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Kondapi recognized with SPE International Distinguished Membership
Stephen Greenwell
Dr. Phaneendra Kondapi has been recognized with SPE International Distinguished Membership.
Dr. Phaneendra Kondapi has been recognized with SPE International Distinguished Membership.

Dr. Phaneendra Kondapi – a professor of Subsea Engineering, assistant dean of Engineering Programs at UH Katy and former director of Subsea Engineering – has been honored this year with the most prestigious distinction given out by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Kondapi was given a Distinguished Membership award by the SPE. Established in 1983, the Distinguished Member award recognizes SPE members who achieve distinction deemed worthy of special recognition. This award acknowledges members who have attained eminence in the petroleum industry or the academic community, or who have made significant contributions to SPE.

“I am really humbled and honored to receive this International recognition from SPE and my peers, and in fact, this is a sweet surprise to me,” Kondapi said. “I sincerely thank all my colleagues and mentors from UH and previous organizations, who gave me plenty of opportunities to be involved with various professional activities and mentor many younger generation over the years. They not only gave me opportunities, but also, they were part of my journey and helped me in growing professionally and in learning various new technologies and best practices.”

Kondapi first joined the university as an adjunct professor in 2011 and returned in 2017 as founding director of engineering programs at UH at Katy. He has supported developing two new dual master’s degrees in subsea/mechanical and subsea/petroleum engineering, and three new graduate certificate programs in process safety engineering, corrosion engineering and corrosion control and management.

He received his doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the Tennessee Technological University, and his M.S. and B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University in India. He also worked and consulted for many international engineering firms for several years before joining academia.

“I want to give special thanks to the SPE awards committee, and my colleagues from SPE who have nominated and supported me. This is a great journey so far and I feel that this recognition motivates, encourages and increases the responsibility to continue to serve SPE, industry and academics even better,” Kondapi said.

In 2019, Kondapi received the SPE's Projects, Facilities and Construction Award. In 2017, he received two awards – the SPE Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty, and the SPE’s Regional Projects, Facilities and Construction Award. In 2013, he won the SPE International Innovative Teaching Excellence Award.

Kondapi isn't the only UH faculty member recognized by the SPE this year. Dr. Mohamed Soliman, the William C. Miller endowed chair professor and the Department Chairman of Petroleum Engineering, was selected for the Regional Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty for the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Gulf of Mexico section.

SPE is a not-for-profit association for professionals working within the petroleum industry. It serves more than 168,000 members in 144 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, events, training courses and online resources at

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