Guest Author – By Donna Marcotte, SPE Pittsburgh Petroleum Section, Board Member
Student and professional members from the Pittsburgh Petroleum Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) will present demonstrations, exhibits, and hands-on activities at the Carnegie Science Center Engineers Week event on February 18 and 19.
SPE Pittsburgh has been participating in this event for more than 10 years and is a contributing sponsor this year.
The SPE booth will feature petroleum engineering students from Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the SPE student chapter affiliate of the Pittsburgh professional section. The PSU SPE members will engage Pittsburgh area students in various activities and exhibits, developed by the students and contributed by various SPE Pittsburgh members and companies.
Booth activities will include various materials, samples, experiments and games—with lots of prizes and give-ways. Professional SPE members from the greater Pittsburgh area will also be on hand to help students with the materials and answer questions.
Companies contributing to the success of this event include: Baker Hughes, Burnett Oil, Centric Performance, EKT Interactive, EQT, EXCO Resources, Range Resources, Schlumberger, and Superior Well Services.
This year’s co-chairs for the SPE Pittsburgh booth are area residents and SPE members, Melissa Ramirez, a petroleum engineer at EXCO Resources, Inc. and Bill Thomas, a consultant with Centric Performance, LLC and member of the Marcellus Resource Group.
“This industry offers so much opportunity for anyone interested in any kind of engineering or earth science, such as geology,” explains Ramirez, also a PSU graduate. “It’s a chance to contribute daily to solving the world’s energy problems.”
“We want to get the word out to area students, so they can get the right education and take advantage of these exciting career opportunities, which are now right in their own backyards,” states Thomas.
Petroleum Industry Full Circle in Pennsylvania
Many credit Titusville, Pa., just north of Pittsburgh, as the birthplace of the modern oil and gas industry, when in 1859 Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well. Oil production in Pennsylvania peaked in the early 20th century, and oil and gas production has continued over the years without a lot of fanfare. Since 2005, however, the industry has seen resurgence in the area with exploration and development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a vast geological formation that spans six states, including a large portion of Pennsylvania.
New technologies—developed and deployed by engineers from many different disciplines—have made extracting natural gas from shale technologically and economically feasible. Many experts believe that the Marcellus Shale will provide a huge natural gas source for Northeast U.S. markets and a vital boost to the local economy in increased tax revenue, business activity, and good-paying jobs.
About Engineers Week
The Engineers Week event at the Carnegie Science Center celebrates engineering achievements and provides an opportunity to reach out to students K-12th grade and introduce them to exciting careers in engineering.
For more information about the Carnegie Science Center Engineers Week event, visit their website at http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/default.aspx?pageId=363.
For more information about Engineers Week, visit the National Engineers Week Foundation website at www.eweek.org.
The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves 88,000-plus members in 118 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, conferences, workshops, forums, and website. Learn more about SPE and its energy education program Energy4me.
With more than 700 professional and student members throughout Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Petroleum Section is one of the many affiliated sections and chapters of SPE International, which is headquartered in Richardson, Texas.
One of the primary roles of SPE and the local section is to raise and award scholarships for college students. This year, SPE Pittsburgh will award $15,000 in scholarships to area students. For more information about SPE Pittsburgh, visit http://spepgh.weebly.com/.