Texas Tech University

Distinguished Engineer Citations

Distinguished Engineer Photo: Randy Crawford, Ph.D.
Randy Crawford, Ph.D.

Randy Crawford, Ph.D.

Distinguished Engineer



B.S., Chemical Engineering – 1949



At Time of Nomination in 2011

Dr. Randy Crawford worked as an engineer and manager in petroleum production, well completions and stimulation, contract research, fertilizer, and municipal trash collection and disposal. He is an author of 30 technical papers. He has received six patents and has applied for a patent titled "Mitigation of Rotating Windstorms." He and his wife, Louise, established three endowed scholarships and have encouraged more than 100 students to go to college, 25 of whom went to Texas Tech.

Crawford graduated from Haskell High School. He, as three of his older brothers had, received a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from Texas Tech. He then worked for Sun Oil for a year before entering the United States Army, where he taught radiological defense in the Far East Command Chemical School in Japan. He received a commendation medal for improving the design of a RADIAC instrument and correcting publications.

With help from the GI Bill, Crawford attended the University of Texas at Austin. He taught mathematics and received a master of science and a doctor of philosophy in chemical engineering. Crawford then worked for The Western Company of North America developing acidizing, cementing, and fracturing products and treatment design methods for the oil and gas industry. Crawford was a pioneer in the design of hydraulic fracturing treatments, publishing the first practical design technique in 1959. As manager of contract research for Western, Crawford's team designed, built and demonstrated a system to repair a runway "bomb" crater, 70 feet in diameter and 14 feet deep, so that an Air Force fighter plane could land in 45 minutes. The Air Force Liaison person received the "Project Manager of the Year" award for this successful project.

Crawford then joined Conoco where his task was to increase the production rate of new oil and gas wells. He prepared and implemented a well completion and software design program. He developed and taught in schools for employees to learn the new techniques. The result of this effort increased Conoco's production by about five million barrels per year.

Crawford was on a team that persuaded the management of Conoco's sister company, Consol Coal, to allow engineers to fracture and produce methane from coal seams prior to sending miners into the mine.

This project made mining safer, doubled the mining rate, and is estimated to save $1.5 billion over the life of project. Consol sells 80 billion cubic feet per year of methane and prevents its release into our atmosphere. Methane is said to be 25 times more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

Crawford was honored by being named one of eight members selected to be a "Legend of Production and Operations" from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) as reported in the December 2009 Journal of Petroleum Technology. SPE has 90,000 members.

Crawford received the Boy Scouts "Silver Beaver Award." He was a member of Tau Beta Pi. He is listed in Who's Who in Texas, in Engineering, in High Schools, and in the South and Southwest. He was president or chairman of the: Dallas AIChE, Richardson Optimist Club, UT Austin Omega Chi Epsilon, Waller County Appraisal District, and The Society for Red Raider Engineering.

Randy Crawford's two brothers are also Distinguished Engineers. Paul B. Crawford '43 received the award in 1982 and Duffer B. Crawford '41 received the award in 2008.

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