In Memoriam - H.J. "Hank" Gruy

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.