Logo: University of Southern California

USC and Chevron Extend Partnership

Energy Giant Provides $915,000 For Viterbi Scholarships and Training
Eric Mankin
August 18, 2008 — The University of Southern California  Viterbi School of Engineering has announced that Chevron Corporation has donated $915,000 in scholarships and training to USC students as part of the energy company’s global University Partnership Program (UPP).  The commitment is a continuation of Chevron’s long-standing relationship with USC and the Viterbi School.
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Presentation: from left: Chevron i-field Manager Mike Hauser, Dean Yannis Yortsos, Chevron Vice President Gulf of Mexico Warner Williams, Professor Iraj Ershaghi

The Chevron University Partnership Program (UPP) is a global program developed in conjunction with leading universities aroundthe world to establish new programs, support faculty development and provide student scholarships. The collaboration extends to new competencies required as research and technology development explores innovative ways of tackling critical energy challenges. Universities are selected based on their excellent reputation, forward thinking and result-oriented education development.

At USC, Chevron supports both training and research through the Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies (CiSoft), which is a joint University of Southern California and Chevron Center of Excellence for Research and Academic Training. Established in December 2003, CiSoft includes participation of research scientists from the Viterbi School of Engineering and Chevron.

CiSoft offers a Masters of Science in the Petroleum Engineering Program with an emphasis on Smart Oilfield Technologies.  Course content is provided by both USC and Chevron specialists and is designed to respond to the industry’s needs by training existing staff in new technologies, and developing potential new employees with skills related to the operation of smart oil fields.

"The Viterbi School is recognized for leadership and innovation in many areas, but has earned particular distinction for its work in smart oilfield technologies," said Chevron Vice President Gulf of Mexico, Warner Williams.  Williams is also a member of the board of counselors for the Viterbi School of Engineering.

“The new technologies are being applied at our operations in Bakersfield, and worldwide,” added Bruce Johnson, Chevron Vice President San Joaquin Valley.  “Collaboration and partnership are essential to our approach to technology.

"Our ongoing research relationship with Chevron in CiSoft is a model for a productive and mutually beneficial academic-corporate collaboration," said Viterbi School Dean Yannis Yortsos. "I am delighted that this relationship will now broaden and deepen with the expanded University Partnership Program. We are pleased that Chevron elected to augment this elite partnership and include the Viterbi School among a few select engineering schools worldwide."

Within the University Partnership Program, Chevron will sponsor undergraduate and graduate student scholarships and fellowships, some of which will be targeted for disadvantaged students.  The CiSoft courses are also offered through USC’s Distance Education Network, which offers course content on demand 24/7 via media streaming over the web.  This enables students from across the globe to enroll in and successfully complete the education program. 

“Chevron’s goals in supporting USC includes furthering the development of deployable 'smart oilfield' solutions and tracking and recruiting outstanding graduates of the USC engineering school” said Mike Hauser, Chevron’s i-field Manager. A special focus of 2008 and 2009 is the establishment of a software integration lab that will provide a test bed for training and deployment of new solutions developed within the program, Hauser noted.

"The new Chevron-USC UPP is taking the lead in effective recruiting and training of the next generation of engineers and scientist into the energy industry," said CiSoft Executive Director Iraj Ershaghi, a professor of chemical and petroleum engineering in the Viterbi School. "We are glad we are part of this critical effort."

Teambuilding: Back row: Mike Hauser Chevron i-fields; Dean Yannis Yortsos; Chevron UPP coordinator Eve Sprunt; Chevron VP Warner Williams; Viterbi Professional Programs Director Candace House; Viterbi Masters & Professional Program Student Director Carolyn Suckow; Viterbi Senior Associate Dean for Research Maja Mataric'; Viterbi Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs John O'Brien; Chevron Production Engineering Manager Brian Lewellyn. Front row: Professor Iraj Ershaghi, Director Masters & Professional Program Kelly Goulis, Associate Dean Admissions and Student Affairs Louise Yates, Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs Margery Berti

About Chevron Corporation

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, with approximately 58,000 employees. Its subsidiaries conduct business in more than 180 countries. The company operates across the entire energy spectrum--producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas; refining, marketing and distributing fuels and other energy products and services; manufacturing and selling petrochemical products; generating power; and developing and commercializing the energy resources of the future, including biofuels and other renewables.