The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section has awarded a total of £20,000 to the winning students in its 2017 student bursaries programme.
The programme has been an integral part of SPE Aberdeen for over 40 years, and in the last 10 years alone, more than £100,000 of financial support has been awarded to over 100 students.
This year almost 100 students applied for awards, with 20 winners selected to receive grants. Five bursaries of £2500 and 15 bursaries of £500 were awarded to students from the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, University of Dundee and Heriot Watt University.
The bursaries were awarded to students currently undertaking oil and gas related degrees at various levels, from undergraduate to PhD. Each applicant was judged on the quality of their academic work, their intent to embark upon a career in the oil and gas industry and their active involvement with SPE.
Out of the 20 finalists, 12 were invited to attend an interview panel to compete for the five £2500 bursaries. Judge Alan Dick, Vice President at Simmons & Co, said: “We’re presented with a challenge every year to select the highest performing candidates, and this year was no different with an extremely high quality of applications.
“Judging these entries is an inspiring process to go through - the whole panel were very encouraged by the work ethic, innovative thinking and presentation skills of each of the candidates. We wish all of the winners the very best in their future careers.”
The five students who were awarded the £2500 bursaries were:
- Balogun Yakubu, PhD in Engineering, Robert Gordon University
- Robert Lawrie, MEng in Petroleum Engineering, Aberdeen University
- Mark Lakos, MSc in Petroleum Engineering, Heriot Watt University
- Douglas Gourlay, MEng in Petroleum Engineering, Aberdeen University
- Paul Robb, MSc Oil & Gas Innovation, Robert Gordon University
The students were presented with their awards at a ceremony at Robert Gordon University on Friday 17 February, 2017.
Ian Phillips, Chairman of SPE Aberdeen said: “Our student bursary programme was set up to help high calibre graduates achieve their career goals, and the return on the investment we make ensures these future leaders develop the leadership and innovation skills required for our future sustainability.
“The last couple of years have been an extremely challenging time for the industry, and external factors have sadly forced some businesses to reduce this type of support for students. We are extremely proud that we have been able to continue running our student bursary programme throughout the downturn, ploughing our modest surplus funds back into the future of the industry.
“SPE is a not-for-profit professional society, and aims to run events at a ‘break even’ level. The ongoing support of our members and the wider energy industry in Aberdeen and further afield, attending our events and remaining involved in our initiatives, means that we make a small surplus on some events. This allows us to fund support for students and school age children, encouraging our industry’s next generation and future leaders.”