From a formative age, Dr. Albert G. Holba desired to enter the field of research through which he could solve complex problems. Raised on a farm and studying in a one-room rural school in Noble County, Oklahoma, he graduated from the Morrison School with only 16 other graduates before moving on to higher education. First receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oklahoma State University, Dr. Holba later returned to his alma mater and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in synthetic organic chemistry in 1980. Following the receipt of his doctoral degree, he joined Phillips Petroleum Co. in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, serving as an organic geochemist, biochemist and chemist between 1980 and 1988.
As his career progressed, Dr. Holba served ARCO in Plano, Texas, as an organic geochemist from 1989 to 2000. From there, he returned to Phillips Petroleum Co. in Bartlesville as an organic geochemist, where he thrived until 2003. Following this tenure, he joined ConocoPhillips Company in Houston, Texas, as a principal geochemist from 2003 until his retirement in 2013. Although he is in his post-retirement years, Dr. Holba has continued his vocational efforts as an organic geochemist with the eponymous Albert Holba Geochemical Consulting since 2014.
Over the course of his career, Dr. Holba has authored several publications and co-invented a myriad of patents. Most recently, he co-invented a patent for the Detection and Quantification of Gas Mixtures in Subterranean Formations in 2021 and for Petroleum-Fluid Property Prediction from Gas Chromatographic Analysis of Rock Extracts or Fluid Samples in 2020. Earlier, he served as the first author of “Tetracyclic Polyprenoids: Indicators of Freshwater (Lacustrine) Algal Input” in Geology in 2000 and of “Application of 24-Norcholestanes for Constraining Source Age of Petroleum” in Organic Chemistry in 1998. Likewise, Dr. Holba authored “24-Norcholestanes as Age-Sensitive Molecular Fossils” in Geology in 1998 and was a co-inventor of Synthesis of Bis (Haloarylsulfonyl) Aromatics in 1994, among many others.
Dr. Holba attributes a great deal of his success to his attention to detail and diligent focus on the tasks at hand. He also notes that he is proficient at recognizing patterns and making connections that are not visible to the average person. Looking forward, he intends to continue advancing his research.