Distinguished Engineer Citations
Mechanical Engineering – 1979
At Time of Nomination in 2016
Mark Ramsey, P.E. grew up in the Houston area, was a championship debater in high school, and earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University. While at Tech, he had professors such as Dr. Jordan, Dr. Anderson, Dr. Peterson, Dr. Dunn, Dr. Lawrence, and of course Mr. Powers as mentors and his inspiration.
Upon graduation, Mark took a job at Johns Manville Research and Development near Denver, a world class thermal insulation and fire testing facility. While there, several innovations led to improved testing methods, improved insulation manufacturing, and better insulations themselves.
Mark then moved to Exxon Production Research Company (EPRCo) in Houston, one of four top R&D organizations in the oil patch. During his time there, he became one of EPRCo’s leading patent-holders, with most of his inventions in the area of downhole oil and gas well drilling tools and procedures, some of which remain in use today. While there, he became Exxon’s subject matter expert on Wellbore Hydraulics, which has remained a lifelong technical passion. In teaching hydraulics and in a broader sense drilling engineering, Exxon awarded him the “Exxon Distinguished Instructor” award for long term teaching excellence. Before moving to drilling operations, Mark also invented what was to become the single most effective technique for cleaning Prince William Sound after the Valdez oil spill.
In 1992 Mr. Ramsey founded the consulting engineering company Texas Drilling Associates. Clients include BP, M-I, Petrobras, BHP Billiton, Mariner Energy, Baker, Hughes-Christensen, Amoco, Apache Corp., ExxonMobil, Pioneer, Schlumberger, Freeport McMoRan, Transocean and others. Much of this work has been in the area of trouble prevention, where programs he pioneered have saved operators hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced trouble costs.
The Amoco work, significantly, included assisting in the development and roll-out of the Training to Reduce Unscheduled Events (“T.R.U.E.”) and handbook, which is said to be the most successful short course in the history of drilling.
The BP work included assisting with the Wytch Farm projects on the Southern Coast of England, where technology for horizontal drilling was radically improved, changing the course of directional drilling worldwide forever. He has been an invited guest speaker for several conferences on drilling related topics, and helped bring Cesium Formate drilling and completion fluid to market and acceptance, in spite of its extraordinary cost. He assisted BP with what became one of the best tools to minimize environmental damage caused by the Macondo blowout.
Additionally, a significant part of Mr. Ramsey’s career has been in teaching oil and gas well drilling on six continents and about thirty countries thus far, traveling well in excess of a million miles to do so. Recently, he was asked to help start a petroleum engineering curriculum for the prestigious Israel Institute of Technology, “The Technion”, in Haifa, Israel, after massive gas fields were discovered offshore Israel. His teaching there resulted in their highest ratings for teaching by their students. He is a prolific writer, both on technical subjects (including a book on wellbore hydraulics nearing completion) and public policy (see below).
Another passion of Mr. Ramsey’s has been citizen involvement in the political and government sphere. In this capacity, he has assisted with high school textbook review for the State Board of Education, has made recommendations to the Texas Sunset Commission, testified at Texas legislature hearings, and co-authored the newly adopted pre-engineering “Principles of Engineering” STEM course curriculum now used in Texas high schools. He is a member of the Texas State Republican Executive Committee, (SREC), has served on the Texas state GOP Platform committee several times, and counts many elected officials among his friends. He recently was instrumental in helping a proven effective community leader win her primary race for a Texas legislator position.
Mark is a charter member of the Texas Tech Academy of Mechanical Engineering, where this year he serves as President, and has served on the Mechanical Engineering Department’s Industrial Advisory Council.
Mark is happily married to his first wife of nearly 35 years, Pauline. They live north of Houston. They have three grown successful children, a grandson, and are fostering a small child. Additional hobbies include reading, computers, snow skiing, woodworking, restoring a red 1967 C-10 truck and associated car shows, international travel, and Bible study. He considers himself to be very blessed.