Alumni Focus: Klemens Katterbauer - Ph.D. '15 in Earth Science and Engineering

- By David Murphy, KAUST News

Kelemens Katterbauer joined KAUST in 2011 and obtained his Ph.D. in earth science and engineering four years later under the supervision of Professors Ibrahim Hoteit and Shuyu Sun. Prior to KAUST, he was enrolled at the University of Vienna, Austria, and is currently employed as a regional IT Infrastructure manager/business consultant at the furniture retailer XXX Lutz.

In his current role, Katterbauer is responsible for supply chain optimization and for IT infrastructure in the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

"Collaborating with several colleagues around the world is a great experience and opportunity for me. While the work may not directly relate to the oil and gas industry, diversifying my skills and competencies is a great asset," he said. "This highlights the University's ability to generate highly versatile and skilled graduates who can succeed in different fields."

"The facilities, funds and faculty advisors at the University were really extraordinary. I had several other opportunities to study for my Ph.D.—chiefly in the U.S. and Europe—but I decided to come to KAUST because I am pretty entrepreneurial and loved to be able to contribute and participate in a new and challenging endeavor," he noted.

Katterbauer's research at KAUST was focused on developing advanced methods for reservoir engineering by integrating multiple sources of data. The overarching goal of his research was to obtain a better understanding of the subsurface structure of oil and gas reservoirs, and specifically in regard to extending their lifetime and increasing the amount of oil and gas to be recovered.

"I faced some challenges...but these challenges helped me in succeeding towards the latter part of my Ph.D. The opportunities and collaborations that I could establish at KAUST were essential in succeeding academically and publishing high-quality research papers," he said.

Katterbauer, whose long-term plan is to move into management and become a chief information officer or general manager at a multinational company, feels that if potential students like a challenge and want to be involved in a stimulating environment, then KAUST is the place for them.

"KAUST will help you to distinguish yourself in a competitive global environment," he concluded.

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