In Memoriam: Stephen A. Holditch

Stephen A. Holditch, who served as SPE President in 2002 and was a fixture of the Texas A&M University Department of Petroleum Engineering, died 9 August. He was 72.

Holditch served on the faculty at Texas A&M from 1976 until his retirement in 2013. He was the head of the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering from 2004 through 2012 and was former head of the Texas A&M Energy Institute. He taught both undergraduate and graduate courses and supervised more than 100 MS and PhD students during his tenure there. Texas A&M named Holditch a Distinguished Alumni in 2014 and created a position in his honor, the Stephen A. Holditch ’69 Department Head Chair in Petroleum Engineering, which is currently held by former SPE President Jeff Spath.

Holditch held numerous leadership positions in SPE and received many honors for his volunteerism with the Society as well as his technical expertise. Besides being SPE President in 2002, he served as vice president–finance, was a member of the SPE Board of Directors during 1998–2003, and was named an SPE Honorary Member, the Society’s highest honor, in 2006. He received some of SPE’s highest technical awards, including the Lester C. Uren Award, John Franklin Carll Award, and Anthony F. Lucas Medal.

In 1995, he was elected to the US National Academy of Engineering, and in 1997 he was inducted into the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.

Holditch earned BS, MS, and PhD degrees in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M.