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Michael Herd Donates $1 Million to Texas Tech Petroleum Engineering

Gift will fund hydraulic fracturing research laboratory.

Written by Jeff Sammons

Texas Tech University officials announced today (Feb. 26) a $1 million gift from Michael Herd that will name the Michael Herd Fracturing and Production Laboratory located in the new Petroleum Engineering Research Building in his honor.

As part of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, the new laboratory will serve as a cornerstone for the department and help build a state-of-the-art research space to study hydraulic fracturing and production operations.

Michael is vice president of Herd Producing Co., and president of the Bob L. Herd Foundation, which was established by his grandfather, Bob L. Herd, a 1957 Texas Tech petroleum engineering graduate and namesake of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering. In 2008, the university accepted a $15 million donation from Bob, resulting in the first academic department to be named at Texas Tech.

 “The Herds have been tremendous donors to Texas Tech, and this $1 million gift from Michael continues a tradition of generous support from a great family,” said Chancellor Kent Hance. “We are truly grateful to Michael and his grandfather for all their contributions to the university’s petroleum engineering program, which are helping expand our research endeavors and graduate the best engineers for a worldwide energy industry.”

The research from this laboratory will be a key component in the economic development of the new shale oil and gas reservoirs, often called unconventional reservoirs. Research in the laboratory will focus on the techniques and process of complex fracturing systems in these newly developing hydrocarbon reservoirs.

In addition, production technology, such as flow assurance, will be studied and optimized. The lab also will allow students to study flow obstructions and methods to optimize production and apply theories of hydraulic fracturing and production operations to real-world applications.

Michael grew up in Dallas, where he attended W.T. White High School, and graduated from Texas Tech in 2010. While at Texas Tech, he was a member of the Rodeo Team and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. After graduation, Michael moved to Tyler, where he began his career in the oil industry and philanthropy. Michael, along with the Bob L. Herd Foundation, is helping to promote higher education by providing state-of-the-art facilities to provide students the best opportunity for advancement.

“As a graduate of Texas Tech and an independent oil man, I want to make sure our graduates are the most competent and capable individuals ready for the oil and gas industry,” Michael said.

The Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering is one of the largest petroleum departments in the world and is staffed with industry-experienced faculty.  The curriculum of the department is focused on production, operations and completion.  This educational niche is critical, as Texas Tech is a major supplier of petroleum engineers to the Permian Basin and the energy industry worldwide.

“Michael Herd’s gift will allow our students to study and experience a wide variety of methods of fracturing and production,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. “Our graduates have been known for ‘hitting the ground running’ in their careers, and production is one of those areas where Texas Tech graduates excel. Michael’s generous gift will allow us to continue to be leaders in this aspect of energy development. It is gratifying that Michael has followed in his grandfather’s footsteps with substantial support of the college and the department. Once again, our Red Raider alumni continue to help us make the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering one of the best in the nation.”

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CONTACT: Jeff Sammons, director of marketing, Whitacre College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3451, or jeff.sammons@ttu.edu.

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Marshall Watson

Marshall Watson is department chair in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering in the Whitacre College of Engineering.

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