Ray Frisby, SPE, was appointed TAM International technical director and Jim McGowin, SPE, was appointed general manager of TAM Completion Systems, a subsidiary of TAM International. Frisby will lead the development of new technologies for TAM International, while McGowin will establish, manage, and grow operations and sales for the recently created TAM Completion Systems. Both Frisby and McGowin are veterans of the oil and gas industry, with more than 50 years’ combined experience. They both hail from major service company backgrounds. Frisby most recently served as engineering director, while McGowin held positions as sales director and global account director.
Frisby is a member of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and the American Association of Drilling Engineers. He also has authored numerous technical articles for oil and gas journals and professional societies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering and a master’s of business administration from Texas A&M University. McGowin, a graduate of Mississippi State University with a BS degree in petroleum engineering, is a recognized expert and author of a variety of technical papers.
Expro International Group Holdings appointed Jim Renfroe, SPE, as a nonexecutive director. A graduate of Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program, Renfroe brings a wealth of experience with his 39 years working in oilfield services, including a range of strategic management and executive leadership roles. Before joining Expro, he was a director of Wood Group, responsible for its Well Support division. Renfroe led the sale of the Well Support division to GE in 2011. He previously worked at Halliburton for 33 years, most recently as senior vice president–strategy. At Halliburton, Renfroe led in a number of key areas, including process effectiveness, strategic development, and acquisition and divestiture.
Jeremy Thigpen, SPE, was appointed chief financial officer (CFO) and senior vice president at National Oilwell Varco (NOV). After graduating from Rice University with a bachelor of arts degree in economics and managerial studies, he joined National Oilwell (now NOV) in May 1997. During his time with the company, Thigpen has lived and worked throughout the world, and has served in a number of administrative, sales, and operational roles across NOV’s various businesses. In 2003, he became president of the downhole tools group and in 2007 became president of NOV’s downhole and pumping segment, which includes downhole tools, drill bits and services, drillstring telemetry, and mission drilling and production products. Thigpen currently serves on the boards of directors of voestalpine Tubulars, Boys and Girls Country, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston.
Clay Williams, SPE, was appointed president and chief operating officer of NOV, after serving as executive vice president and CFO of the company since March 2005, when National Oilwell and Varco International merged. He served as CFO of Varco International for 2 years before the merger, after serving at various times as vice president of finance, vice president of corporate development, and vice president of pipeline services for Varco and Tuboscope, which merged with Varco in May 2000. Before joining Tuboscope in 1996, Williams spent 2 years with SCF Partners, a private equity management firm that invests in oilfield service companies, and 7 years as a petroleum engineer with Shell Oil Company, where he began his career. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil and geological engineering with highest honors from Princeton University, and a master’s of business administration from the University of Texas. Williams has served as a director of Benchmark Electronics since 2008 and has served in various leadership roles with the Center for Hearing and Speech and the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
John C. Calhoun, SPE, a former SPE president who dedicated his career to higher education and civil service, died 29 November 2012. He was 95.
Calhoun was born in Betula, Pennsylvania, on 21 March 1917. He attended Pennsylvania State University, where he earned his doctorate as one of the first three petroleum engineers in the United States. Calhoun pursued a career in higher education at the University of Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas A&M University.
At the time of his death, he was distinguished professor of petroleum engineering–emeritus at Texas A&M and deputy chancellor of engineering–emeritus at the Texas A&M University System. Calhoun served both the university and the system in various capacities from 1955 to 1987, including as dean of the School of Engineering, director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, and director of the Texas Engineering Extension Service. His subsequent roles included distinguished professor of petroleum engineering, dean of geosciences, director of the Center for Marine Resources, vice president of Academic Affairs, and director of the Crisman Institute for Marine Resources at A&M; and vice president of engineering, vice chancellor of development, vice president of programs, executive vice chancellor of programs, and deputy chancellor of engineering at the A&M system. From 1963 to 1965, he took a leave of absence to serve as assistant and science advisor to the US Secretary of the Interior and acting director of the Office of Water Resources Research.
Calhoun was designated an honorary member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers in 1976 and a Distinguished Member of SPE in 1984. He was President of SPE in 1964, and received its DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 1982 in recognition of his service to the society, the professions of engineering and geology, and the petroleum industry. He also received SPE’s Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal in 1997, in honor of distinguished achievement in the identification and development of new technology and concepts to enhance the process of finding or producing petroleum.
Calhoun received BS, MS, and PhD degrees from Pennsylvania State University and was designated a Penn State Alumni fellow in 1976. He served on the faculties and as an administrator at the University of Oklahoma (1946–1950) and Penn State (1937–1946 and 1950–1955). He was president of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) (1974), and conferred the status of ASEE honorary member (1978) and fellow (1983). He was the president of the Marine Technology Society (MTS) (1975), made an MTS fellow, and served as a member of the board of directors for both the Engineers’ Joint Council and the Engineers’ Council for Professional Development. The US President appointed Calhoun to the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere (1972). He also was a member of the Advisory Committee on Mining and Mineral Resources Research of the US Department of the Interior (1987–1995), and was a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
He is survived by Ruth, his wife and intellectual partner of 71 years, three daughters and their spouses, four granddaughters, and 10 great-grandchildren.
H.J. “Hank” Gruy, SPE, a former SPE president whose company was a pioneer in transitioning engineering calculations from mechanical calculators to computers, died 19 December 2012. He was 97.
Gruy was born in Victoria, Texas, on 10 June 1915. After earning a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University, he worked for Standard Oil of Texas and Shell Oil Company. From 1945 to 1950, he worked for DeGolyer and MacNaughton as a petroleum engineer and geologist.
At age 35, he founded H.J. Gruy and Associates, which later established offices in Dallas, Houston, Corpus Christi, and New York, among other cities. His company played a key role in transitioning engineering calculations from calculators to computers. He was involved with the company until age 95.
Gruy received many awards throughout his career and was active in industry associations. In 1997, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Oil and Natural Gas Producers Association, and the Great American Producer Award from the Independent Petroleum Association of America. In 1990, he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M.
He served as president of SPE in 1968, and was awarded its DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal in 1983. He was an honorary life member of the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers, was one of its first directors, and became its president in 1962. He was elected a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering in 1989, and served on two of its committees: the Development Advisory Committee and the Earth Resources Engineering Peer Committee. Gruy was also recognized for outstanding achievements in engineering by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.
After high school, Gruy worked on his uncle’s ranch in Hebbronville, Texas, and developed a lifelong love of horses and riding. He was a regular participant in the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo trail ride during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Gruy was predeceased by his wife, Rae, who died in May 2012. Among his survivors are his three children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Andrew Grebe, Tomball, Texas
Rodger S. Guinn, Montgomery, Texas
Vernon J. Maruska, Houston, Texas
Benjamin L. Mykkanen, Stavanger, Norway