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The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Human Capital initiative has been implemented at Satbayev University (SU), Almaty, Kazakhstan for the last two years. Participating in this effort are Chevron, Eni, Shell, and the Colorado School of Mines (Mines). This paper assesses the effectiveness of project components, such as industry guest lectures, summer internships, and program improvement and provides lessons learned for human resources development initiatives.
This paper utilizes the qualitative research method in which data are collected through focus group interviews. Key participants of the study include students enrolled in the WEF program and faculty members. Moreover, the interviewing process involves students that are not part of the WEF program as a control group to measure progress made with additional benefits.
The article explains major challenges of talent development in higher education institutions. It has been determined that the local specifics, especially students' socio-economic and educational background, play an important role on future academic success. For example, students encountered difficulties with understanding course materials and industry guest lectures, which is attributed to English language barriers. Yet, select students have had strong success in the upper-intermediate and above levels. Students' internships revealed that summer experience has greatly strengthened their practical knowledge and skills, opened eyes to industry settings, and more importantly, influenced better planning of career paths. Students reported internships not only provided an industry outlook but also perspectives of continuing graduate studies. It is noted that workforce development requires sufficient faculty development in a case of scarce human resources. The competent and adequate faculty, especially in petroleum engineering (PE), is a prominent problem in most developing oil and gas countries. This issue was articulated among stakeholders, and the project results demonstrate the successful case of company support to raise professional competencies of SU faculty.
This paper covers the human capital development challenges within the WEF project framework, and based on scientific evidence, further elucidates the project-specific tools to propagate similar initiatives around the world. Kazakhstan's experience, as a former Soviet Union state, brings useful suggestions to transform higher education talent development to match the industry-wide standards. It is highlighted that an effective industry-academia collaboration develops from shared visions, values, and goals.
Many Kazakhstani oil and gas companies, especially the Western majors, such as Chevron, Eni, and Shell have indicated a serious gap in poor social skills and a lack of career preparedness among the local university graduates. Satbayev University has addressed this eminent problem by introducing and designing a new Petroleum Engineering (PE) Seminar class in the undergraduate curriculum. This paper presents not only the overall framework and results, but also lessons learned to apply these educational technologies across the region. The PE Seminar class is distinct from other traditional class settings since it has included practical sessions on developing students' communication and public speaking, teamwork, resume, and cover letter writing skills, building professional network early in their careers. In order to prepare students for job interviews, class instructors directed students through mock job interviews, in a few cases these interviews were conducted by the invited HR professionals. Overall, the class evenly balanced core technical writing and oral skills. Since the class is being conducted in two spans in 2018 and 2019 years, the results are comprehensive and demonstrate the significant improvement on the students' perspective. Petroleum engineering faculty and, more importantly, industry professionals have assessed class outcomes during informal meetings. For example, in TED Talk-format presentation sessions, faculty members could evaluate students' problem-solving and public speaking skills. Prior to the sessions, students were grouped and given specific topics in the oil and gas industry. It was their main task to come up with original solutions, investigate and present study results. Moreover, the industry representatives and HR trainers have organized mock interviews and technical writing courses, and the latter has tremendously helped students in writing their undergraduate diploma projects. A class survey and students' direct feedback have confirmed promising accomplishments but also indicated a room for further improvement. It is implied the more industry is involved, the more students become motivated, educated and skilled for the future workforce demand. This article supplements the current petroleum engineering literature by providing the first successful case of implementing the seminar class in the Russia and Caspian region. It further emphasizes the necessity of career preparedness and soft skills development in the university settings with clear goals, components, and resources aligned with the industry requirements.
The demand for and mix of entry-level upstream engineering resources continues to grow globally as resource types become more complex and less accessible, demographics of the workforce become more challenging, and evolving technology and regulatory landscapes impact the competencies required of this work force. How will we determine the competencies required and the appropriate mix of engineering resources needed to meet the world’s petroleum demands in 2020? How can academia and industry work together to meet these changing needs? The SPE Forum Series meeting held 4–9 August 2013 was designed to bring together academia and industry to:
The forum generated a key opportunity to encourage coordination and cooperation across petroleum engineering departments and with industry to have sufficient scale to address the macro level engineering resource issues that face our industry. Unique to this forum was a stated intent to publicly document outcomes of the discussions to help progress industry’s and academia’s thinking and actions in this critical area of future entry-level engineering competencies. This white paper resulted from that intent.
Techbits The SPE Talent Council and the Kazakh National Technical University (KazNTU)—named after prominent Kazakh scientist and academician K.I. Satpayev—sponsored the “Best Practices in Petroleum Engineering Education” workshop in November 2009 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Adilov Zheksenbeck Makeyevich, rector of KazNTU, was instrumental in bringing this workshop to Almaty, which assembled representatives of academia and industry in discussions related to the quality and quantity of engineering graduates. The evening before the workshop commenced, a dedication ceremony was held for the SPE/KazNTU Student Chapter Resource Room. Representatives from the SPE Talent Council, industry, university faculty, and students attended the dedication, which highlighted the computer work stations and numerous technical books for use by the student chapter members and contributed by Chevron, Schlumberger, Kappa, and SPE. Critical Education Objectives Cochairs Mike Sullivan, Tengizchevroil, and Talgat Ablaevitsh, director of the Department of Science at KazNTU, welcomed guests and KazNTU faculty to the workshop, and expressed appreciation to the SPE Talent Council for its support. Gulnara Sarsenbayeva, director of the Center for International Accreditation at KazNTU, discussed the necessary steps to make KazNTU an internationally recognized university. She stressed that links to the old Soviet educational style must be cut, replaced by new methodologies that are more aligned with a robust international system. Sarsenbayeva discussed the need for stronger links between industry and academia that foster a new sense of cooperation, and advocated that surveys be conducted to assist in the modification and modernization of the university’s curriculum to ensure that it is aligned with market demands. Ali Ghalambor, professor at the University of Louisiana Lafayette, presented issues regarding accreditation by ABET, a US-based federation of 30 professional and technical societies representing the fields of applied science, computing, engineering, and technology. ABET’s accreditation goals are quality assurance, standardization of evaluation criteria, and uniform criteria benefits to employers and employees (graduates). ABET accreditation places an emphasis on learning rather than teaching, and involves human values that include inquiry-based learning, preparation for lifelong learning, and integrative, systems-based thinking. Basic ABET success criteria to consider include evaluation of student performance, the educational program’s objectives and outcomes, and the quality of the faculty and facilities.
Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers This paper was prepared for presentation at the CPS/SPE International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition in China held in Beijing, China, 8-10 June 2010. This paper was selected for presentation by a CPS/SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract In order for universities to fulfill their roles and responsibilities to their many stakeholders within society, they must successfully address a multitude of tasks both internally and externally, domestically and internationally. This paper provides a summary of observations and recommendations, along with detailed examples, regarding successful collaborations and partnerships among universities, IOCs, NOCs, and other stakeholders, with a focus on the best practices in education, training, and research for petroleum engineering, geology, and geophysics programs within universities. Most of the experiences and conclusions presented address the university discipline of petroleum engineering (PE), with significant aspects tied to the other petroleum industry upstream E&P disciplines of geology (GE) and geophysics (GP). Most of the information and recommendations are widely applicable throughout the world, but emphasis will be placed on the experiences of the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) with partnerships in China. The major theme is that while many traditional university programs and activities have been shown to be mutually rewarding to both universities and the industry, real success in these matters typically requires innovative collaborations between international universities as well as a stable relationship with one or more other partners. This additional partner, with a long-term interest in the success of the program, is essential in providing a continuous and adequate flow of financial resources, ensuring both the sustainability and long-term health of the university programs. Also, the paper will clarify how all of the parties involved in these E&P education, training, and research activities can benefit from partnerships involving diverse international teams of experts, mentors, and students of all ages, thus demonstrating how PEoriented entities can broaden and strengthen their collaborations with universities and other partners.