Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi Student Petroleum Engineers Recognized

National organization salutes Mork department undergrad organization

April 26, 2007 —

From left: Erin Daniel, President; Lauren Gentile, Treasurer; Aleona Mulina, Vice President; Parham Ghods, Secretary; Andy De La Rosa: Public Relations Director.
The Mork Family Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science's  student chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) has been named Chapter of the Month for May, the national SPE office has announced.

Beverly Hulbin, national SPE student cooridnator contacted the group in late April  with the good news.

Iraj Ershagh, holder of the Omar B. Milligan Chair in Petroleum Engineering, and a member of the SPE, said the group;'s achievements were impressive.

"The USC SPE Chapter was selected as the Student Chapter of the month by the Society of Petroleum Engines because of their professional handling of the Western Regional SPE paper Contest." he wrote. "Serving as the host, they raised $3500. to provide sponsorship for the room rental, refreshments and dinner hosting the contestants from several Universities and the judges. The Chapter officers have been very active this year in arranging informational field trips to an offshore platform in Santa Barbara, a steam flood operation in Bakersfield, sponsoring industry speakers for campus talks and interacting with various student groups on Campus. Two of the contestants from USC became the 2nd place winners in the contest. Reza Rastegar in the MS Division and Fei Lung in the PhD Division."

The group's account of their work includes the problems they overcame.

"We organized numerous technical speakers, on subjects ranging from starting an oil field from scratch to why facilities engineering is necessary. We were honored to be able to host this year's Western regional student paper contest in conjunction with the AAPG National Conference, as this allowed our students as well as those from neighboring universities the opportunity to showcase their hard work and accomplishments.

"When our chapter was not occupied in a classroom with a speaker, we took advantage of our unique location and have organized three field trips in the course of the year, two of which were to offshore locations. We were also active members in our community, as we gave a presentation to a classroom of 4th graders on where oil comes from, and what it is like to be a petroleum engineer. But perhaps the most beneficial thing we have done for our students was in organizing numerous recruiting events for multiple companies, in an attempt to help our members find internships and full-time positions."

The USC achievements were made more impressive by the fact that the almost entire leadership of the group was new this year: Nevertheless, "we have organized over 20 events this semester, including community outreach, social, and technical speakers, which is more than in any recent year." .