Alfred William (Bill) Eustes III

Research Faculty, Petroleum Engineering

Alfred William Bill Eustes III

Dr. Eustes is a professor within the Petroleum Engineering Department at the Colorado School of Mines. He has a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University (1978), a M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado in Boulder (1989), and a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines (1996). He specializes in drilling operations, experimental, and modeling research. Dr. Eustes is a registered Professional Engineer with the state of Colorado (P.E. # 27526).

Dr. Eustes has twenty-four years of drilling, completion, workover, and production engineering and operations experience. As a field engineer with ARCO Oil and Gas Company (AOGC, now part of British Petroleum), he designed and supervised the drilling of petroleum wells in East, West, and North Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Alaska. He supervised the engineering of a high-tech 24,001 foot Oklahoma well that required the use of the industry’s most advanced equipment and drilling processes and high pressure Texas Gulf Coast wells (~13,000 foot).  He is still active in the business, planning deep-salt penetrating gas wells for Sklar Exploration of Shreveport, Louisiana and reviewing the active North Slope casing design plans for British Petroleum Exploration Alaska  through Petrotechnical Resources of Alaska.

His research at the Colorado School of Mines and consulting work, has involved him in drilling operations in Nevada, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, Louisiana, and Alaska.  His environmental drilling experiences include reverse circulation air coring and drilling at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and resonant sonic drilling at Hanford, Washington.  His completion and workover experience parallel his drilling experience and include a North Texas oxygen combustion project, two Oklahoma Carbon Dioxide tertiary injection projects, and multiple million pound plus sand fracturing stimulations in East Texas.

Dr. Eustes’ academic and field education and training give him the experience and knowledge to solve practical field problems with both theoretical and experimental techniques. His training in mechanics and math gives him the insight to develop new drilling models that, in the past, significantly decreased rig time trial and error solutions.  Dr. Eustes’ doctoral dissertation concerns the analysis of wave propagation in drill strings for efficiently generating jarring forces. In it, he uses spectral analysis and finite element methods to derive a practical jarring model that accurately and quickly predicts jarring forces.  Other examples include a rigid bow centralizer design for deploying downhole themocouples (AOGC, 1980), the vibration model for the Yucca Mountain Project (DOE, 1993), sonic drilling model for Hanford (Westinghouse, 1994), and a jarring model (Cougar Tools, 1996).

Current research activities include ongoing research with the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the development of a robotic drill for Martian deployment.  He is also working with the National Science Foundation, through the Ice Coring and Drilling Services contractor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, on developing a next-generation deep-wet ice-coring rig for Antarctic mobilization.   In addition, there is ongoing research using finite element modeling of casing/cement/rock systems for drilling operations.

Dr. Eustes also has considerable teaching and speaking experience, including recently for the Bureau of Land Management.  He has taught university classes for over eight years and has presented numerous engineering papers and research projects in various settings.  He is a member of the Society of Petroleum EngineersAmerican Association of Drilling EngineersInternational Association of Drilling Contractors, President of the CSM chapter of Sigma Xi, and a member of the Executive Council of the Petroleum Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Dr. Eustes lives in Boulder County, Colorado with his wife, a daughter, a son, a large dog, and two neurotic cats.


B.S.M.E., Louisiana Tech University

M.S.M.E., University of Colorado

Ph.D. Colorado School of Mines 


Contact Information 

Room 213 Marquez Hall
Golden, Colorado 80401 USA
Phone: (303) 273-3745 
FAX: (303) 273-3189