Distinguished Engineer Citations
Allen D. Howard
B.S. Electrical Engineering – 1978
At Time of Nomination in 2010
Allen D. Howard is president and CEO of NuTech Energy Alliance Ltd. which provides advanced petrophysical, geological, and engineering solutions to oil and gas companies worldwide.
He was born and raised in West Texas where he graduated from Slaton High School in 1971 with a degree in “football and wanting to make money.” Howard joined the U.S. Army, where he was extensively educated in electronics becoming team chief and supporting communications efforts for the Pershing missile program. Upon discharge from the military, Howard pursued a degree in electrical engineering at Texas Tech University. That proved to be a tougher major than he anticipated but it also provided invaluable knowledge thanks to Drs. Darrell Vines, Russell H. Seacat, and Magne Kristiansen.
After graduation from Texas Tech, Howard signed on as a field engineer with Schlumberger. His key accomplishment was the technical development of reservoir applications models to assist oil and gas companies in evaluating reservoirs more efficiently, therefore reducing their risk of interpretive failure. In 1987, at the age of 32, Howard left Schlumberger and founded his first company, which he sold after two years. With the assistance of Schlumberger ex-coworkers, he created another company, Numar, a nuclear magnetic resonance company. He began as head of technical development and was responsible for integrating spin-echo measurements of raw T2 relaxation data in a new application that would enhance the value of analysis done for the oil and gas industry. Numar went public in 1994 and was later sold to Halliburton.
The technical capabilities Howard developed in both conventional logging at Schlumberger and MRI logging at Numar were the catalyst that led him to start NuTech Energy Alliance in 1998. NuTech correlated the response relationships from the conventional logging data acquired by industry over half a century’s time against the response outputs from newly developed MRI measurements, and developed multiple models that simulate MRI outputs when only conventional logs are available. From this relatively simple start, NuTech has established the industry standard for textural analysis, with a host of applications that enable the oil and gas industry to evaluate old and new wells to clearly identify hydrocarbon reserves that conventional methods have overlooked. This process has entailed evaluation of over 40,000 wells in the lower 48 states to date.
Today, NuTech employs nearly a hundred people in applying technical models to domestic exploration and production operations. NuTech has three major business units to address industry needs. These range from applying basic technical assessment processes that identify bypassed hydrocarbons to full-scale design of completion engineering processes that guide the industry in best practices for getting hydrocarbons out of the ground, and applying proprietary 3-D reservoir modeling to quantify the volume of hydrocarbons that exist in a given reservoir. The 3-D model simulates the actual deposition of hydrocarbon deposits over time, allowing geologists and engineers to visualize the effect of deposition on potential drilling locations.
Howard is a member of the Whitacre College of Engineering Dean’s Council.
He is blessed to be married to the love of his life, Linnie. They reside in Humble, Texas. He and Linnie have three children: Allen D., Angela, and Autumn Dawn.
It is a privilege and an honor for Texas Tech University’s Whitacre College of Engineering to select this outstanding alumnus for recognition.