UTPB‘s Dr. Robert Trentham honored for outstanding contributions to geological education
He’s taught and mentored numerous students during more than two decades at the University of Texas Permian Basin (UTPB), and now Dr. Robert Trentham is being honored with the 2023 American Association of Petroleum Geologists Distinguished Educator Award. The annual award recognizes distinguished and outstanding contributions to geological education.
“When I first received notice of the award I thought this couldn’t be real, I felt truly honored to be considered for this,” said Dr. Trentham about his honor. “I am joining a select group of previous awardees who I have admired for many years. I never thought I would be nominated for an award like this, much less receive it.”
Propelled by a passion for geology since his childhood in New York, Dr. Trentham now teaches extensive petroleum-related courses at UTPB—including Geology of the Permian Basin, Petroleum Geology, Sedimentary Rocks for Engineers, Core Analysis, Volcanology and Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology. He earned his Doctorate Degree at the University of Texas at El Paso and went to work at Gulf Oil in Midland in 1980.
Dr. Trentham came to UTPB in 2000 as an adjunct for the Geology Department after switching professions from working in Permian Basin exploration/production for more than 20 years. A year later he took on the role of director of the Center for Energy and Economic Diversification and lecturer in Geology—and in 2019—he became the senior lecturer and research associate in the Geosciences Department, his current role.
The teacher/mentor’s tenure at UTPB includes serving as a thesis advisor to graduate students and on many committees. His work at the university has also included teaming up with industries and other academic institutions on subject matters that not only increased the understanding of oil reserves, but also increased production, according the UTPB. The university credits him with elevating its profile via “a series of efforts with the Department of Energy and other federal grant programs.”
Dr. Trentham referred to UTPB as “the heart of the oil industry” and said that nowhere else has a larger concentration of geoscientists, engineers and students who realize that geology is critical to the sustainable future of the Permian Basin.” He added that the “kids” keep him young and that “their thirst for knowledge and their inquisitive nature forces me to stay up-to-date and provide them with cutting edge understandings.”