Each year, ALRDC is pleased to select a person who has made highly significant contributions in the field of artificial lift to receive the ALRDC Artificial Lift Award for Exemplary Service and Contribution.

ALRDC has an Award Committee that reviews potential candidates and recommends two people to the ALRDC Board of Directors by December 1 of each year.  The ALRDC Board then selects the annual recipient of the award from among these two nominees.

Anyone may suggest names to the ALRDC Award Committee.  The nomination of two people is solely the responsibility of the Committee, and the selection of the award recipient is solely the responsibility of the ALRDC Board of Directors.  Current members of the ALRDC Award Committee are not eligible to be nominated or selected.

Lyle Wilson

Exemplary Service and Contribution

In 1964 my college funding at the University of Tulsa dried up, and I entered the field of artificial lift on the night shift with Centrilift,” ESP expert Lyle Wilson recalls. “My [lack of] collegiate progress was noticed by the Selective Service system, and I was given an opportunity for training, travel, and adventure. Returning from Vietnam, I finished my BS Mechanical Engineering degree at University of Tulsa in 1972 and officially started my career. I worked in directional drilling, fracking, and completions before I returned to ESP artificial lift.” Lyle spent 20 years working for Oil Dynamics Inc. (ODI), eventually reaching the position of Chief Engineer. He ended up back at Centrilift when ODI was purchased by Baker Hughes and merged with the Centrilift division, and he finally retired as a Senior Research Advisor, though he continues to work with Baker Hughes as a third-party contractor. He has authored more than 60 papers in refereed and selective journals, in formal and informal publications, including SPE 148660 – “There's No Free Lunch, Pumping Two-Phase Fluids with ESP.” He has received four Special Meritorious Awards for Engineering Innovation from Petroleum Engineer International magazine, and in 2004 he received the J.C. Slonneger Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course. “I have lectured on ESPs in courses and at universities on four continents across the world, I am credited with 53 US patents, and I even had the pleasure of winning an infringement court action on one of them,” he said. “It has been a blast doing it.


Exemplary Service and Contribution

Larry Harms is a production optimization specialist at Optimization Harmsway LLC, established in 2016 after a 38-year career with ConocoPhillips. At ConocoPhillips he specialized in holistic production optimization and helped lead the Artificial Lift Network for 10 years. Larry has served on the ALRDC Board since 2008. He has written/co-authored 12 SPE papers on topics ranging from the application of artificial lift, velocity strings and compression to area optimization, integrated production modeling and real time optimization. Larry has conducted training courses for hundreds of industry and ConocoPhillips engineering, operations, and maintenance personnel on artificial lift, high pressure gas lift, compression, production optimization, systems nodal analysis, integrated production modeling and gas well deliquification

Ronda Brewer

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, where she continues to live with her family, Ronda attended Texas Tech University and Wayland Baptist University. She graduated from Wayland Baptist University with her BSOE-BA in 2002. She began her career with the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course in 1991 under the direction of Duane A. Crawford and his wife, Ann Crawford. Since then, she has been active in overseeing the day-to-day business of the SWPSC, organizing and managing the annual workshop, and preparing and editing the annual Proceedings. In addition to SWPSC, she is involved with the Permian Basin Artificial Lift Forum, the Gas Well Deliquification Workshop (Artificial Lift Strategies for Unconventional Wells Workshop), the International Beam Pumping Workshop, the Gas-Lift Workshop and PLTech, LLC. During her time with Southwestern Petroleum Short Course, Ronda has invested herself in continually advancing her knowledge about the industry and widening her associations with the outstanding group of people who make up the petroleum industry. Ronda is active in several organizations including the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Artificial Lift Research and Development Council where she serves on the Board of Directors as Treasurer, and on several sub-committees for the ALRDC. Other affiliations have included Junior League of Lubbock, National Charity League and Lubbock Independent School District PTA. Ronda is the 2009 Recipient of the Duane A. Crawford Service Award, awarded by the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course. Ronda and her husband, Monty, have two daughters, Lindsey and Taylor, son-in-laws, Brandon Grace and Jason Meurer and three grandsons, Kye, Landon, and Owen.

Cleon Dunham

Exemplary Service and Contribution

I founded ALRDC in 2000 when I retired from Shell. We have been active ever since, except for the time of the virus, with various Workshops, and other services to the Artificial Lift Community. I live two miles from my youngest son and his family in Wimberley, Texas, but right now we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like. My other two sons and their families live in Massachusetts and Colorado. We visit often but see them only now and then. But my daughter-in-law was recently in Belton, Texas to help my granddaughter move into her new home there and we got together to celebrate our Anniversary and my wife’s Birthday, with appropriate use of masks and social distancing. I am active in the Presbyterian Church in Austin, although these days we have all of our services via Zoom.

Shauna Noonan

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Shauna Noonan is the Chief of Production Engineering and Operations for Occidental Petroleum Corporation based in Houston. Prior to her joining Oxy in late 2015, she worked on artificial lift projects and technology development worldwide at ConocoPhillips and Chevron for over 22 years. She has chaired countless industry artificial lift forums and authored / co-authored more than 25 technical publications on the subject of artificial lift. She was the chair of the International Standard committee for Progressing Cavity Pumps (ISO 15136-1 from 2006-2009) and chair of the International Standard for Electric Submersible Pumps (ISO 105551-1 from 2009-2015). She also served as a committee member on various API committees for gas lift and ESP systems over the years. She created the SPE Artificial Lift Conference – North America, serving as chair in 2014 and 2016. She also created the SPE Legends of Artificial Lift Award in 2012. She was the 2012 – 2015 Technical Director for Production and Operations on SPE’s International Board of Directors and from 2009-2014, wrote the Artificial Lift Technology spotlight for the Journal of Petroleum Technology. Shauna began her career working for Chevron Canada Resources and holds a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Alberta. She is a proud mother to two teenage daughters and supporter of the Girl Scouts, serving as troop leader for seven years.

Dr. Tony Podio

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Dr. A. L. (Tony) Podio is a petroleum engineering consultant based in Austin, Tx. Previously he was Professor of Petroleum Engineering at The University of Texas where he taught courses and directed research in drilling and production. He has coauthored The Handbook of Beamlift, published by PETEX and authored/or coauthored more than fifty technical papers. He holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and in Mining and Petroleum Engineering from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogota. Podio is a registered Professional Engineer in Texas and as member of SPE has served as Distinguished Lecturer and technical editor.

Joe Dunn Clegg

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Joe Dunn Clegg, P.E. is a petroleum / production engineer with over fifty years experience in all aspects of production engineering. He is a recognized expert in artificial lift of all kinds. In addition to almost forty years experience as a practicing production engineer, Joe has taught courses on production operations and artificial lift. He has served on numerous industry groups preparing standards and recommended practices in production engineering. He is still active on the API Committee on gas-lift. Joe was a Distinguished Lecturer for SPE in 1984-1985 and again in 1993-1994 on the subject of High Volume Artificial Lift.

Sam Gibbs

Exemplary Service and Contribution

S. G. (Sam) Gibbs was born in Lufkin, Texas in 1932. At his father’s urging he became a mechanical engineer at Texas A&M (1954). He was hired by Shell but soon was drafted into the U. S. Army. After military service he returned to Shell and was assigned in Midland, Texas as unit engineer. Later he left to get his Masters at A&M, this time in mathematics (1960). Shell Development then hired him as a production engineering researcher in Houston. There he developed wave equation diagnostic and design methods for rod pumped wells now used worldwide. During this period he also received his Ph.D. from Rice University (1968) and served as head of drilling research. He became Division Engineer in New Orleans but soon left to enter private business. Nabla was formed in Midland, Texas with Ken Nolen. Initially Nabla rendered well site diagnostic analyses, under license from Shell, using truck borne mini-computers. Nabla’s product line grew to include design and diagnosis of hydraulic and submersible pump systems and technical training. Nabla software was marketed via microcomputers and G. E. timeshare. During its last 20 years, the company built equipment for the oil field such as digital dynamometers, pump off controls and fluid level instruments. Nabla existed for 26 years until sold to Lufkin Industries in 1997. Gibbs joined SPE (Society of Petroleum Engineers) in 1962. SPE made him a distinguished lecturer in 1988. The Permian Basin Section elected him to their Hall of Fame in 1992. In 2001 he won the Production Engineering Award given by SPE International. Dr. Gibbs has been an active worker in the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course at Texas Tech. They honored him with their J. C. Slonneger Award (1987) and the Duane A. Crawford Service Award (1996). He was also active in API Committee 11 work. He was elected to Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi scholastic honor societies. Sam is also a member of the Lufkin High School Hall of Honor. In 2011 he was inducted into the Petroleum Hall of Fame at the Petroleum Museum in Midland, Texas. Sam is retired and a widower. He is a member of First Baptist Church in Midland where he is a deacon and director of the FBC of Midland Foundation. He works to interest young people in math and science as career choices. He fulfilled a lifelong dream of publishing a book on rod pumping in 2012. At age 80 he also received two new patents with colleague Ken Nolen."

John Patterson

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Production Engineering Advisor, Completions and Production Technology Development, ConocoPhillips. Manages a portfolio of production engineering technology development projects from gas well dewatering, conventional oil, and heavy oil, with a budget of 8.5 $MM for 2010. Technologies that have been field trialed include: through tubing deployed ESPs, through tubing hydraulic diaphragm pumps for gas well dewatering, e-line through tubing pumps for gas well dewatering, and the gear centrifugal pump for low and high temperature . Continues to provide artificial lift consultation with all ConocoPhillips business units worldwide. Services include: artificial lift studies, equipment design (electric submersible pumps, rod pumps, progressive cavity pumps), development of new deployment methods, field trials of new installations, equipment installation (running and pulling), witness equipment tear downs including recommendations for improvement, and evaluation of equipment performance through data analysis to assist in improving run lives. Began work with Phillips in July, 2000 after 25 years with ARCO (start date May 19, 1975) and then with ConocoPhillips after the merger in 2001. Job responsibilities have primary emphasis on production equipment performance extending to artificial lift production problems, equipment failure control, and cost control. Designed and implemented ways to reduce the cost of well intervention for artificially lifted wells. Provided technical assistance through technical services and technology development pertaining to artificial lift and production operational and facility issues. Taught courses on artificial lift and published several papers on related topics. Recipient of three ARCO Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards and the 1998 Slonneger Award from the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course. Hold six U.S. Patents on artificial lift and facility concepts. Recognized as an industry authority in artificial lift and has been requested to participate in industry operating company forums. Industry participation includes the Continuing Education Director for the SPE ESP workshop for ten years and teaching at the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course.

Jim McCoy

Exemplary Service and Contribution

James McCoy graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and from Penn State University with a M.S. in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering. He worked for a consulting firm and a major oil company. He acquired and operated oil properties. In 1962, he acquired Echometer Company and has expanded the acoustic liquid level instrument into a full Well Analyzer System. The computerized Well Analyzer System acquires and analyzes acoustic, pressure, dynamometer, motor power/current and plunger lift data to improve oil and gas well operations. Jim has been very active in seminars and other educational means for exchanging technology about the efficient production of oil and gas wells. He worked with the SWPSC and SPE for many years presenting papers and participating in training seminars. He was the recipient of the SWPSC Slonneger Award in 1994. Jim was instrumental in establishing the McCoy School of Engineering at Midwestern State University located in Wichita Falls, Texas. The successful and accredited program graduates engineers that benefit the graduates, the community and society. In 1995, Jim established the McCoy Foundation. Since its inception, the Foundation has offered scholarships for education and has assisted groups in education, healthcare, children’s welfare and crime prevention. The Foundation has supported programs through the Wichita Falls Independent School District. Jim was recently awarded the Export Achievement Certificate from the U.S. Department of Commerce/U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service for accomplishments in the global marketplace.

Dr. Herald Winkler

Exemplary Service and Contribution

Herald Winkler graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from SMU in 1948, a MS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Houston in 1962 and a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas in 1969. He served in the US Army Air Force and was a twin-engine pilot. He began is petroleum career with Atlantic Refining Company in Denver City, Texas. He was named District Manager with Camco Gas Lift Company and worked in Hobbs, New Mexico, Abilene, and Houston, Texas. His tenure at Camco provided worldwide experience in designing and installing gas-lift systems, supervising field operations, analyzing, trouble-shooting, and researching most phases of gas-lift operation. He has presented numerous gas-lift production courses and seminars in most oil producing countries of the world. He is co-author of the Camco Gas Lift Manual and has written numerous technical papers related to gas-lift theory, operations, and applications. He served as professor and chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas Tech University from 1970-1985. He currently is deemed professor emeritus at TTU and continues to assist in teaching courses at the undergraduate level. He has received various awards. Among them are: the SPE Lester C. Uren Award for extensive work in gas lift, the Production Award from the Petroleum Division of ASME in 1983, the Halliburton Award of Excellence for instruction in undergraduate courses, the J.C. Slonneger Award for SWPSC, a distinguished member of SPE, a member of SPE Electrical Submersible Pump Workshop, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Southwestern Petroleum Short Course. He still contributes time and teaching to the PE department. Wink’s wife of over 50 years, Ann, recently passed. They were very devoted to one another. His son Steve lives in Portland, Oregon and daughter Karen lives in the Washington State area.