The 2018 UH Cullen College of Engineering Alumni Awards Gala will be held at the Bayou City Event Center on Thursday, June 7. The annual event, hosted by the Engineering Alumni Association (EAA), celebrates the professional achievements and contributions of Cullen College alumni and faculty.
Learn more about this year’s honorees below!
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Benton F. Baugh (BSME ’67), Ph.D., P.E., a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, serves as the president of Baugh Consulting Engineers, Inc., which provides oilfield-related consulting, patent licensing and expert witness work. With more than 55 years of experience in oilfield and subsea systems, Baugh has developed numerous tools and novel solutions to equipment design, leading to more than 100 U.S. patents covering areas including gas compressor systems, drilling chokes, subsea wellhead systems, tubing hangers, subsea flowline systems, gate valves, hydraulic control systems, riser buoyancy systems, consumer products and much more. In 1979 Baugh founded the company Radoil, Inc., which specializes in the design and manufacturing of oilfield and subsea products, and served as president of the company until 2012. Currently Baugh is distinguished adjunct professor of mechanical engineering at both the University of Houston Cullen College and Oklahoma Christian University. He has written numerous technical papers on subsea applications that have been presented at conferences all over the world and has received numerous industry honors, including being named a Fellow of the American Society of Engineers (ASME) and a Fellow of the Marine Technology Society (MTS).
Baugh received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the UH Cullen College in 1967, followed by master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Kennedy-Western University in 1989. He currently serves as chair of the MTS Deepwater Field Development Technology and is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas.
DISTINGUISHED ENGINEERING ALUMNI AWARD
Cynthia Oliver Coleman (BSChE ’71), P.E., is a retired ExxonMobil chemical engineer and a passionate engineering volunteer leader. Since graduating magna cum laude in 1971 and becoming the first Black woman to receive a chemical engineering degree from the UH Cullen College of Engineering, she has been on a lifelong mission to help others, especially women and minorities, to pursue engineering. She currently serves on the UH Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board, the Cullen College’s Campaign Committee for the UH $1 Billion Campaign and the UH Alumni Association Foundation Board. She is a dedicated advocate and donor for UH Women in Engineering, a program that cultivates a community of support among female engineering students, faculty and alumnae. She also serves as counselor for the UH Society of Women Engineers, providing annual scholarships to its members and donations for special initiatives. She is a past president of the UH Engineering Alumni Association (UH EAA) as well as founder and chair emeritus of UH EAA Engineers Week, which generated a 10-year total of $330,000 in scholarships for UH engineering students and student organizations under her leadership.
Coleman’s life is filled with “firsts” — in 1967, when she enrolled as a freshman at the Cullen College, Coleman was both the only woman and the only Black woman in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at that time. Even though she had doubts about engineering, she persevered to obtain her degree, becoming the first in her family to graduate college. Coleman began her career as the first woman engineer in the large East Texas Division of Exxon (then Humble Oil). During her 33-year ExxonMobil career she was featured in various publications and held positions in gas engineering, reservoir engineering, engineering applications, engineering recruiting and engineering information systems before her retirement in 2004.
Coleman has received the UH EAA Roger Eichhorn Leadership Service Award and the UHAA Outstanding Volunteer Award. Coleman’s involvement in the UH Women in Engineering program inspired an award named after her. She served as the distinguished speaker for the fall 2017 UH Cullen College convocation ceremony, was featured in various UH magazines and is one of 238 women engineers in the country featured in “True Stories of Women Engineers,” a book used in educational outreach. She is a senior life member of the Society of Women Engineers and recently received the Woman of Excellence Award from the Society’s Houston Chapter. She is also a life member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Coleman is married to UH alumnus Leonard, and they are proud parents of UH alumna Kelly.
DISTINGUISHED ENGINEERING ALUMNI AWARD
Dean C. Rietz (MSPETE ’92, MHM ’94) P.E., president and member of the board of directors at Ryder Scott Company, has over 30 years of diverse experience in evaluating oil and gas properties, including more than 25 years applying numerical modeling approaches to these evaluations.
Prior to joining Ryder Scott Company, Rietz worked at Chevron and Golden/Gruy constructing simulation models to evaluate and forecast primary, secondary and enhanced oil recovery projects. At Ryder Scott, Rietz was instrumental in creating a stand-alone reservoir modeling group, enabling the company to expand and offer services beyond reserves evaluations in a more deliberate way. As part of the reservoir studies conducted while at Ryder Scott, complex models were constructed and history matched, including highly volatile and near critical fluids, thermal models and unconventional shale wells. He managed and grew this innovative group from the ground up for 15 years, after which he was promoted to executive vice president and then, in 2015, president.
Rietz is recognized by his peers to be highly knowledgeable regarding numerical reservoir simulation and, in particular, its relation to reserves evaluation. With the help of his colleagues, he has prepared and presented various Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) papers focusing on topics such as reserves and reservoir modeling, evaluation of model history matches and numerical modeling in general.
Recent work not related to numerical simulation, in collaboration with colleagues at Ryder Scott and Dr. John Lee, involves the development of a new empirically-based analytical equation for improved modeling and forecasting of shale/tight sand/unconventional wells. This work has resulted in publications in SPE and the Journal of Natural Gas Science & Engineering.
Rietz has not only excelled in his career, but he has also given back by teaching in various facets in the industry. In 1999, as manager of the simulation group at Ryder Scott, Rietz spearheaded development of a two-day school on the practical aspects of reservoir simulation. This school is now being conducted by Rietz and a colleague on behalf of the SPE continuing education/professional development. Around the same time, the University of Houston expressed an interest to have Rietz spread his reservoir simulation knowledge in the form of a graduate-level course. He developed and has been teaching “Applied Reservoir Simulation” to master’s students in the petroleum engineering department at UH for well over 15 years.
Not only has Rietz been an adjunct professor at the UH Cullen College, he was also one of the founding members of the Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board. As a member of the board, he was directly involved with establishing the petroleum engineering department (including undergraduate, master’s and doctoral programs); since then, the undergraduate program has received its ABET accreditation and is one of the larger programs in the country. Rietz was recently nominated to serve as the chair of the Petroleum Advisory Board.
From 2006 to 2008, Rietz served on the Journal of Petroleum Technology Editorial Review Committee — Reserves Asset Management. He has been a guest speaker for the SPE, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE), Society of Petroleum Resources Economists (SPRE) and various E&P company internal presentations.
Among his achievements, Rietz was nominated and chosen as a Distinguished Lecturer for the SPE in the 2016-2017 tour season. That effort resulted in traveling the world presenting on the topic of incorporating reservoir modeling results into the reserves process.
Rietz received his bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma in 1984, followed by his master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Houston in 1992 and an M.H.M degree from the UH Hilton College in 1994.
Carlos A. Chiquillo (BSME ’04, MBA ’10) was born in 1982 in Bogotá, Colombia. He moved to the U.S. in 1999 and graduated from James E. Taylor High School in Katy, Texas. After high school he attended the University of Houston, where he pursued mechanical engineering and a minor in mathematics. After graduation he was hired on as an engineer at Baker Hughes, followed by positions at Wood Group and Universal Pegasus. In 2009 he completed his MBA, focusing on energy economics, and was named Director of International Business Development in Universal Pegasus shortly thereafter.
In 2010 Chiquillo co-founded Innovatech Strategic Solutions LLC in Houston, Texas, which provides portable, ecological infrastructure to industry. Today Innovatech Strategic Solutions has a manufacturing plant in Bogota, Colombia and offices in Ecuador, Colombia and the U.S. With over 50 direct employees and 50 more subcontractors, the company has successfully carried out projects in the U.S., Colombia, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Mexico.
Chiquillo has been married for 12 years to his beautiful wife, Carolina, and has a 4-year-old son named Santiago. Chiquillo and his family are very active within his community and are members of St. Peters United Methodist Church.
DISTINGUISHED YOUNG ENGINEERING ALUMNI AWARD
Matteo Marongiu-Porcu (MSPETE ’07), Ph.D., is an internationally acknowledged technology leader and innovator, with a track record of success developing and implementing cutting-edge technologies to optimize production from conventional and unconventional oilfield assets. He started his career in oil and gas in 2002, when he joined the Italian National oil company (Eni E&P) immediately after obtaining a five-year degree in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic University of Milan (“Politecnico di Milano”) in Italy.
In 2006 he made the challenging decision to pursue higher levels of education, consequently moving to the U.S. where he obtained his master’s in petroleum engineering from the UH Cullen College, followed by his Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.
In 2011 Marongiu-Porcu’s became an associate partner of Economides Consultants, owned and managed by his professor, mentor and friend, the late Michael J. Economides. In 2014 he joined Schlumberger in Houston, Texas, where today he is a senior completions consultant and leads execution and deployment of consulting services, which focus on the integration of multiple technical domains such as geophysics, petrophysics, geology, geomechanics, completion engineering, production engineering and reservoir engineering.
For the past four years Marongiu-Porcu has also held concurrent adjunct-professor appointments in the UH Cullen College’s petroleum engineering department, where he constantly applies logical and unbiased reasoning, fosters critical thinking, develops a variety of problem-solving strategies and teaches students how to translate back and forth between formal mathematical models and the very pragmatic modern oilfield applications.