Petroleum engineering club wins second straight outstanding chapter award

Emily Morrison
November 08, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the second year in a row, the Penn State chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) won the Outstanding Chapter Award. SPE presented the award at the 93rd Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas on Oct. 9-11.

This award recognizes student groups that excel in industry engagement, operations and planning, community involvement, professional development, and innovation.

“We’re honored to be receiving this award for the second year in a row,” said Adam Larson, president of Penn State SPE and senior majoring in petroleum and natural gas engineering. “Our executive board wants to ensure that we’re helping students get the best opportunities to jumpstart a successful career. This award shows that we’re on our way to doing that.”

As a student-led chapter of SPE, Penn State SPE aims to provide petroleum and natural gas engineering students with the connections and tools they will need to have a successful career in the petroleum and natural gas industry. Through the student-run executive board, students who participate in Penn State SPE can participate in mentoring programs, webinars, and technical conferences as well as participating in the programs and events hosted by SPE.

“From hosting invited speakers to organizing short courses, from PetroBowl to Positive Energy, our student chapter exemplifies and puts into action the goals and values of SPE,” said Eugene Morgan, Penn State SPE faculty adviser and assistant professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering.

“The Penn State chapter of SPE’s enthusiasm is amazing each year in their efforts to help their members learn more about the industry, volunteer in the community and place their members in internships and full time jobs,” said Neil Boyer, chairperson of the Pittsburgh chapter of SPE.

The Outstanding Chapter Award: In recognition of many activities

One of the chapter’s activities included the founding of Positive Energy, a subcommittee of the group that contributes to the community and environment through volunteer efforts. Positive Energy has more than 100 members and incorporates students from a variety of majors in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS). Positive Energy students engage in activities such as tree planting, adopting and maintaining a local road, and partnering with local conservation organizations.

“I’m particularly pleased that our outstanding students have taken an environmental leadership position,” said Lee Kump, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. “Their efforts through Positive Energy to balance energy development with environmental stewardship is a microcosm of the responsible approach we in EMS strive to promote.”

“To be recognized as an outstanding student chapter means that others are noticing the unique connection between industry and the classroom that SPE Penn State provides its members,” said Matthew Watson, a Penn State junior who serves as the chairman of Positive Energy.

In addition to Positive Energy, Penn State SPE hosts student-led webinars. Each webinar aims to connect students from other universities in order to share best field practices, discuss current projects, and compare classroom experiences. To date, engineering students from the University of Pittsburgh, University of Kansas and West Virginia University have participated in the webinars.

Additionally, Penn State SPE partners with the Women’s Energy Network, a national organization that provides networking and mentoring opportunities for women in the field of petroleum and natural gas engineering. On Oct. 31, SPE president Janeen Judah gave a presentation on campus in support of the program.

“We’re always trying to come up with new initiatives,” said Adam Larson. “We really want to further bolster our Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering program.”

About SPE Penn State

Comprising both undergraduate and graduate students, Penn State’s student chapter strives to bring students, faculty, alumni and distinguished members of industry together to network through community service, lecture series, and national and global conferences.

About SPE

SPE is an individual-member organization that creates a global community of professionals in the oil and gas industry. They provide a wide range of services including mentorship programs, publications, training courses and online resources.

  • Adam Larson and winners

    SPE Student Chapter Presidents pose with their Outstanding Student Chapter Awards.
    From left: Alex Lambros, Texas A&M University, Adam Larson, Penn State, John Burwell, New Mexico Tech University

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Penn State PNGE students, faculty, and alumni

    Penn State Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering undergraduates, graduates, and faculty members at an Alumni Reception during the conference

    IMAGE: Penn State
  • Penn State SPE students

    Penn State SPE students at a workshop during the conference

    IMAGE: Penn State
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Last Updated November 08, 2017