Fengyuan Zhang receives 2019 Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship

October 22, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State doctoral student Fengyuan Zhang was awarded the Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship in petroleum engineering at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 in Calgary, Canada.

The Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship is funded by the SPE Foundation to support students who are pursuing doctoral degrees with the intent of a career in academia. Up to two awards are given each year. Zhang, a doctoral student in energy and mineral engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, will receive 5,000 per year, for a maximum of four years.

Zhang was nominated for his research on flowback rate transient analysis for unconventional reservoirs. His research aims to characterize hydraulic fractures and evaluate production performance right after stimulation for multi-fractured horizontal wells. By developing mathematical models, his research is currently providing new techniques to extract fracture attributes and to evaluate hydraulic fracture closure quantitatively.

“When I first received this award, I felt very excited and very thankful for the support of my adviser, Dr. Hamid Emami-Meybodi, assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering, for his guidance, motivation and support. I also really appreciate Dr. Luis Ayala, the William A. Fustos Family Professor in Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME), for providing the letter of recommendation for the award and for his continued support,” said Zhang. “This award has inspired me to work even harder to get more publications and to continue my contributions to my academic career.”

“Fengyuan’s receiving of this prestigious fellowship is a remarkable achievement for both him and the EME Department,” said Emami-Meybodi. “The fellowship will make a positive impact on his research and career trajectory.”

Nico van Wingen was a graduate of the California Institute of Technology and earned an master of science degree in petroleum engineering from the University of California and a doctor of science degree from Adamson University in Manila. He worked as an evaluation engineer, consultant and then as a professor of petroleum engineering at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Southern California. He played a major role in the development of oil production technology in the United States, Austria, Canada, West Germany, Iran, Turkey and Venezuela. He was active on many SPE committees and won the Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal and SPE Distinguished Member award in 1985. 

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Last Updated October 24, 2019