Michael R. Walls

Professor, Economics and Business

Michael Walls






Michael R. Walls is an Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business at the Colorado School of Mines, where he taught and researched petroleum economics, risk management, and strategic decision making for 25 years. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Walls worked for 13 years in the upstream sector of the petroleum industry as a production manager and VP of exploration and production. He holds a BS in Geology from Western Kentucky University, an MBA in Finance and a PhD in Management from the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Walls’ research areas include decision analysis, petroleum economics and risk management, valuation and finance, particularly as it relates to the petroleum industry.  He is recognized as an industry authority on the application of risk and investment theory to the petroleum industry and is also the author of numerous articles on the topics of decision and risk analysis.  Dr. Walls has consulted in the areas of risk analysis and strategic planning to companies such as Chevron-Texaco, Petrobras Brasilieo, BHP Billiton, Anadarko Petroleum, Schlumberger, BP Exploration, Hess Corporation, and numerous other companies. Dr. Walls also has significant teaching experience in executive programs as well as in‑house briefings for oil companies.  Since 1992, his seminar entitled “Managing Risks and Strategic Decisions in Petroleum Exploration and Production” has been attended by over 3500 industry professionals


  • PhD, Management, University of Texas at Austin
  • MBA, University of Texas at Austin
  • BS, Geology, Western Kentucky University

Research Areas

  • Decision Analysis
  • Corporate Risk Management
  • Business Strategy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Multi-criteria Decision Making
  • Technology Commercialization


Courses Taught

  • EBGN545 Corporate Finance
  • EBGN560 Decision Analysis
  • EBGN585 Engineering and Technology Management Capstone


Continuing Education Courses

  • “Managing Risks and Strategic Decisions in Petroleum Exploration and Production” – Industry Seminar
  • Petroleum Risk Management – Detailed Short Course Synopsis