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Kenley (Ken) McQueen and James Brill join ENS Hall of Fame

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Kenley McQueen (left) and James Brill

The Engineering Hall of Fame 2018 ceremony was held April 5 at Gilcrease Museum.

Jim Brill, TU Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Petroleum Engineering, and Ken McQueen (BS ’82), New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, have been inducted into The University of Tulsa College of Engineering and Natural Sciences Hall of Fame.

James P. Brill

James P. Brill is Professor Emeritus and Research Professor of Petroleum Engineering at The University of Tulsa. He joined the TU faculty in 1966 and taught undergraduate and graduate courses in petroleum engineering production design until his retirement in 2000. He held the Floyd M. Stevenson Endowed Presidential Chair in Petroleum Engineering at TU from 1985-2000.

Brill established the Tulsa University Fluid Flow Projects (TUFFP) in 1973 and served as the consortium’s executive director until June 1999. He also was principal investigator of the joint industry project and consortium TU Paraffin Deposition Projects (TUPDP) from 1995 until 2000. He remains involved with TUFFP and TUPDP and also served from 2002 until 2012 as a member of the Decision Review Board of TUCoRE, a TU Center of Research Excellence established by Chevron Corporation.

As a registered professional engineer in Oklahoma, Brill has been active in the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Society of Petroleum Engineers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is an SPE Distinguished Member and a recipient of many SPE honors including the Production Engineering Award, the Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty and designation as a Legend of Production and Operations. Brill is an ASME Fellow and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He has served as a consultant to more than 35 international oil and gas companies on multiphase flow projects, taught more than 70 short courses in 15 countries and published 300 technical papers and research reports.

Throughout his academic career, Brill has participated in many TU activities, such as serving on the TU Alumni Board of Directors and representing the university as Mr. Homecoming in 1995. He and his wife, Marilyn (BA ’72, MS ’74), established the James P. Brill Presidential Endowment Fund for Petroleum Engineering and have loyally supported multiple areas of TU.

Brill received his bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Minnesota and a doctorate in petroleum engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Kenley (Ken) H. McQueen Jr.

Ken McQueen is New Mexico’s Cabinet Secretary for Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources. Appointed by Governor Susana Martinez in 2016, McQueen oversees the state’s oil and gas, mining, forestry, parks and energy conservation including renewables. Under his leadership, New Mexico’s oil production surpassed California, Alaska and Oklahoma to become the third largest producer in the United States. Additionally, McQueen serves on multiple boards and commissions in New Mexico, including chair of the Rio Grande Trails Commission, chair of the Natural Lands Protection Committee, secretary of the New Mexico Finance Authority and member of the Water Trust Board and Carlsbad Brine Well Authority. He graduated from TU in 1982 with a bachelor of science in petroleum engineering.

McQueen retired from WPX Energy in 2016, where he served as vice president with operational responsibilities in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. He has 38 years of diversified industry experience in twelve states and three countries.

Throughout his career, McQueen has participated in many TU activities, including twice serving as chair of the McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering Industry Advisory Board. He has been a member of the school’s director search committee and served as an adjunct professor. Other TU involvement includes the ABET review process, college recruiting for his employers and mentoring of petroleum engineering capstone teams. He is also a devoted financial supporter of TU engineering initiatives and projects.

McQueen’s accolades in New Mexico include twice serving on the board of the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association, receiving the New Mexico State Bureau of Land Management’s “Restore New Mexico Award,” and serving on the advisory boards of the Oil Conservation Division and State Land Office as well as New Mexico’s gas capture task force.

McQueen was raised near Davis, Oklahoma. As the son of a Conoco roustabout, he grew up in the oil field. His father took him on his first drilling rig when he was five years old. McQueen worked three summers as a Conoco roustabout after high school.

McQueen and his wife, Dru (JD ’82), recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary and are the proud parents of three children and three grandchildren. Their two sons are TU alumni: Kenley III graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2004, and Marshall graduated with a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering in 2012. Their daughter, Katie, earned a doctor of veterinary medicine from Oklahoma State University in 2009.