Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Dave Martin
Dave Martin

Dave Martin

Distinguished Engineer



Chemical Engineering – 1960



At Time of Nomination in 2016

Fred David “Dave” Martin was born in Bonham, Texas and attended elementary school there prior to moving to Orange County, New York where he graduated from High School. He graduated from Texas Tech in 1960 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering.

Dave has more than 50 years’ experience in industry and academia in both field applications and research related to oil and gas production. After graduating from Tech, he briefly worked for Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company in Refugio, Texas as a Mechanical engineer trainee at natural gas compressor plant.

From late 1961 to late 1967, Dave worked for an oilfield water treating and consulting firm as a field engineer and later manager in several offices in Texas and California as well in oilfield research in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

For almost 20 years he was employed at the Petroleum Recovery Research Center (PRRC), a division of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, New Mexico and served as director of PRRC from 1987-1996. His area of specialty was research on improved water flooding and enhanced oil recovery as well as management of petroleum industry wastes and carbon sequestration. He taught several courses within the Petroleum Engineering Department, including "Treatment of Oilfield Produced Water for Disposal by Reinjection," the first distance-learning class broadcast statewide via satellite by New Mexico Tech. While at New Mexico Tech, he originated the concept of and supervised the implementation of the Gas and Oil Technology Exchange and Communication Highway (GO-TECH), the first Website developed for the petroleum industry.

From 1996 to 2002 he was Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Strategic Technology Resources LLC in New Mexico where he managed operations of an Internet-based virtual company that provided advanced technologies to small independent oil and gas companies in areas of reservoir characterization and reservoir management, distributed access to advanced reservoir management tools, and expert advisory systems.

From 1996 to 2009 Dave was Vice President of Dave Martin and Associates, Inc. in Albuquerque/Tijeras NM and served as Principal Investigator of reservoir modeling and simulation activities for a project operated by an independent producer in New Mexico that was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

In January 2011, Governor Susana Martinez selected David Martin as Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department in Santa Fe, NM. In addition to legal and support staff, divisions in the department included Resource Protection, Environmental Protection, and Environmental Health.

In April of 2013, Governor Martinez asked Dave to become Secretary of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department. In addition to legal and support staff, divisions in the department include the Oil Conservation Division, Mining and Minerals Division, Energy Conservation and Management Division, State Forestry Division, and State Parks Division. Recently, he developed an Energy Policy and Implementation Plan for the State of New Mexico, the first official policy for the state in almost 25 years.

Dave has been active in several societies including the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) of AIME (1962-present), SPE Board of Directors (1987-1990), Chairman of SPE Roswell Section (1986); the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission; Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, President of the New Mexico Tech Chapter (1988-89); and Director for the Southwest Region of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council. At the state level, he served on the Board of the New Mexico Finance Authority, the Colonias Infrastructure Fund, the Tribal Infrastructure Fund, the New Mexico Drought Task Force, the Rocky Mountain Low Level Nuclear Waste Board, and is Chairman of the New Mexico Radioactive Waste Consultation Task Force.

Dave has 16 patents and is author or coauthor of more than 60 technical papers on petroleum production. In addition to his degree at Texas Tech, he received a Master of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from New Mexico Tech.

Dave has four children, ten grandchildren, and one great grandson. He and his wife Dorothy live in the mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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