Student success in European petroleum engineering contest

Student success in European petroleum engineering contest

A University of Aberdeen student has finished in third place in a Europe-wide student paper contest held by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

Douglas Gourlay, who is studying for a Masters in Petroleum Engineering, travelled to Stavanger in Norway to take part in the SPE European Regional Student Paper Contest, held during the society’s International Conference and Exhibition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility.

Douglas showcased his paper - ‘Experimental Investigation of Resonance Enhanced Drilling’ - in a 20 minute presentation to a panel of industry judges, going up against students from other European universities specialising in petroleum engineering.

The paper presented a numerical model of an existing rotary-impact drilling rig and the results from simulations which established the optimal system parameters that maximised the rate of penetration.

Commenting on his experience of the competition, Douglas, who is from Aberdeen, said: “I am passionate about Resonance Enhanced Drilling, so it was great to have the opportunity to talk about my work on this emerging technology which is something that I will hopefully be a part of in future.

“I didn’t have any expectations going into the contest, so I was delighted to finish in third place, particularly as I was up against competitors from other universities with long and established track records in petroleum engineering including Imperial, Stavanger, Delf and Heriot Watt.

“While at the conference I had the chance to network with other students and industry professionals, and it was great to hear so much positive feedback about the prospects for Resonance Enhanced Drilling as a commercially viable drilling technology.

“Overall my experience of the contest was overwhelmingly positive, and it has given me a valuable insight into the amount of work required to safely develop new technologies in the sector.”

Professor Igor Guz, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen, added: “I’d like to congratulate Douglas on his success in the SPE European Regional Student Paper Contest and thank his supervisor Dr James Ing for the support that he provided to Douglas throughout the contest.

“To finish in third place was a fantastic achievement given the high standard of competition, and is testament to the strength of our renowned petroleum engineering programmes which aim to produce world class petroleum engineering professionals who are fully prepared to take up essential roles in the upstream oil and gas industry. 

“Douglas’s achievement is further good news for the School of Engineering, which was recently named in the Complete University Guide and Guardian University Guide as the best place to study engineering in Scotland.”

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