School of Rock: Heriot-Watt academics attend Tectono class reunion

Texas A&M University

Prof Gary Couples and Dr Helen Lewis, Heriot-Watt University Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE), recently met up with other graduates of Texas A&M University at a reunion held in the Center for Tectonophysics (Tectono).

Tectono was acquired in the mid-1960s from the Shell Research Laboratories, Houston, Texas, including 5 former Shell research staff and a laboratory full of rock mechanics equipment.  Like IPE, Tectono has always been a postgraduate school and is affiliated to the Geoscience Department. Tectono is responsible for producing many fine structural geologists, geomechanicists and experimentalists (often all 3 in one person), much to the benefit of the oil and gas industry and universities worldwide.

Professors Fred Chester and Judy Chester, both members of the original student body, now lead Tectono's academic staff. They hosted the weekend social and scientific alumni reunion, which also included Prof John Logan, one of the original academic staff and still active in rock mechanics research.

Alumni enjoyed a programme of discussions which included the participation of current research students, and visit to the rock mechanics laboratory.   It was revealed that alumni are active in an amazing range of careers across the globe:  including a recently retired company Vice-President, developers of highly innovative rock mechanics laboratories and academics teaching and driving research.