through participation and leadership in professional organizations (SPE, ASEE, API, AADE, SPWLA).
  • Pursue lifelong learning through continuing education or postgraduate education (professional meetings, short courses, graduate courses).
  • Progress to professional registration so that some individuals graduate from an ABET-accredited degree plan, pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, work in increasingly responsible engineering positions, and pass the Professional Exam.

These objectives are published in the university’s catalog and on the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering website.

Student Outcomes. Student outcomes are statements of the expectations for the knowledge and skills that students should possess when they graduate with a Petroleum Engineering BS from Texas Tech University.

Graduates of the program must demonstrate the following:

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

b. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.

c. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety,   manufacturability, and sustainability.

d. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.

e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

f. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

g. An ability to communicate effectively.

h. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.

i. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.

j. A knowledge of contemporary issues.

k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Petroleum Engineering BS Program Specific Criteria

By the time of graduation, students must also be able to do the following:

  • Be proficient in mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, fluid mechanics, strength of materials, and thermodynamics;
  • Design and analysis of well systems and procedures for drilling and completing wells;
  • Characterization and evaluation of subsurface geological formations and their resources using geoscientific and engineering methods;
  • Design and analysis of systems for producing, injecting, and handling fluids;
  • Application of reservoir engineering principles and practices for optimizing resource development and management;
  • Use of project economics and resource valuation methods for design and decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty.

Program Overview. The department is uniquely located in the Permian Basin, where approximately 22 percent of the nation’s petroleum resources and 68 percent of Texas’ petroleum resources lie within a 175-mile radius. 

Petroleum engineering is the practical application of the basic and physical sciences of mathematics, geology, physics, and chemistry and all of the engineering sciences to the discovery, development, production, and transportation of petroleum. Petroleum is the most widely used form of mobile energy and now supplies approximately three-fourths of the total energy used in the United States. It is also a major raw material from which a wide variety of products are manufactured.

The department strongly encourages students to experience at least one summer internship for professional growth. Intern students will be assessed externally. The department has conferred over 2,800 BS degrees since the program’s inception in 1946.

The department is heavily involved in assisting students to find employment—both summer internships and full-time positions—upon graduation. An interview and resume workshop for the fall and spring semesters is conducted through the dean’s office to assist students with interviewing and resume writing skills as an additional effort to maintain petroleum engineering’s outstanding placement rate through the Dean’s office. The curriculum is under continuous review, and revisions are made as needed to maintain accreditation and ensure employability of students. Faculty participation with ABET and the SPE Education and Accreditation Committee ensure the department is current on engineering education. In addition, faculty have attended and been principal planners in all nine of the Colloquiums on Petroleum Engineering Education. Changes in the petroleum engineering curriculum since 1991 have been implemented by the Petroleum Engineering Curriculum Committee after due consideration of input from the Petroleum Industry Advisory Board, ABET recommendations, and the department’s planning and assessment tools.

The department assists students to obtain summer internships. This provides invaluable and highly recommended industry experience to students. The increasing department involvement in industrial research provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate actively in the research experience on campus.

The Petroleum Engineering BS is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Undergraduate Program

General Standards and Requirements. Admission requirements and academic standards for the Department of Petroleum Engineering are consistent with the dynamic enrollment plan for the Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. College of Engineering. Refer to the introduction to the Whitacre College of Engineering  section of this catalog for a description of the criteria for initial admission to the Whitacre College of Engineering and the lower-division foundational curriculum.

Admission to the petroleum engineering upper-division degree program is very competitive. Consequently, only 250 students in any academic year will be allowed to transition from the lower-division foundational program to the upper-division petroleum degree program, no later than between the third and fourth semesters. The 250-student limit to the petroleum engineering degree program will be effective Spring 2016 and thereafter.

To apply for admission in the petroleum engineering upper-division degree program (beginning with PETR 2322 , PETR 3302 , and PETR 4331 ), students must meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • completion of the foundational curriculum.
  • completion of 12 credit hours of Texas Tech University coursework.
  • minimum institutional GPA of 3.4.
  • completion of first three semesters of the petroleum engineering curriculum.

Students meeting all of the required criteria will be considered for admission to the petroleum engineering program based on their institutional GPA. Where necessary to distinguish among students, math, science and engineering coursework GPAs will be weighted higher than other courses in the core or foundational curriculum. Once the enrollment cap of 250 has been reached for any given academic year, no additional students will be admitted to the petroleum engineering upper-division program for that year. Students meeting all of the required criteria who are not among the 250 admitted students may declare majors in any other department in the college of engineering, provided standards for those majors are met. To apply to the petroleum degree program, students must complete the Authorization for Transfer into Upper Division Degree Program form. Students may complete an electronic copy of the form, located on the college of engineering website, or complete the paper copy located in the Engineering Opportunities Center of the college of engineering Dean’s Office. Entry requirements for the petroleum engineering degree program are subject to change and students must meet the requirements at the time of submitting the Authorization for Transfer into Upper Division Degree Program form.

Upon acceptance into the upper-division petroleum degree program students will be placed on the most current catalog and upper-division degree plan to fulfill graduation requirements in place at that time.

A high-priority goal is to produce quality BS graduates measured by the following:

  • Student average starting salaries near the top of the national average in accredited U.S. petroleum engineering departments.

  • Provide summer intern opportunities and experiences within the industry.

  • Recruitment of quality undergraduates.

  • Accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

  • Petroleum Industry Advisory Board recommendation on curriculum and graduates.

  • An independent assessment of capstone senior courses.

All students in the department are required to have a Windows-based laptop computer, safety glasses, and steel-toed boots. Many instructors require students to transfer homework via email. Some instructors transfer information to students using the Internet. Students should check the department website for hardware and software recommendations; most petroleum-based software applications will run only on Windows-based PCs. The department has laptop accessible classrooms. Computer labs are not provided.

The academic standards required by the Whitacre College of Engineering and the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering are given in the introduction to the Whitacre College section of this catalog and summarized below. Exceptions to these academic standards are at the discretion of the petroleum engineering faculty in concurrence with the dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering. The standards are as follows:

  • A grade of C or better must be achieved in all prerequisites before the subsequent course may be attempted.

  • A minimum 2.5 GPA is required to maintain academic good standing and continued membership in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

  • A full-time student must achieve a C or better in 18 credit hours of coursework in the degree plan in each 12-month period.

  • An engineering course may be repeated only one time after a course drop, withdrawal, or failure to achieve a C or better.

  • A maximum of three engineering courses may be repeated.

The department requires students in their junior year to conduct a degree audit. Following this audit, they must meet with their academic advisors to discuss all courses remaining for completion of their degree. Students must select “operations” or “reservoir” concentration upon registration for fall (first semester senior) courses. The student will be expected to enroll only in courses within their designated concentration. To graduate, the student must complete the required concentration courses.

Curriculum. Petroleum engineering applies the curriculum management of the Whitacre College of Engineering. Because of the rigidity of the upper-division petroleum degree program, students should be aware of the implications of not successfully completing coursework as prescribed in the degree plan.

Per the Academic Advising and Support section of this catalog, students should “notify their advisor immediately when receiving a course grade of D or F,” before dropping a course, or when withdrawing from the university in order to gain a full understanding of the implications and develop a plan for the future.

Minors. Currently, petroleum engineering does not offer a minor. In conjunction with the Petroleum Engineering BS. degree, students may declare a minor (18 hours in a subject) in a field of their choice. Any required or elective courses in petroleum engineering may be applied toward the minor with the approval of the minor department (and department advisor). While declaration of a minor is not required, it is strongly recommended. Suggested minors are, but not limited to, mechanical engineering, geosciences, and mathematics. These minors can be earned with some additional hours.

Graduate Program

For information on graduate programs offered by the Department of Petroleum Engineering, visit the Graduate Programs  section of the catalog.

Undergraduate Program Offerings, Course Descriptions & Curricular Tables

(Click on program for curricular table.)


    Bachelor’sAccelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree


      PETR - Petroleum Engineering (Undergraduate Courses)