Curtin University appoints inaugural Chevron Professor of Petroleum Geology


Curtin University has appointed an industry and research expert in geological systems to lead the institution’s research and education programs in the soft rock and petroleum geology field.

Image credit: Curtin University media release
Image credit: Curtin University media release

Through its participation with the University Partnership Program (UPP) of Chevron Australia, Curtin was able to appoint Professor Chris Elders from Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom, as the inaugural Chevron Professor of Petroleum Geology.

According to a media release from Curtin, the appointment was made possible with Chevron’s global UPP which will see $1 million invested in three years.

The UPP was developed in partnership with leading universities worldwide to establish new research programs, provide scholarships, build key networks and promote academic excellence. Curtin and The University of Western Australia are the only Australian universities to be part of the program.

Professor Graeme Wright, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Research and Development says he looks forward to the benefits that both the students and industry will gain from research and education activities.


“Better research, means better teaching, which produces better graduates,” Professor Wright said.

“Continually improving our knowledge of sedimentary basins, leads to a better understanding of petroleum producing systems and structures within the earth.”

“Professor Elders has both an industry and research perspective of these geological systems and has studied the Northwest Shelf and Bonaparte Basins in Western Australia’s north,” he said, acknowledging that the field of applied geology is “critically important to Australia’s petroleum exploration future”.

Meanwhile Chevron Australia Managing Director Roy Krzywosinski says they are delighted that a Chair has been appointed through the UPP to enhance Curtin’s petroleum geology capabilities.

“The new partnership will bring together the various disciplines within petroleum geology and help increase capability, student numbers and research in the area,” Mr. Krzywosinski said.

“Importantly, the partnership will help build a centre of excellence in petroleum geology in Western Australia benefiting the Chevron-operated Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects and the broader energy industry in Australia.”

Professor Elders has been with Royal Holloway since 1993 where he directed the Master of Science program in Petroleum Geosciences before holding the position of Professor of Petroleum Geoscience. He also worked as an exploration geologist for the Shell group of companies for five years after graduating from the University of Oxford.

Professor Elders will commence the appointment in early October 2013.