The mission of the Mewbourne College of Earth & Energy is to provide an academic environment in earth sciences and engineering, energy education and research that contains the full breadth of the University of Oklahoma educational experience. We also have a key service mission to investigate the State of Oklahoma's land, water, mineral and energy resources.
Our vision is to offer an intellectual atmosphere combining scholarship, research and teaching that leads to the creativity needed to address the issues of tomorrow, and prepare our students for the global competition they will experience during their professional careers. We will also ensure that OU maintains and builds on its heritage in energy education by continuing to focus on exploration, development and extraction processes in petroleum geosciences and petroleum and geological engineering, while providing close ties to engineering fundamentals and the science base in geology and geophysics. Through the Oklahoma Geological Survey, we will promote the wise use of Oklahoma's natural resources consistent with sound environmental practices.
In a progressive move by the University signaling its ongoing commitment to energy education and research, the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy was established January 1, 2006. The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy consists of the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics and the Oklahoma Geological Survey. The schools are consistently rated among the top five petroleum engineering, petroleum geology and geophysics programs in the country.
The college provides an academic environment for the development of tomorrow's academic and industry leaders that contains the full breadth of the University of Oklahoma's educational experience while continuing to provide close ties to engineering fundamentals and the science base in geology and geophysics. The Mewbourne College focus is laboratory ‘hands-on’ education and is an academic leader for end-to-end energy education and research. Distinguished faculty, exceptional students, and state-of-the-art research laboratories are the bedrock of the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.
The Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy is housed within Sarkeys Energy Center, which comprises a seven acre, four square block, 340,000 square foot teaching and energy research complex located on the northeast corner of the Norman campus of the University of Oklahoma. The building houses more than 200 teaching and research laboratories, more than thirty classrooms, faculty and administrative offices. Sarkeys Energy Center provides a state-of-the-art setting in which OU’s faculty and students and the energy industry can explore interdisciplinary energy topics and train future generations of researchers and industry leaders. Sarkeys is also home to the Lawrence S. Youngblood Energy Library. The library has over 200,000 references, books and maps related to geological topics. It is the largest geological reference library in the world.
The college’s name honors Curtis W. Mewbourne, a Shreveport, Louisiana, native who obtained his degree in petroleum engineering from OU, where he has been honored as a Distinguished Graduate. After serving as an officer in the U.S. Army and working as a petroleum engineer, he founded Melbourne Oil Company in 1965. Mewbourne Oil is one of the most successful privately owned oil and gas producers in America and Mewbourne continues to operate the company.
In recognition of his longtime support, the university named the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering in his honor in 2000, and granted him the Doctor of Humane Letters in 2002. In 2007 the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy was named in his honor and he was presented the Oklahoma Trailblazer Award for his professional achievement and lifetime commitment to the energy center. Mewbourne and his family have contributed millions of dollars to endowed faculty positions and student support.
The college’s first Dean, Dr. Larry R. Grillot, brought thirty years of experience in the exploration and production division of Phillips Petroleum. Trained as a geophysicist, he has held posts supervising operations in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. He holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Mississippi State University, and master’s and doctorate degrees in geological sciences from Brown University.