Logo: University of Southern California

Chevron Gives $1 Million Gift for Engineering Education

Chevron recently presented a $1 Million donation to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. This gift is added to the nearly $35 Million given to USC by Chevron's University Partnership Program over the past nine years.
By: Angus McColl
October 29, 2012 —
Chevron employees present the $1 Million dollar check at the USC-Cal football game.

Representatives of California-based Chevron Corporation recently presented an oversized check for $1 million to the USC Viterbi School of Engineering during the USC – Cal home football game at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

Chevron employees Don Puckett and Mike Casey made the presentation to Yannis C. Yortsos, Dean; John O’Brien, Executive Vice Dean; Iraj Ershaghi, Executive Director, Chevron-USC Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies (CiSoft), and James Hansen, acting Chief Development Officer.

The gift was made under Chevron’s University Partnership Program (UPP) and was made as part of a larger effort by Chevron that has provided nearly $35 million in funding to the Viterbi School over the past nine years to support engineering research and education, to include efforts to recruit, mentor and retain more women and under-represented minorities to be professional engineers.

Since 2003 Chevron has funded the Chevron-USC Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies (CiSoft) to do research and education in advanced petroleum engineering concepts that incorporate information technology, software engineering and sensor networks to enhance oil and gas exploration and recovery efforts.

This year’s UPP gift is the fifth in a series of annual gifts that began in 2008. The funding pays for PhD fellowships, master’s degree scholarships, diversity efforts, the CiSoft Summer Academy for engineering student interns working for Chevron, and an outreach program to high school students to teach them about challenges and opportunities in the petroleum industry.

Chevron’s UPP gift is made each year under the authority of Warner Williams, VP of Chevron’s Gulf of Mexico Strategic Business Unit. Williams is the Chevron senior executive for liaison on research and education at USC. He is also a member of the Viterbi School’s Board of Councilor’s.

Williams also plays a role as one of Chevron’s technical representatives on the CiSoft Decision Review Board, which helps define the research agenda each year. Williams and his colleagues on the Board have stated that every dollar that has been invested in research and education at the Viterbi School has returned at least ten dollars to the company in terms of enhanced productivity.

Yortsos summarized the impact of this gift noting, “For nearly a decade Chevron has been our top corporate research sponsor year in and year out. CiSoft and the UPP together define a model of a highly effective corporate research collaboration between a top company and a top research university. It is clearly the flagship among our corporate research partnerships and one we look forward to celebrating every year. We are so grateful for Chevron’s partnership and generosity.“ Yortsos then added with a smile, “and next year we will celebrate ten years.”