Shale made Penn State professor a star

May 13, 2013

Pennsylvania State University geoscientist Terry Engelder spent most of his career toiling in obscurity, studying fracture behavior of rocks known as black shales. Even among geologists, he says, it was kind of a boring topic, and he was often slotted to present his papers on the last day of professional conferences.

"Not only was it the last day, but it was in the afternoon of the last day," he said.

But then, Engelder and Gary G. Lash, a colleague from New York, discovered natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Rather, they calculated the huge amount of natural gas contained in the shale and announced it to the world in early 2008.

And the world discovered Terry Engelder.

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