NORMAN, OKLA. – David Ferris, a University of Oklahoma alumnus with experience developing multi-billion-dollar strategic plans for large energy-related corporations, has been named the inaugural director of the Ronnie K. Irani Center for Energy Solutions in the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at OU.
First envisioned by alumnus Ronnie K. Irani, the Irani Center for Energy Solutions provides OU students the opportunity to participate in real-world, real-time industry projects. As the Center’s new director, Ferris is expanding the Irani Center’s focus to also include community engagement initiatives and the Energy Institute of the Americas, the college’s professional energy education and development department.
Ferris holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering and a master’s degree in natural gas engineering from the Mewbourne College, as well as a master’s degree in business administration from the Price College of Business at OU. He earned a doctorate in organizational change and leadership from the University of Southern California. For the past 11 years, Ferris has served on the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering Industry Advisory Board and was chairman from 2017 to 2019.
“With degrees in energy-related engineering fields and business, I share Ronnie Irani’s strong affinity for how we think about energy, how we think about business and how we combine those to really power the future of our industry,” explained Ferris.
In addition to his involvement with large corporations, Ferris also has worked with smaller companies, serving in a number of roles, including drilling, completion and production operations to reservoir engineering and collaborating with geoscientists on new prospect development.
“Coming out of the last 20 years, I’ve learned how to operate like a small company where every dollar and every minute matter. However, my experience in large companies has given me a perspective of the massive scale and integrated planning needed in unconventional energy endeavors to provide a meaningful return for stakeholders,” said Ferris.
It is that combination of experience that Ferris hopes to leverage for OU students and the community. He looks forward to sharing with students his unique experiences in the industry, which began during a college internship when he worked in the field as a roustabout.
He is already making a difference in the three focus areas for the Irani Center for Energy Solutions.