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MORRIS MUSKAT

1906–1998


Elected in 1983


“In recognition of pioneering work in establishing the basic concepts defining the flow of fluids in the earth and establishing the field of reservoir engineering.”


BY JOSEPH E. WARREN


MORRIS MUSKAT was one of the truly great pioneers in the petroleum industry, who laid a sound analytical foundation for petroleum reservoir engineering by combining fluid mechanics with phase behavior. He died on June 20, 1998, at the age of 92 in Pasadena, California.

Dr. Muskat was born on April 21, 1906, in Riga, Latvia, and he, with his family, migrated to the United States in 1911; he was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1914. Muskat attended Marietta College and Ohio State University, where he received B.A. and M.A. degrees. After teaching physics at Bowling Green University, he earned his Ph.D. in physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1929.

After graduating from CalTech, Morris joined Gulf Research & Development Company where he remained in various capacities until 1950. He took a one-year hiatus from Gulf, during World War II, to serve as chief of the Acoustics Division of the Naval Ordinance Laboratory, Washington, D.C. In 1951 he became technical coordinator of the Production Department, Gulf Oil Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1961 he was promoted to technical adviser to the Executive Group of Gulf—a position he held until his retirement in 1971.



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