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Tadeusz W. Patzek

Professor and Chair, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering
University of Texas, Austin


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Tad Patzek is the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds the Cockrell Regents Chair #11. Between 1990 and 2008, he was a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Berkeley, he was a researcher at Shell Development, a company created and run for over 20 years by Dr. M. King Hubbert, of the Hubbert peaks.

Patzek’s research involves mathematical and numerical modeling of earth systems with emphasis on subsurface fluid flow. He is working on the thermodynamics and ecology of human survival and energy supply for humanity. He is also working on unconventional natural gas and oil resources. Patzek is a coauthor of over 200 papers and reports, and one book, and is writing five other books. His newest book, “Drilling down: The Gulf Coast Debacle and Our Energy Dilemma,” was co-written with Joseph Tainter, a historian and archeologist. This book uses the story of Gulf oil spill as the background for discussing the energy-complexity spiral, and its relationship to this accident.

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