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The EERC welcomes T. Austin McRae as a Research Engineer, where he is involved with process engineering and design for wellsite operations, pipeline transport, and environmental science related to oilfield operations. He holds a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Austin’s principal areas of interest and expertise include petroleum industry operations and support, specifically well stimulation; enhancing coordination between energy industry and environmental efforts through improved technology, practice, and understanding; and advanced energy technologies.

“I am most excited about working with a team of dedicated and diverse individuals to understand and solve energy-related issues in a scientific and responsible manner,” Austin said. “The warm and friendly welcome from the EERC staff so far has further added to my enthusiasm moving into this new career path.”

Previously, Austin worked as a Field Engineer in the hydraulic fracturing division of Baker Hughes Pressure Pumping in New Mexico and Texas, mainly in the Delaware and Midland Basins. Austin’s primary responsibilities involved assisting in job design and pre-job planning, monitoring pressure readouts and job parameters, and generating posttreatment and regulatory reports. Key functions of his position and the engineering department included ensuring quality technical product and service delivery through laboratory and field fluid system testing, technician management, on-site job monitoring, and customer interaction.

Austin said he became aware of the oil industry quite early, being a child of two career industry professionals. Throughout high school, he gravitated toward physics and earth sciences, specifically enjoying a geology elective.

“Instead of following my parents down the geoscience route, I pursued petroleum engineering at the Colorado School of Mines,” he said. “Since then I’ve been continually captivated by the engineering, complex operating conditions, continuous improvements, and challenges of today’s petroleum and broader energy environment.”

Raised in New Orleans from an early age, Austin said he is finding the cold weather here “quite refreshing” after an 80° November in New Orleans. However, he expects that he will miss the food there, especially the seafood.

“No other place I’ve visited in the country or the world has come close to matching the broad range of culinary influence and extensive quality of New Orleans cuisine,” he said. “I’ll also miss the laidback, near-constant celebratory atmosphere as well as easy access to world-class inshore and offshore fishing.”

In addition to fishing, Austin’s interests outside of work include hiking, “attempting to play golf,” swimming, and other “generally leisurely” outdoor activities. He also enjoys traveling, meeting new people, reading, seeking out and sampling local beer, going to the movies, and “just about anything Star Wars.”