The Colorado School of Mines team won the Student Challenge Contest held as part of the 2017 SPE Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility (HSSE-SR)--North America Conference being held 18–20 April in New Orleans. The quiz-contest styled event tested university students' knowledge in HSSE-SR topics in both lightening-round questions and longer thought-provoking challenges. Returning for the third time, this year's edition was sponsored by ExxonMobil. Second place went to the team from the University of Oklahoma, and Texas Tech University team came in third. The other participating teams were Louisiana State University, Oklahoma State University, and Stephen F. Austin State University.
Heriot-Watt University announced that it was awarded £1.25 million by BP to continue its energy economics research and as the partner for its annual energy benchmark reports, the BP Statistical Review of World Energy and the BP Energy Outlook. The university's Centre for Energy Economics Research and Policy (CEERP) has worked with BP's economics team since 2007, and the new funding secures a further 3 years of expert statistical and analytical support for the BP reports. The BP Energy Outlook outlines BP's views of future global energy markets through to 2040 and uses a range of scenarios to explore the key uncertainties. The BP Statistical Review provides data on world energy production, consumption, reserves, and trade. Energy economists at Heriot-Watt's CEERP work with BP's economics team to gather, analyze, and interpret data from around the globe to compile the reports.
Student organizations are certainly nothing new, and any ex-student will remember the vibrant social life that university clubs provide and perhaps recall jumping in on one of many rallies and protests in the 1960s and 70s staged by guilds and university students. Recently, however, student organizations, particularly in engineering, have moved away from politics and taken on a new role providing professional career development opportunities in response to a rising demand from employers for graduates who can demonstrate teamwork, leadership, and other "soft" skills. The U. of Western Australia (UWA) hosts a number of student engineer organizations. SPE has its own Perth Student Chapter for the growing number of oil and gas students at UWA and Curtin; Engineers Australia's Young Engineers has a UWA branch as well as at Curtin, Murdoch, and Edith Cowan; and, of course, there is the faculty organization, the University Engineers Club (UEC). Pub crawls and the Annual Ball (2005 hosted the 87th) are still sell-out events for the UEC, but running close alongside are the Graduate Networking Dinner in April and the Vac Work Expo held in August.
On 20 March, Thomas Bruni, editor-in-chief of TWA, was invited to take part in the student chapter regulars' table, where undergraduate and graduate students, as well as assistants and professors, meet once a month. These evenings provide an informal atmosphere to discuss the latest news at school as well as noncurricular topics. Furthermore, they intensify the contact between students and teachers. This time, even the petroleum engineering department head joined the event to get to know Bruni and learn more about the lecture program. What especially captured the students' attention were stories about his studying and working abroad.
The SPE Aberdeen YP Section, in conjunction with the SPE Robert Gordon University Student Chapter, organized a soft skills presentation titled "Selling Yourself." This talk focused on job hunting, interview, and career progression skills, which apply both to prospective and existing professionals who are looking for ways to make headway in their chosen fields.
Many of us know we are in a time of high oil prices and strong competition for experienced staff, but what has this meant for students? Increased salaries for graduates, one might argue. However, what does this mean before graduation, and what are the opportunities for students entering colleges around the world? I am an undergraduate student at the Australian School of Petroleum, but last semester I studied abroad at Colorado School of Mines. Furthermore, I searched for an internship that would add to my domestic experiences.
The committee formed a new team called The Young Leaders. Its goal is to foster the awareness, skills, and values of leadership among YPs by placing them in close proximity with top leaders. For student outreach, the committee has introduced two new programs this year, including the Guest Lecturer Program and Lunch & Learn Program. The objective of the Guest Lecturer Program is to enhance college-level classes at both junior and senior levels by inviting experts to the classes. And the objective of the Lunch & Learn Program is to enrich university students' knowledge of the petroleum industry by creating a friendly, interactive discussion between invited YP speakers and students.
The SPE San Joaquin Valley Section's young professionals (YPs) have continued to contribute to the learning of their peers through a series of events that give YPs the opportunity to benefit from experts. Recently, they got together to learn more about continuing education and online education offered by top schools in the region. The YPs held a safety and leadership event at which participants talked with Gaurdie Banister, chief executive officer of Aera Energy. Banister shared his career journey in the oil and gas industry along with his personal experiences that have influenced his career. Representatives of the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) answered questions from YPs in an information session in Bakersfield, California.
Wonuola Scott, a principal data transformation analyst based in Aberdeen, started his SPE journey as a student member in 2006 and has been active ever since. Scott graduated from Lagos State University before completing his master's degree in oil and gas engineering at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. When asked about what inspires him, Scott recognizes that SPE is a strong network of great minds and is an important resource. The future is hard to predict and Scott knew there were skill sets he wanted to develop. By volunteering regularly at SPE, he was able to get better at leading people, and was able to apply these leadership skills in his professional career.
SPE Online Education recently added a new web-based resource for technical content–Industry Interviews. These are 30-minute audio interviews with experts about their personal and professional experiences in the oil and gas industry. Recorded live, the interviews are archived and available on demand for free for SPE members. Click here to visit the Interviews page.