National Academy of Engineering Member S. M. Farouq Ali Joins UH Engineering Faculty


Audrey Grayson

Petroleum engineering legend and National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member S. M. Farouq Ali joins the University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering this fall as a distinguished professor of petroleum engineering. His arrival brings the total number of NAE faculty at the Cullen College to 14. 

Farouq Ali comes to UH from the University of Calgary where he served as the Encana/Petroleum Society Chair and Professor of chemical and petroleum engineering. He has over 40 years of experience in industry and academia, having served as a professor at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Alberta and the University of Regina.

Considered one of the world’s leading experts in reservoir engineering, oil recovery and simulation, Farouq Ali advises oil companies and various governments on oil policy and production strategies. He has authored more than 500 papers, conducted more than 200 petroleum reservoir studies and designed over 30 major oil fields projects. 

Farouq Ali earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Penn State University. As a graduate student he conducted pioneering research on micellar-polymer flooding, a process in which a micelle solution is pumped into a reservoir to recover oil. The technique has since become the industry standard for enhanced oil recovery.

He is also credited with some of the earliest experimental work on steam flooding, a method of injecting steam to extract heavy crude oil from an oil reservoir. Today steam injection is one of the primary enhanced oil recovery techniques in use.

Farouq Ali has been honored with awards from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta and the Russian Academy of Sciences.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Farouq Ali, a worldwide legend, to our ranks of distinguished engineering faculty at the Cullen College,” said Joseph W. Tedesco, Elizabeth D. Rockwell Dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. “His arrival at UH marks a victory for our students, our university and the city of Houston.”

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