Tadeusz (Tad) Patzek is a Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the Earth Sciences & Engineering Division of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). He has also been appointed Director of the new Upstream Petroleum Engineering Center (UPEC).
Between 2008 and 2014, Patzek was the Lois K. and Richard D. Folger Leadership Professor and Chairman of the Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Department at The University of Texas at Austin. He also held the Cockrell Family Regents Chair #11. Between 1990 and 2008, he was a Professor of Geoengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining Berkeley, he was a researcher at Shell Development, a unique research company managed for 20 years by M. King Hubbert of the Hubbert peaks. In November 2012, Patzek became President of ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil.
Patzek has engaged in the studies of complex systems, focusing on the ultra deepwater offshore operations. He briefed Congress on the BP Deepwater Horizon well disaster in the Gulf, and was a frequent guest on NPR, ABC, BBC, CNN, and CBS programs. In January 2011, Patzek became a member of the Ocean Energy Safety Advisory Committee for the Department of Interior's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). He co-wrote a popular book with Joseph Tainter, "Drilling Down: The Gulf Debacle and our Energy Dilemma." On April 12, 2012, Patzek received the title of Full Professor from President of the Polish Republic. His promotion case was put forth by the Petroleum Engineering Department at the University of Science and Technology (AGH) in Cracow.
For the last five years, Patzek’s research has emphasized the use of unconventional natural gas as a fuel bridge to the possible new energy supply schemes for the U.S. He appeared in the Haynesville Shale documentary. Currently, Patzek teaches courses in petroleum engineering, hydrology, ecology and energy supply, computer science, and mathematical modeling of earth systems. Patzek is a coauthor of over 200 papers and reports, and is writing five books.
On April 28, 2014, Patzek and his colleagues, Prof. Michael Marder and Mr. Frank Male, received the Cozzarelli Prize from the National Academy of Sciences for the best paper in engineering in 2013, "Gas production in the Barnett Shale obeys a simple scaling law."
In 2013, Patzek became a Distinguished Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the highest honor.
Video interview for The Nation, 2/22/2012, John Hofmeister - Tad Patzek debate, “The World Oil Supply: Looming Crisis or New Abundance?” 2/15/2012, at the University Of Wisconsin.
The peak coal study by Patzek and Croft has received a significant media coverage, see, for example, ASME, ASPO, National Geographic, the New York Times, Peak Oil, Green Car Congress, Planet Save, etc.