2013 SPE Faculty Innovative Teaching Award Recipients
Recorded on April 17, 2014 (90 minutes)

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The SPE Faculty Innovative Teaching Award recognizes Petroleum Engineering Faculty who have demonstrated innovative teaching techniques. This award not only recognizes excellence, but encourages and equips others in academia to use similar techniques. 

This webinar will feature best practices from the three 2013 SPE Faculty Innovative Teaching Award recipients:  David DiCarlo, Shenglai Yang and Phaneendra Babu Kondapi.


Dr. David DiCarlo received this award for his creative methods in relating fundamental, abstract concepts to the petroleum industry; for his traditional methods tuned to the modern student; and for his dedication to preparing students to effectively present their research in SPE paper contests and technical meetings.

In discussing "Teaching - the Little Things," DiCarlo says, "One of the keys to being an effective petroleum engineer is to have a strong understanding of abstract concepts that underlie our understanding of the physical world. This is a goal of many college level classes, but unfortunately, these concepts are often presented in a dry manner that makes them difficult to grasp. I will discuss different teaching methods I use to bring these concepts to life, primarily by relating the concepts to everyday experience."

Dr. Shenglai Yang was awarded this prize for his passion and excellence in petroleum engineering education, specifically in creating a team-teaching approach in petrophysics that has won local and national awards and has impacted more than 5,000 students; and for promoting the use and comprehension of the English language in classrooms and through the publication of English-based textbooks. Yang will discuss “Special Core Analysis and Oil Recovery.”

Dr. Phaneendra Babu Kondapi has been awarded this honor for his three step process to student success in creating a new teaching method “Reverse Circular Teaching” with theory coming after the problem statement makes students to understand what practical, real-world problems they are trying to solve.

In this presentation, "Innovative Teaching Methods in Engineering Education for Student Success," Dr. Konapi will talk about his new teaching method "Reverse Circular Teaching" and how it enhances student learning and increases student motivation. He will focus on his industry-ready teaching concept based on a 3-step process to student success and also explain how this new teaching method motivates students to acquire the concepts and solution strategies necessary to figure out an industry problem so that they can relate the basic theory back to the problem in a class room setting.  He concludes the presentation with outcomes of this RCT method and recommendations for the benefit of future students.

Dr. David DiCarlo is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a PhD in Physics from Cornell University, he has also worked as an Acting Assistant Professor at Stanford University and as a Physical Scientist with the Agricultural Research Service.

His research focuses on applying advanced experimental techniques to understanding fluid flow in hydrocarbon reservoirs. In particular, this research touches on three-phase flow (water, oil, and gas), surfactant imbibition, compositional displacements, flow stability, and the effect of nanoparticles on multi-phase flow in porous media. He is the author of over 60 refereed publications, and 20 conference proceedings papers.

Dr. Shenglai Yang
is PhD, Professor of Petroleum Engineering at the China University of Petroleum (CUPB)  in Beijing, China.  Dr. Yang has served in CUPB since 1996 where he is the leader of the teaching team and chief lecturer on the courses of “Petrophysics” and “Gas Production Engineering”. The course he taught was awarded “Excellent University Courses in Beijing” in 2009 and “National Excellent University Courses” in 2010.

Sheglai Yang is also the lab head of Oil & Gas Field Development Engineering and conducts research work on properties of reservoir fluid and reservoir rock and on percolation mechanics in porous media. He holds 8 patents; has authored over 100 technical articles and edited 3 books. Dr. Yang has supervised over 100 master students and 5 PhD students. Shenglai earned a BS degree, MS degrees and a PhD in mining engineering from Taiyuan University of Technology, China; the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and China University of Mining and Technology, respectively.  He finished his postdoctoral work in China University of Petroleum, Beijing.

Dr.Phaneendra Kondapi has been a KBR Adjunct Professor of Subsea Engineering at University of Houston since January 2011. He designed and developed a new industry-ready graduate level course, Flow Assurance, and teaches using Reverse Circular Teaching method developed by him. He has also been involved in the development of first and only Subsea Engineering program in the US.

Dr. Kondapi has worked with FMC Technologies as an Engineering Manager of Flow Management team in Subsea Processing group from 2010 to 2014. Prior to FMC, he worked with Multiphase Solutions – Houston, TRAX Corporation – Lynchburg, VA, ABB Simcon – New Jersey , Atlantic Simuation – New Jersey and Triangle Simulation – India  for over 13 years around the globe developing flow assurance management systems and operator training simulators for process and power plants.

He is an active member of the OTC Program Committee, SPE Flow Assurance Technical Section and SPE Global Training Committee. He is a founding member of AIChE-UEFA forum, Global Subsea University Alliance and founding faculty advisor of Subsea Engineering Society.

Dr.Kondapi received his PhD in Chemical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Andhra University, India.