PRESS RELEASE: RPSEA Board of Directors Elects Dr. Stephen A. Holditch as Chair

SUGAR LAND, Texas (July 15, 2009) – The Board of Directors of the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) elects Dr. Stephen A. Holditch, the head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University, as its new chair effective June 30, 2009. Dr. Holditch succeeds Mark Murphy, president of Strata Production Company in Roswell, N.M., who completed a two-year term. The organizational bylaws stipulate that the chair position alternate between industry and academia every two years.

RPSEA President C. Michael Ming commented, “Dr. Holditch has served on the RPSEA Board since our inception and has served as the Chair of the RPSEA Strategic Advisory Committee for the last three years. Along with his commitment to the RPSEA mission, Dr. Holditch has had a distinguished career and brings an array of experience in the oil and gas industry and academia to the RPSEA Board. Steve has been a pioneer in many of the technologies associated with unconventional resources, especially hydraulic fracturing. It is an honor for us to obtain his leadership. It has also been an honor for us to have had the capable leadership of Mark Murphy over the last two years. Mark is a highly regarded businessman and independent producer with extensive experience in government and political affairs, and the organization has greatly benefited from his vision and guidance.”

After receiving his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate from Texas A&M University, Dr. Holditch joined the faculty there in 1976 and was named Head of the Petroleum Engineering Department in 2004. Dr. Holditch was the Society of Petroleum Engineers International (SPE) President in 2002, SPE Vice President-Finance and a member of the SPE Board of Directors from 1998-2003. In addition, he served as a Trustee for the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) from 1997-1998. In 1995, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and in 1997 to the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. In 1998, Dr. Holditch was elected to the Texas A&M University Petroleum Engineering Academy of Distinguished Graduates. He was elected as an SPE and AIME Honorary Member in 2006.

“This is an opportunity to increase my involvement with RPSEA and to focus on the technology we need to produce more natural gas and oil from unconventional reservoirs and the ultra-deepwater environment," Dr. Holditch said.  "RPSEA is extremely important to the 25 research universities, who are members of RPSEA.  These universities are educating the professionals that America needs to find and develop domestic hydrocarbons to meet the needs of the USA."

RPSEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit consortium with more than 145 members, including 25 of the nation's premier research universities, five national laboratories, other major research institutions, large and small energy producers and energy consumers.  The mission of RPSEA, headquartered in Sugar Land, Texas, is to provide a stewardship role in ensuring the focused research, development and deployment of safe and environmentally responsible technology that can effectively deliver hydrocarbons from domestic resources to the citizens of the United States. Additional information can be found at

Danette Mozisek
Author: Danette Mozisek
Category: rpsea in the news