G. Paul Willhite

School of Engineering - Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Ross H. Forney Distinguished Professor
Primary office:
Learned Hall
Room 4146C
University of Kansas
1530 West 15th Street
Lawrence, KS 66045


Research Specialty

Processes to improve oil recovery from petroleum resevoirs


  • John Franklin Carll Award, Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • IOR Pioneer Award, SPE/DOE Improved Oil Recovery Symposium
  • National Academy of Engineering


  • Society of Petroleum Engineers
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • American Society of Engineering Education


  • B. S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University
  • Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University

Why come to study your field at the University of Kansas?

The importance of petroleum to economic growth and improved living conditions has become widely recognized throughout the world.  No other commodity has the impact on the worldwide economy as the availability of adequate supplies of petroleum.  Our research programs focus on improving oil recovery from petroleum reservoirs, increasing the amount of petroleum ultimately available.  Research projects range from fundamental studies of oil recovery processes in the laboratory to simulation of field performance using state of the art reservoir simulators.  Some projects involve integration of engineering and geology, a common practice in industry.  Graduates completing either MS or PhD programs in chemical or petroleum engineering offered in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering are well prepared to enter the petroleum industry and are sought after by leading companies.


Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern

B.S., Chemical Engineering, Iowa State

Research Interests

  • Enhanced oil recovery process
  • Transport processes in porous media
  • Numerical solution of partial differential equations
  • Environmental heat transfer problems

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