Eric Maidla, SPE, was recognized with the 2018 Inventor of the Year Award by the State Bar of Texas Intellectual Property Law Section in Houston. The award cites that “his inventions have changed the drilling industry and include, among others, the automation of horizontal drilling while slide drilling through a new surface oscillation system based on surface torque readings and control; a model for mitigation of stick/slip for rotary drilling; use of Offshore Modular Exploration Systems; and automation of measurements of drilling auxiliary systems to enhance drilling performance at the rig.” Many of the inventions became successful field applications and are currently being used by companies. Maidla has been a member of several SPE committees over the years, including chair of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition drilling engineering committee for 2 years. He has authored several papers in SPE publications and conferences. He recently retired as president of TDE-ProNova but retains partial ownership of the company.