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Tadeusz W. Patzek

Professor, Earth Science and Engineering 
Director, Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center 

Physical Science and Engineering Division
Center membership : 
Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center


Energy Geosystems Group

Education Profile

  • ​​​​​​​​Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 1981-1983
  • Fulbright Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, University of Minnesota, 1978
  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Silesian Technical University, 1979
  • M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Silesian Technical University, 1974

Research Interests


Professor Tad Patzek's research involves mathematical (analytic and numerical) modeling of earth systems with emphasis on multiphase fluid flow physics and rock mechanics. He also works on smart, process-based control of very large waterfloods in unconventional, low-permeability formations, and on the productivity and mechanics of hydrocarbon bearing shales.

Patzek has co-designed and evaluated 7 field pilots of various oil recovery processes from waterflood, to steam and steam foam injection. More recently, Patzek got involved in human-machine interactions and safety culture in the offshore environment.

In a broader context, Patzek works on the thermodynamics and ecology of human survival and energy supply schemes for humanity. He has participated in the global debate on energy supply schemes by giving hundreds of press interviews and appearing on the BBC, PBS, CBS, CNBC, ABC, NPR, etc., and giving invited lectures around the world.

Selected Publications

  • Patzek, T. W., Male, F. and Marder M. "Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling theory," PNAS, 110, 19731-19736, 2013.
  • Patzek, T. W., "A Probabilistic Analysis of the Switchgrass Ethanol Cycle," Sustainability Journal 2, pp. 3158-3194, 2010.
  • Patzek T. W. and Croft, G., "A Global Coal Production Forecast with Multi-Hubbert Cycle Analysis," Energy, doi:10.1016/j.energy.2010.02.009, 35; pp 3109-3122, 2010.
  • Silin, D. B. and Patzek, T.W., "Pore space morphology analysis using maximal inscribed spheres," Physica A, 371(2) p. 336-360, 2006
  • Patzek, T. W., "Verification of a Complete Pore Network Model of Drainage and Imbibition," SPE 71310, SPEJ, 6 2 144-156, June 2001.