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Abstract This paper presents the background, implementation, and initial results of a pilot project to address the shortage of qualified petroleum engineers in developing countries. Oil and gas talent gap in emerging markets was identified as an eminent problem by the Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Oil & Gas Community in 2017. Chevron, Eni, and Shell acted on the initiative of WEF and, with the addition of Colorado School of Mines (Mines) as the academic partner, kicked off a pilot project to improve the Petroleum Engineering (PE) program at Satbayev University (SU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in 2018. The WEF working group, consisting of the representatives of the three companies and the department heads of Mines and SU, identified three priority areas: (1) Establishment of an Industry-Advisory Board (IAB) to promote mutual trust and collaboration between academia and industry, (2) Curriculum revision and improvement of the course material and delivery with the support of Mines, and (3) Student and faculty internship programs to provide industry training and support for faculty development. Many challenges of the Kazakh PE education are common to the other emerging oil and gas producing countries also. Therefore, the lessons learned from this project will be useful to develop similar projects not only in Kazakhstan but also around the world. This paper presents the details of implementation, challenges encountered, and initial results of the project.
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.
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.
Abstract Having different mindsets, academics and industrialists are living in different worlds and pursuing different goals. The Academic is striving for creating new solutions with a high innovation rate, scientific achievements and recognition from peers with a long range perception. The Industrialist thinks in terms of short range goals, prefers proven solutions with a low risk and is mainly concerned with costs, profits and economic survival. In view of that, the deficiency of properly skilled labor across the oil and gas industry is emerging as a significant and complex challenge to Middle Eastern countries' future development. Regardless of the large number of universities, technical graduates and post-graduates added to the workforce, only small percentage of them are considered employable by the rapidly growing industry. Hence, the growing gap between academia and industry is reflected on slight availability of high-quality college/university graduates demanded by the industry. This problem can be overcome by having proper and sustainable industry-academia interactions that help to pass on relevant knowledge. Academic institutions place a great importance to closer interaction with industry and research and development organizations. Some interaction has been witnessed, in the developed countries, between large public and private sector enterprises and academic institutes at a level of industry involvement in technology development. Still, industry support to basic research is almost non-existent in developing countries. Academic institutions laboratories utilization by industry for developmental purposes and for product testing has seen some success. With the establishment of in-house research centers by different industries such labs utilization is on a gradual decrease. Effective collaboration between the oil and gas industry and universities will be critical to the industry economic recovery and sustainable international competitiveness. Industry must also make a sustained effort in supporting higher education by providing the support needed to help students build the employability and technical skills that are so important. The joint research venture can be successful only by proper project preparation and implementation. Some cases of cooperation between academia and Senergy GB Limited will be discussed. A number of key issues to achieve successful cooperation between industry and academia are suggested. The areas in which interaction is possible include industry support to basic research for knowledge creation, industry participation in technology development involving some exploratory work, academic intervention in solving industry problems, laboratory utilization by industry, faculty members' sabbatical leave and industry involvement in curriculum development. Also, the paper proposes that the oil and gas industry should work with universities to: –Sponsor students studying subjects relevant to industrial needs. –Offer more opportunities for internships, placements, work experience or projects. –View working with universities as part of core innovation activity. –Integrate an academic research group and an industrial development team to generate useful research results and solutions.
The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Human Capital initiative has been implemented at Satbayev University (SU) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, for the past 2 years. Participating in this effort are Chevron, Eni, Shell, and the Colorado School of 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. This paper uses a 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.