The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M University held its annual Student Paper Contest (SPC) on Jan. 31 with the runoff competition held Feb. 7. This event is sponsored by industry donations and $46,900 was raised this year, over half of which goes back to the students as award money. Each year industry members come and help judge the event. This year 130 industry representatives were involved with the contest. Without their continued support, this event would not be as successful as it is. Many of the industry volunteers are former students who competed in past paper contests and believe in the value of the competition and the learning opportunities it provides.
After two Saturdays of competition (488 students for the preliminaries and 55 for the runoffs), the Texas A&M division winners were named:
- Juniors: first place – Kristina Klock; second place – Trey Tomlin; third place – Juan Diez
- Seniors: first place — Andrew Abbott; second place – Amanda Nelson; third place – Jonathan Soto Ortega
- Masters: first place — Emmanuel Oyewole; second place – Clay Strack; third place – Raphael Coelho
- Doctoral: first place — Ernesto Valbuena; second place – Karin Gonzalez; third place – Mohammadreza Ghasemi
The objective of the SPC is to develop technical presentation skills in students. Participation is required by all juniors, seniors and graduate students, who present orally the results of their graduate research or independent study of a petroleum engineering problem to a panel of judges from industry and academia. Presentations are 10-15 minutes followed by a five minute question and answer period with the judges.
The first and second place seniors, masters, and doctoral division winners move on to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Gulf Coast Region SPC, one of several regional contests held by SPE. In the regional competitions, the students will compete against other students from their region for the opportunity to participate in the International Student Paper Contest in the fall.
The regional contests are hosted on a rotating basis by a student chapter within each region. Currently, these regions are Canada, Russia and Caspian, Europe, Gulf Coast North America, Rocky Mountain/Mid-Continent/Eastern North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Western North America, Africa, Asia Pacific, Middle East and South Asia.