Top thesis prize for Aberdeen student

A University of Aberdeen student recently won a competition which celebrates the best thesis papers from MSc Engineering students from Aberdeen's two Universities.

The Energy Institute Aberdeen Highlands and Islands branch organised the competition which was sponsored by ConocoPhillips.

Six students out of around 300 were shortlisted, with Darren Coughlan named as the overall winner.

Each of the shortlisted students had to deliver a presentation on their thesis and were judged by a panel made up of senior industry figures from ConocoPhillips (UK), Verus Petroleum, Strategic Decom, Petrofac, Siccar Point Energy, Ramboll Oil & Gas UK, PCL Group and Meta Downhole.

Darren, who completed his MSc Oil and Gas Engineering with distinction, won the competition with his thesis Modelling of down hole drilling fluid temperature profiles during drilling operations. The project was done in collaboration with Nemein Ltd., an equipment manufacturer for the oil and gas industry.

Newton Duarte from the Robert Gordon University - MSc Petroleum Production Engineering (Distinction) won the second prize, while Ignacio Fernandez, University of Aberdeen - MSc Petroleum, Energy Economics and Finance (with Distinction) took the third prize.

Dr. Thanga Thevar, programme coordinator for MSc Oil and Gas Engineering at the University of Aberdeen said: “I am very happy for Darren for this significant achievement. He showed tremendous enthusiasm, high level of engineering knowledge and skills, initiative and independent thinking in executing this project. He worked closely with Nemein Ltd. to develop a simulation tool that predicts down hole drilling fluid temperature profiles. This simple, easy to use tool produced similar results when compared with expensive, complex software packages used in the industry.   

“I am very proud of Darren’s excellent performance in the MSc programme that culminated in him winning the Energy Institute award. It reflects very well on the high standards of MSc programmes we offer in the School of Engineering and the high quality of students we attract.”

Nigel Bradburn, Chair of the EI Branch said “This annual event is held to bring together industry and academia, showcasing the latest thinking and research from MSc students and a chance for them to network with prospective future employers. Once again we have attracted a very high profile panel of CEO's, MDs and senior management spanning various aspects of the upstream sector. We are grateful they have taken time out of their busy schedules to be a judge and we are indebted this year to ConocoPhilips for kindly hosting the event.”