Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Natural Gas Engineering Bachelor's Degree Approved for Texas A&M-Kingsville's Dotterweich College of Engineering

KINGSVILLE - June 14, 2012

Contact: Adriana Garza
adriana.garza@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4979

The Frank H. Dotterweich College of Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville is going back to its roots this fall, when the college will once again offer a bachelor’s degree in natural gas engineering.

The university’s historic natural gas engineering program is one of the foundations of the Dotterweich College of Engineering. It was one of the first engineering degrees introduced by Dr. Frank H. Dotterweich, the longtime dean of the engineering college and its name sake, in 1936. A popular program that produced generations of engineers, the natural gas engineering degree began to wane in the late 1990s, when the number of students enrolled in the program began to dwindle. By 2000, the undergraduate degree was suspended, though the college continued to offer a graduate degree in natural gas engineering.

Dr. Stephan Nix, dean of the Dotterweich College of Engineering, said the development of new extraction technologies and the Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas have given rise to a renewed interest in natural gas engineering.

“New technologies are now available for opening up previously difficult-to-get-to reserves of oil and gas,” Nix said. “As even better technologies are developed, it will be easier for the U.S. to wean itself from foreign sources.”

Additionally, strong support from alumni and industry helped to revive the undergraduate program, Nix said.

“A lot of things came together to make this program a reality, including demand from industry, student interest and support from alumni,” Nix said. “We are certainly excited to offer this type of opportunity for students in South Texas.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the degree June 7.

The new degree will be administered through the college’s Department of Chemical and Natural Gas Engineering. The first course—Fundamentals of Reservoir Engineering—is scheduled to be offered this fall. Nix said student interest in the degree already is high and he expects to admit 20 students in the program’s first year. Graduates of the program will possess a specific skill set that will prepare them for careers in natural gas engineering—a field that engineering college officials expect to continue growing as natural gas plays an expanding role in meeting the nation’s demand for energy.

Students interested in enrolling in the natural gas engineering program should contact Dr. John Chisholm, 593-2002.

This page was last updated on: June 14, 2012