Paul J Lutes, PE

Paul started his career before graduation from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 as a consulting engineer where he studied and performed failure analysis on numerous products liability cases. Two years after graduation, Paul joined Corken Inc. as a Project Engineer in charge of new product design. During his 13 years at Corken, Paul was granted 7 patents on these new products, as well as serving on the Safety Committee for the National Fire Protection Association for Standard 58. In 1998, Paul was granted his professional engineering license in Oklahoma, which is still in force today.

In 2004, Paul left Corken to begin work for Hughes Christensen in The Woodlands, Texas. While there, he worked in Product Development to develop a new in-bit sensor package which garnered 7 additional patents. After a few years, Paul began his management career by leading the Drilling Technology Laboratory. He later led the entire Testing and Engineering Services group at the Baker Hughes, Woodlands Technology Center. In 2011, Paul was moved to the Houston Technology Center for Baker Hughes where he continued his lead role in the Testing and Engineering Services organization. Here, he led a team to develop numerous specialized test systems for drilling equipment, drill bits, drilling mud, etc. Paul’s Engineering career at Baker Hughes includes numerous automated test systems to determine performance and endurance of drill bits, drilling tools, and drilling fluids and has several SPE publications regarding one or more of each of these. .

Finally, Paul has had the honor to mentor numerous young engineers during his 12 year career at Baker Hughes. Many of these young engineers have progressed to become young leaders and he is looking forward to their continued success. Some of this work moved him to volunteer as Professional Development Chair and STEM Chair for the South Texas Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Finally, Paul served as Vice Chairman of the board for ASME STS in 2018.

It was during his time at the Woodlands Technology Center that Paul began his community service career where he first volunteered for BEST (Boosting Engineering, Science, and Technology) Robotics to help area students understand radio control systems and their application to robotics in 2004. Paul would later go on to found North Houston BEST to become the area competition hub in 2008 and currently serves as Board President. North Houston BEST and it’s partner hub Urban STEM BEST, has continued to serve area Junior High and High School teams from all over greater Houston as well as surrounding areas. Paul is also currently serving as Board Vice President for the national BEST Robotics Inc. which oversees all BEST operations nationwide.

Paul also runs another set of robotics programs for the Conroe ISD Science Fair. His Junior High Engineering Design Competition now attracts nearly 1000 students per year with his High School Engineering Design Competition attracting about 100 students per year. Between all four programs, Paul reaches out to guide the future of approximately 2000 students every year, or about 30,000 students since he began volunteering in 2004.

Paul currently volunteers as board Vice President for the STEM Center as well as the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Category Coordinator for the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. He is working to improve visibility of this new category aspiring into a larger, more popular category in the coming years.

All of this, along with Paul’s 14 published patents and numerous Society of Petroleum Engineers papers brought the ASME South Texas Section to select him as the 2017 W. R. Woolrich Engineer of the Year.