Frank Duran

Alumnus Contributes to the Advancement of Geological Sciences at UTEP

Frank Duran
Alumnus Contributes to the Advancement of Geological Sciences at UTEP

An alumnus, buoyed by the research adventures he undertook with his mentor while a student, recently presented two gifts to The University of Texas at El Paso.

Allen L. Gilmer and his wife, Riki Rushing, presented the $1 million Kenneth F. and Patricia Clark Distinguished Chair Endowment to benefit the economic geology program at the Center for Entrepreneurial Geosciences in UTEP's Department of Geological Sciences. Additionally, Gilmer announced the establishment of the UTEP Data Science and Informatics Gift Fund in partnership with fellow UTEP alumnus Frank Hsu, Ph.D., Clavius Distinguished Professor of Science at Fordham University in New York. The gifts were announced during a ceremony June 28, 2018, in the Geology Reading Room on campus.

“Allen Gilmer’s creation of the Kenneth F. and Patricia Clark Distinguished Chair will allow UTEP to recruit a highly respected economic geologist to expand student opportunities and increase departmental connections with industry,” said James Kubicki, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at UTEP. “We look forward to using this educational and research activity to enhance collaborations within Mexico and South America, because these areas are heavily involved in mineral development.”

While a geological sciences graduate student at The University of Texas at El Paso, Gilmer leapt at the challenges posed by Clark. Together, they toured the off-limits chambers of the Cave of Swords in Naica, Chihuahua; explored the underground mines in Santa Eulalia, Chihuahua; and climbed around the old Spanish workings of Velardeña in Durango, Mexico.

Gilmer is co-founder of Drillinginfo, a data analytics company for energy exploration decision support that is a leading provider of cloud-based data and analytics software for the oil and gas industry. He also serves as the company’s executive chairman. Gilmer was named one of UTEP’s Distinguished Alumni in 2017.

“Allen Gilmer is the embodiment of a proud UTEP Miner,” said UTEP President Diana Natalicio. “Since graduating from the University with his master’s degree in 1987, he has remained steadfastly committed and connected to the University through his sustained service on the College of Science Advisory Board and his many efforts to advance UTEP, and especially the Department of Geological Sciences. The added faculty expertise and resources made possible by Allen and Riki's generous gifts will provide UTEP students with many additional opportunities to enhance their education at UTEP and in their future careers.”

- Christina Rodriguez