Petroleum engineering students scoop another top prize

Students from the University of Aberdeen’s Society of Petroleum Engineering (SPE) Student Chapter have capped a fantastic year by winning the inaugural 'SPE Europe Petro League' at the Offshore Europe exhibition in Aberdeen.

The success comes on the back of the whole group being voted the best SPE student chapter in Europe for the second consecutive year.

The SPE Europe Petro League, organised by volunteers from the SPE Aberdeen Young Professionals committee, saw ten teams of students studying oil and gas related subjects compete to be named as the winning team.

Team KAMA from University of Aberdeen scooped the top prize of £2,000, by impressing a judging panel of leading industry professionals with their extensive technical knowledge of the oil and gas industry. The day long competition saw case study analysis rounds and quick fire question and answer rounds.

Oludare Elebiju, SPE Europe Petro League project lead, said: “We would like to thank all of the students who entered this year’s Europe Petro League. The enthusiasm and determination of each team has truly contributed to the overall success of the competition. It is clear from the high level of interest we have received that the event has a long future ahead. 

“The winning team KAMA, has proven that they deserve the title and the students have really impressed the judges with their knowledge. They are not only taking home the prize money but also, more importantly, new connections made within the sector will increase their chances of employment when they complete their university courses.

“Offshore Europe has provided an excellent forum for the Europe Petro League competition to be held, and given it the exposure needed to become a major student event that we aim to hold every two years.”

The final was judged by a panel of leading industry experts that included Hugh Rees, subsurface manager at BP, Alan Johnson, principal petrophysicist at Shell, John Harris, president of Gaffney, Cline & Associates and Nikhil Shindgikar, section head of green well services chemicals and REACH for Europe & Africa at Schlumberger.

Brenda Amanda from team KAMA commented on their success: “We are delighted to have been awarded first place in this highly competitive and challenging competition. Our whole team is delighted to be recognised for our hard work and time spent preparing for each round.

“The Europe Petro League has allowed us to present our abilities and knowledge of the industry in front of key industry professionals, and will be an excellent addition to our CV’s. The networking opportunities have been highly beneficial and we hope that the connections we’ve made will eventually lead to job offers after graduating.

“We are thankful for the support and guidance we have received from Aberdeen University School of Engineering, which has contributed to our success in this competition. We would definitely recommend that students consider entering the next Europe Petro League as it has been a thoroughly worthwhile and highly rewarding experience for the whole team.”

Earlier this year, The SPE awarded the group the 2013 Outstanding Student Chapter Award in recognition of their exceptional programs in technical knowledge dissemination, membership development, community and social outreach, and more.

There are 284 student chapters within the SPE and 40 of them competed directly with Aberdeen for the Outstanding Chapter award.

The University finished ahead of chapters from universities such as Berlin, Oslo and Imperial College London.

“To be voted the best student chapter in Europe once is a fantastic achievement, but to receive the award in consecutive years is, I think, a unique accolade. The Aberdeen student chapter has come out ahead of many other prestigious universities, making the success all the more remarkable,” said Professor Tom O’Donoghue, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

Student chapters are groups of students who are supported by a professional body. The chapter enables students to network with industry professionals, engage in technology discussions at industry events, and learn more about the business.

In addition to the Outstanding Student Chapter award, Aberdeen student Kahyin Ng was awarded the prestigious and very competitive SPE Star Scholarship award for Europe – the only recipient of the award in the entire European section. The University also retained its Gold Standard Award for the overall chapter.

“The award reflects the dedication and hard work of the committee members and the interest shown by students in the events organised by the SPE student chapter,” said President of the University of Aberdeen’s Student Chapter, Shahir Yousaf.   “This year we not only focused on technical events but also focused on interacting with the Aberdeen community by taking part in various charity and volunteering activities.”

Prof O’Donoghue added: “Student chapters are good indicators for how well organised, involved and aligned a student group is with their profession, so we see these successes as an indication that the University counts amongst the best when it comes to preparing our students for industry.”

With financial support from the SPE Aberdeen Section and the University, two of the students will attend the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in New Orleans in October to formally receive the awards.