A Petroleum Engineering graduate from the Cullen College of Engineering has earned a first-place finish for his presentation at the Society of Petroleum Engineers GCNA/SWNA (Gulf Coast and Southwest North America) Regional Student Paper Contest.
Andres Villarroel, a May 2022 graduate with a Master's degree in Petroleum Engineering, won the contest, which was held virtually this year.
Describing his presentation, Villarroel said, “We proposed a new method to estimate oil volumes in complex reservoirs where conventional methods do not work. The novel method allows for more accurate results and at less expense.”
A competitive financial aid package initially drew Villarroel, a native of Bolivia, to UH. He earned his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Universidad Privada Boliviana in La Paz. However, it was his academic work that encouraged him to stay.
“After a couple of months of studying here, I came to realize the culturally diverse and intellectually stimulating environment the University of Houston has to offer,” he said. “I enjoyed engaging with people from all walks of life and cultures. I felt at home from the very beginning.”
While at UH, Villarroel was advised by Michael T. Myers, Ph.D., Ali Daneshy Endowed Associate Professor, and Lori Hathon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, both in the Petroleum Engineering Department.
“I will always be grateful to my advisors for the many hours they spent helping me make sense of things,” he said. “Without their invaluable assistance, vast knowledge, and graceful senses of humor, I could not have completed my degree. Last but not least, I'm indebted to my parents, Carmen and Enrique, for their unfailing love and encouragement.”
In addition to this honor, Andres also earned first place in the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts Student Paper Contest in March 2022. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, and the 2021 recipient of the Chester F. Barnes Scholarship. Andres said he would like to pursue a doctorate, and then seek opportunities in the industry.