Max R. Lents*, a native Oklahoman, received his B.S. in petroleum engineering from OU in 1937. From 1937 until 1949, Lents held several engineering and management positions with the Cotton Valley Operators Committee and Haynesville Operators Committee in Louisiana, where he was one of the pioneers in pressure maintenance and recycling of oil and gas fields. He also held the positions of vice president and general manager of J.S. Abercrombie Co. and Old Ocean Oil Co. in Texas. In 1949, Lents co-founded the international oil and gas consulting firm with former classmate Martin G. Miller (B.S. petroleum engineering, ‘34) now known as Miller and Lents Ltd.
Michael J. Maples was born and raised in Shawnee, and received his B.S. in electrical engineering from OU in 1965. He also received an M.B.A. from Oklahoma City University. Following graduation from OU, Maples began a 33-year career in the computer industry, working first for IBM and later Microsoft Corp. Maples joined IBM as a system engineer and marketing representative. He held various marketing positions before moving into product development. After spending 23 years at IBM, in the end as head of software strategies and business evaluation, Maples joined Microsoft to run the applications business, which he was able to turn around after the introduction of Windows 3.0 in 1990, retiring in 1995 as executive vice president of the Worldwide Products Group and member of the Office of the President.
Curtis W. Mewbourne received his B.S. degree in petroleum engineering from OU in 1958. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army and working as a petroleum engineer in the industry, he founded his own oil company, Mewbourne Oil Co., in 1965. The company, which has exploration and production operations in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico, is owned and operated by Mewbourne and his three daughters. Mewbourne is a long time supporter of the university and, in particular, the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, by enhancing the college’s scholarship endowment base as well as faculty professorships and chairs. He is a charter member and initial chairman of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Advisory Board.
Donald G. Russell, born in Kansas City, Mo. and raised in Overton, Texas, received his B.S. in mathematics from Sam Houston State University in 1953 and an M.S. in mathematics from OU in 1955. Russell began his distinguished career in the oil industry in 1955 as an exploitation engineer with Shell Oil Co. Over the next 32 years, he held various engineering and management positions with Shell, including chief exploitation engineer for the Houston area, general manager for exploration and production economics, vice president of international exploration, and finally as president of Shell Development Co.
Charles B. Smith Jr. graduated from OU in 1943 with a B.S. in electrical engineering. After graduation, Smith served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps., after which he began his 46-year career in geophysical engineering. After completing his military service, Smith was employed by Continental Oil Co. and then joined Geoprospectors Inc. in Tulsa as manager of the vibroseis division. Eight years later, he was appointed president of Georex Inc. in Houston. In 1976, Smith formed Data Inc., a geophysical data gathering and sales corporation, then sold the firm in 1993. He currently is president of his own consulting business in Houston.
Aubra E. Tilley received his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1947. Tilley served as an officer in the U.S. Army Ordinance Department during World War II. After graduation, Tilley worked with Phillips Petroleum Research Group, North American Aviation and Chevron. In 1950, he joined North American Aviation, where he was in charge of the design and development of the auto pilot system for the F86 airplane. Later, he headed up the electronic development for North American’s first supersonic missile. In 1952, he was hired as chief engineer for Chevron’s Exploration Production Research facility, and was later transferred to Houston to head up the seismic data field operations for the company. In 1967, he started his own company, Input/Output, designing and manufacturing seismic data instrumentation equipment, where he holds the title of chairman emeritus.