UNIVERSITY PARK, PA–The Penn State Board of Trustees (Jan. 18) selected nine Penn State alumni to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Universityâ€™s highest award for an individual. Included in the list is Syed Muhammed Faroqu Ali. He earned his masterâ€™s degree (1962) and his doctoral degree (1964) in petroleum and natural gas engineering from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. He is president of HOR-Heavy Oil Recovery Technologies Ltd., and resides in Edmonton, Alberta, in Canada.
Dr. Farouq Ali was born in Agra, India and attended colleges in Rampur and Agra. He graduated with a BEng. in electrical and mechanical engineering from Karachi University in Pakistan and then went on to receive his B.Sc. with honours in petroleum production engineering from Birmingham University. Dr. Farouq Ali proceeded to obtain an MS and PhD in petroleum and natural gas engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
The distinguished career of Dr. Farouq Ali has been characterized by innovation in petroleum engineering and dedication to education. He performed some of the earliest experimental work on steamflooding, extending the previous theories and developing new ideas.
As early as 1960, while a graduate student working with Dr. C. S. Stahl and Marathon Oil Company, Dr. Farouq Ali began research on micellar-polymer flooding that has become the industry standard for enhanced oil recovery. He was instrumental in process development and field-testing, and continued his research at the University of Alberta under several provincial and federal grants. His combination of experimental and theoretical methods in steamflooding, integrated reservoir simulation and scaled models has led to advances in heavy oil recovery techniques.
Dr. Farouq Ali has also performed pioneering work on integrated simulation, where the fluid flow equations are solved together with the stress-strain equations to predict rock stresses and surface subsidence. He also championed the use of scaled models for a wide variety of petroleum engineering problems. His earliest work on scaling was presented in a 1967 World Petroleum Congress paper.
As an educator for more than 38 years at the Pennsylvania State University and the University of Alberta, Dr. Farouq Ali has supervised over 200 graduate theses and taught more than 3,000 engineers across the world at intensive one-week courses for the petroleum industry. A specialist in reservoir engineering, oil recovery and simulation, Dr. Farouq Ali has authored over 500 papers and conducted more than 200 petroleum reservoir studies.
Dr. Farouq Ali has designed more than 30 major oil fields projects and advised oil companies and various governments on oil policy and production strategies. He has been invited to government hearings on matters related to petroleum production.
Dr. Farouq Ali has been honoured for his teaching efforts with awards from the Society for Petroleum Engineers and the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. In 2004 the Russian Academy of Sciences recently recognized his accomplishments by awarding him the Kapitsa Gold Medal, which is given for â€œwork of Nobel prize winning quality, in fields where there is no Nobel Prize.â€ In addition to numerous other awards, the National Petroleum Institute of Russia, the oldest petroleum engineering school in the world, awarded Dr. Farouq Ali an Honorary Doctorate. He also received an honorary doctorate from Dubna International University.