In November 2007, Ken Arnold received the DeGolyer Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) at its 2007 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Anaheim, California. According to SPE, which boasts more than 70,000 members in 65 countries, the award recognizes "distinguished and outstanding service to SPE, the professions of engineering and/or geology, and to the petroleum industry."
In 1980, after 15 years at Shell Oil Company, Ken co-founded Houston-based Paragon Engineering Services, which AMEC acquired to form AMEC Paragon in 2005. The company serves as AMEC’s hub for oil and gas projects based in the Americas.
This current award is the latest of several honors Ken has received from SPE, including:
- The 2006 Public Service Award, which honors distinguished service to country, state, community, or the general public
- The 2006 SPE Regional Award for Projects, Facilities, and Construction
- The 1998 SPE Production Engineering Award
For three years beginning in 2001, Ken served on SPE's Board of Directors as Specialty Director of Facilities and Construction. During 1994-95 and 2002-03, he led seminars as an SPE Distinguished Lecturer. Until his term ends in 2008, he is now serving as a director of the society's U.S. Gulf Coast Section.
Outside of SPE, Ken's honors have included:
- A Citation for Service award by the Exploration and Production Department of the American Petroleum Institute
- Election to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, one of the highest professional designations accorded an engineer in the U.S.
- Selection as the 2003 Houston Area "Engineer of the Year" by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers
- Appointment to a three-year term on the Marine Board of the Transportation Research Board, a division of the U.S. National Research Council (2004-2007)
Ken also has taught oil and gas facilities engineering at the University of Houston, and he currently serves on the advisory boards for the engineering schools of Tulane University in New Orleans and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.