Chandler and Laura Wilhelm met while in graduate school at the University of Colorado in 1979. Laura completed her B.A. in Geology from Colorado College in 1978, and finished her M.S. from CU in Geology in 1982. She began working as a paleontologist for Amoco Production Company in Denver immediately thereafter. Her thesis work studied the foraminifera of the Mancos Shale in western Colorado. Chandler finished his B.A. in Geology from Pomona College in 1979 and his M.S. from CU in Geology in 1983, after which he began working for the international affiliate of Shell Oil Company. They married in 1984 and made their home in Houston, where they still reside. Laura continued working as a micropaleontologist until after the birth of their third child, at which time she decided to focus full time on guiding their children to adulthood. She has served her community as a volunteer in the public schools and in her church, where she currently chairs the Opportunity Endowment Fund in support of charitable missions worldwide. She is an accomplished artist, and has a particular interest in mosaics and the history of this art form in the ancient world.
Chandler has worked at Shell and its various operating units since 1983 in a variety of technical and managerial roles in the almost all of the main petroleum basins in the U.S., and internationally in over 20 countries. He has directed Shell's global Deepwater Exploration and Appraisal evaluation program, Shell's Alaska Exploration program, and since 2009 Shell's Unconventional Exploration program in the U.S., Canada, and multiple International emerging basins. During his tenure he has directed the drilling of over 500 exploration and appraisal wells, resulting in the maturation of ~7 billion barrels equivalent of oil and gas either currently on production or in development. His most notable discoveries include Deepwater fields in Angola, Brazil, Nigeria, and the Gulf of Mexico, and multiple unconventional plays in British Columbia, Alberta, the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast, the Delaware Basin in West Texas, Pennsylvania, and Argentina.
Chandler served as President of the AAPG's Division of Professional Affairs in 2017, and in 2013 received the DPA's Distinguished Service Award. He currently serves on the University of Colorado Department of Geological Sciences Advisory Board, the AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates, and has been nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees for the American Geosciences Institute Foundation. He is a co-author of two "Discovery Thinking" papers presented at the AAPG annual meeting and is also a co-author of the DPA special publication "Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist".
Laura and Chandler are proud parents to three wonderful adult children (Anna, Rachel, and Alex) and one grandson (Memphis), with another grandchild on the way. They love to travel (particularly to Rome), enjoy art, history, and sports, and are also devoted members of their church in Houston.
The Chandler and Laura Wilhelm Named Grant is awarded annually to a deserving student through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid Program, and is endowed by the AAPG Foundation with a generous contribution from Chandler and Laura Wilhelm.