For March 2013, we heard from the German Section.
1. How many members does your section contain?
We have around 560 professional members, and 220 student members within three associated student chapters in Freiberg, Berlin and Clausthal.
2. When was the Section established?
The original founding meeting was in June 1990 in Celle, soon after that the section started with about 300 members, which were formerly part of the parent Dutch section.
3. How was the section established? Who set it up?
A handful of industry executives and academics such as Professor Marx, Jürgens, Professor Rischmüller, and Brinkmann saw the need for the exchange of technical information and networking and made it happen. Despite rather stagnant in-country production, we have been growing ever since.
4. Where is your section based?
Most lectures are in Hannover, but we offer events throughout Germany.
5. What are the main benefits in getting involved with the section?
Most of the active members regularly participating in our events are mostly benefitting through broadening their horizons—from technical presentations outside of their core competency and from discussions afterwards. Additionally, student members get an understanding of how the industry works and also to what it leads, e.g. where there are internship opportunities—this can be a major struggle for them.
6. Tell us about something unique or different about your section:
We reach out in new ways to members far away and to other organisations. Our section was the first to offer webinars; we collaborate with the DGMK and BGR as well as having started cross-marketing with neighbouring sections and organisations.
7. Mention challenges faced by the section and how you overcome these:
A major challenge is providing suitable offerings to members living far away from Hannover. To overcome this, we offer webinars available from home or office, half-day workshops that justify a longer commute, a comprehensive newsletter, and sponsoring the commute for students to attend events, to name a few.
8. Outline an upcoming project or event that you are excited about:
We are about to inaugurate offerings specifically to Young Professionals by organising a YP workshop in 2013, focusing on career expectations and requirements.
9. What would you say is the section’s greatest achievement?
It’s hard to pinpoint, as we have many exciting projects and developments. As a single annual event we offered a two-day Student Technical Conference (STC), with around 90 participants, which has developed not just into a great international networking event but also as a source for excellent, high-quality technical information. Overall, I’m most proud that we offer something of quality for and reach out to everybody—from the school student to the PE student to the upstream professional to related organisations such as DGMK, BGR.
10. Which industry hot topics are being discussed in your section today?
In the past couple of years it has been shale gas and fracturing, but nowadays it has shifted to the multi-faceted energy future ahead and environmental topics. That translates to topics like gas storage, geothermics, power to gas, or drill pad design. An evolving hot topic is also rigsite automation.
11. What do you hope for the future of this section?
I hope that it stays strong and grows further—both in the number of members and of quality events. I hope we can even intensify cooperation with other sections and organisations, maximising the benefits for everyone. In essence, I hope we keep the core team as energised and fun to work with as now, which can only lead to the above.