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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Energy Resources Engineering

Emeriti: (Professors) Khalid Aziz (recalled to active duty), John W. Harbaugh, Sullivan S. Marsden, Jr.

Chair: Louis J. Durlofsky

Professors: Sally M. Benson, Louis J. Durlofsky, Roland N. Horne, Andrť Journel,* Franklin M. Orr, Jr.

Associate Professors: Jef Caers, Margot Gerritsen, Anthony R. Kovscek, Tapan Mukerji, Hamdi Tchelepi

Assistant Professor: Jennifer Wilcox

Courtesy Professors: Stephan A. Graham, Mark Jacobson

Lecturer: Louis M. Castanier

Consulting Professors: Ruben Juanes, Warren K. Kourt, Robert G. Lindblom, Stuart Macmillan, Kiran Pande, Marco R. Thiele

Acting Assistant Professor: Adam R. Brandt

* Joint appointment with Geological and Environmental Sciences

Department Office: GESB 065

Mail Code: 94305-2220

Phone: (650) 723-4744


Web Site:

Courses offered by the Department of Energy Resources Engineering are listed under the subject code ENERGY on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

The Department of Energy Resources Engineering (ERE) awards the following degrees: the Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, Engineer, and Doctor of Philosophy in Energy Resources Engineering. The department continues to award the Master of Science, Engineer, and Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering. Consult the ERE student services office to determine the relevant program.

Energy resources engineers are concerned with the design of processes for energy recovery. Included in the design process are characterizing the spatial distribution of hydrocarbon reservoir properties, drilling wells, designing and operating production facilities, selecting and implementing methods for enhancing fluid recovery, examining the environmental aspects of petroleum exploration and production, monitoring reservoirs, and predicting recovery process performance. The program also has a strong interest in related energy topics such as renewable energy, global climate change, and CO2 sequestration.The Energy Resources Engineering curriculum provides a sound background in basic sciences and their application to practical problems to address the complex and changing nature of the field. Course work includes the fundamentals of chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, geophysics, mathematics, and physics. Applied courses cover most aspects of energy resources engineering and some related fields like geothermal engineering and geostatistics. The curriculum emphasizes the fundamental aspects of fluid flow in the subsurface. These principles apply equally well to optimizing oil recovery from petroleum reservoirs and remediating contaminated groundwater systems.

Faculty and graduate students conduct research in areas including: enhanced oil recovery by thermal means, gas injection, and the use of chemicals; flow of fluids in pipes; geostatistical reservoir characterization and mathematical modeling; geothermal engineering; natural gas engineering; carbon sequestration optimization; properties of petroleum fluids; reservoir simulation using computer models; and well test analysis. Undergraduates are encouraged to participate in research projects.

M.S., Engineer, and Ph.D. degrees may be awarded with field designations for students who follow programs of study in the fields of geostatistics, geothermal, crustal fluids, or environmental specialties.

The department is housed in the Green Earth Sciences Building. It operates laboratories for research in enhanced oil recovery processes, geological carbon storage operations, clean energy conversions, and geothermal engineering. Students have access to a variety of computers for research and course work. Computers available for instruction and research include ten multiprocessor Windows 2008 servers within the department, as well as campus-wide computer clusters. Graduate students performing research are provided with one 3 GHz dual-Pentium 4 computer.

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Energy Resources Engineering

The mission of the Energy Resources Engineering major is to provide students with the engineering skills and foundational knowledge needed to flourish as technical leaders within the energy industry. Such skills and knowledge include resource assessment, choices among energy alternatives, and carbon management, as well as the basic scientific background and technical skills common to engineers. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for immediate participation in many aspects of the energy industry and graduate school.

Learning Outcomes

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to:

  1. apply skills developed in fundamental courses to engineering problems.
  2. research, analyze, and synthesize solutions to an original and contemporary energy problem.
  3. work independently and as part of a team to develop and improve engineering solutions.
  4. apply written, visual, and oral presentation skills to communicate scientific knowledge.

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