Posts tagged ‘University of Houston’

University of Houston Hosts PetroChallenge

Hundreds of high school and university students will participate in PetroChallenge 2010, a computer simulation competition taking place at the University of Houston’s College of Technology. High school students will compete Jan. 9-10 and university students Jan. 11-12. Past competitors have described the event as “an intense treasure hunt.”

            Each student team forms a petroleum exploration company sent on a virtual mission to remote islands that have invited companies to begin exploration. Each team has a $200 million budget to find commercially viable volumes of oil and gas. Students learn basic geology and form strategic partnerships with other teams to drill exploration and appraisal wells.

            The high school PetroChallenge teams will consist of students from each of the three IPAA (Independent Petroleum Association of America) energy academy schools: Milby High School, Lamar High School and Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy. Similarly, the university level PetroChallenge teams will be comprised of students from different colleges, each discipline bringing its particular strengths to the exercise. The students will face the challenges, opportunities and dilemmas of a real exploration team. Tasks include:

  • Finding basins by using magnetic/gravimetric surveys;
  • Prospecting by using 2D seismic, common risk segment maps and spawning ground maps;
  • Partnering, using 2D seismic and 3D seismic maps;
  • Ordering rigs from a catalog of available equipment;
  • Selecting services by consulting a provider track record;
  • Selecting a drilling location by using 3D seismic and environmental impact assessment surveys.

During this process, students gain insight into the risks and challenges of petroleum exploration. In each task, teams are expected to budget wisely, review purchased scientific data and oilfield information, discuss options and submit the decisions to the simulation. A real-time scoreboard will keep the competitors energized and focused on making well-informed decisions.

            Simprentis, the software company that developed the program, saw a demand for industry-based educational events that would allow students to explore potential careers. PetroChallenge events have been held since 2004, when 600 students from five countries (Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Faroe Islands and Scotland) participated simultaneously.

            Jack Christiansen, director of the Petroleum Technology Initiative at the College of Technology and organizer of the competition, described the purpose of the event: “Students who participate in PetroChallenge 2010 will finish with a greater understanding of technological and scientific developments in the oil and gas industry. Based on a preliminary trial, we believe that this event will provide students with the closest experience possible, in an academic setting, of working in the oil and gas industry in the exploration and production phase.”

            Doris Richardson, director of the IPAA Education Center and coordinator of the high school competition, is equally enthusiastic. “The PetroChallenge two-day competition is the perfect vehicle to reinforce curriculum being taught in our energy academies,” she said. “It will provide our students with an opportunity to integrate classroom curricula, understand and solve complex industry challenges, and collaborate as a team.”

            Both the high school and university PetroChallenge events will take place in the College of Technology’s state-of-the-art computer labs. A training session for facilitators precedes the competitions. Participation in the event is free to all students.

www.uh.edu

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January 5, 2010 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Carol Dinkins Joins UH Energy Advisory Board

Environmental litigator Carol E. Dinkins, a partner in the Houston office of the international law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP, will join the newly formed Energy Advisory Board of the University of Houston (UH).

            “Carol is an environmental legend in Texas and on a national level, particularly for regulatory and enforcement matters within the energy industry,” said UH President Renu Khator. “I am delighted she will support the University of Houston’s efforts to become ‘The Energy University’ and help guide the board toward achieving that goal.”

            The advisory board, which will meet quarterly, is tasked with strategic planning and external coordination. Its next meeting is set for Oct. 28. In addition to Dinkins, board members include:    

  • Tim Cejka, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Co.;
  • John Gibson Jr., president and CEO of Paradigm;
  • John Hofmeister, chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership Energy Collaborative and founder and CEO of Citizens for Affordable Energy;
  • Ryan Lance, Sr. VP, international exploration and production, ConocoPhillips;
  • David McClanahan, president and CEO of CenterPoint Energy Inc.;
  • Lamar McKay, chairman and president, BP America Inc.;
  • Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil Company and director of Royal Dutch Shell;
  • H. David Ramm, partner of DKRW Energy LLC;
  • Corbin Robertson Jr., chairman and CEO of Natural Resource Partners; and
  • Bruce Williamson, chairman, president and CEO of Dynegy Inc.

            Formation of the advisory board is the latest step in a roadmap laid out in Khator’s UH Energy Initiative, which aims to capitalize on the region’s and the university’s strategic interests and strengths. Involvement in energy-related initiatives spans virtually every UH college and includes faculty in a dozen disciplines.

www.uh.edu/uh-energy/index.php

August 27, 2009 at 2:11 am Leave a comment

UH Named Center of Excellence by Supply Chain Council

The Supply Chain Council has named the University of Houston’s Center for Logistics and Transportation Policy its first center of excellence in the Gulf Coast region. The center will house certification training for the council and host its Gulf Coast regional meetings.

“This partnership allows the center to be recognized as a key source of education in the global supply chain and logistics industry,” said Elizabeth Wetzel, managing director, UH logistics center. “Our association with the Supply Chain Council will support its regional efforts by providing a permanent meeting and training facility. Meanwhile, the UH College of Technology, where the center is housed, will gain recognition for its fine logistics and supply chain education.”

The Supply Chain Council, based in Washington, DC, is a global nonprofit whose methodology, diagnostic and benchmarking tools help member organizations improve their supply chain processes. It is most widely known for its Supply Chain Operations Reference, or SCOR® model, a framework used to evaluate and compare supply chain activities and their performance.

“The council is honored to establish this partnership with the university to fulfill SCOR training and certification needs particularly in the Gulf region of the US, and we look forward to a fruitful partnership,” said Joseph Francis, executive director, Supply Chain Council.

UH alumni will receive SCOR certification training at council member rates, and College of Technology faculty and staff will receive it for free.

www.tech.uh.edu

www.supply-chain.org

June 11, 2009 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

The New Critter: Digital Energy Professional

At the 2009 SPE Digital Energy Conference this week in Houston, there were a number of titles used to describe the people who will be running the digital oilfields of the future, e-fields, i-fields, smart fields, integrated operations, or whatever you call the automated, computerized oil industry initiative at your company. Digital Petroleum Engineer was suggested, but there are many geophysicists and geologists involved as well. Digital Engineer was suggested, but that refers to a position in the sound recording industry. PetroTechnical Professional was also suggested, but we may want to include smart grid electricity and renewables and nuclear in this digital technology. So I suggested Digital Energy Professional, which covers the whole gamut, and everybody in my panel discussion session nodded in agreement. The University of Houston’s Technology Department (Jack Christiansen) is developing a curriculum to hatch such a hybrid critter with energy know-how plus IT know-how, and he is looking for industry input and an advisory board. I volunteered, of course.

Love, Jeanne

April 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm 1 comment


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