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SPE’s Myanmar Section Created

YP Chairperson, Sithu Moe Myint, technical manager, MRPL E&P.SPE now has a presence in Myanmar. Its 214th section—the Myanmar Section—was established 25 September 2013. The SPE International Board of Directors meeting this month will be held in Yangon, and the section’s inauguration will become official with that meeting. According to Jeff Spath, SPE president, in his column in this issue of JPT, the new Myanmar Section’s presence has been enthusiastically welcomed. “The response by industry, academia, and government has been remarkable,” he said.

R&D Competition Focuses on Industry’s “Grand Challenges”

The oil and gas E&P industry faces big challenges to meet the world’s growing energy needs and the solutions are uncertain. For that reason, SPE is holding a Research and Development (R&D) Competition to encourage researchers from the basic sciences and other engineering disciplines to engage these challenges. The competition focuses on six Grand Challenges identified by the SPE R&D Committee:

  • Increasing recovery factors from oil and gas fields
  • In-situ molecular manipulation
  • Carbon capture, storage, and sequestration
  • Produced water management
  • Higher-resolution subsurface imaging of hydrocarbons
  • Minimized environmental impact

The competition is open to academia, research institutes and organizations, companies, and individuals. Proposals submitted should include the following requirements:

  • Address one of the six Grand Challenges listed above
  • Involve ideas and/or technologies not previously used in petroleum engineering
  • Propose application of technology not already used commercially in the oil and gas industry

The top finalists will be invited as guests of SPE to the 2014 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam on 27–29 October, where they will present their proposal in a special session to a panel of industry judges. Awards of USD 30,000 for first place, USD 20,000 for second place, and USD 10,000 for third place will be announced at the SPE President’s Luncheon on the last day of the conference.

Submissions for the competition are being accepted online through 1 June 2014. Those who submit by 31 March will have the opportunity to be assigned an industry mentor to provide advice on how to improve the proposal before the final submission deadline.

For more information, please go to

Innovative Teaching, Faculty Recruitment Awards Given

SPE has honored several university professors for their excellence in teaching and efforts to recruit faculty and students to petroleum engineering schools.

The SPE Faculty Innovative Teaching Award recognizes and rewards teaching excellence in petroleum engineering and supports the attraction and retention of faculty in the discipline. The 2013 winners were

  • David DiCarlo, The University of Texas at Austin, for his creative methods in relating fundamental, abstract concepts to the petroleum industry; for his traditional methods tuned to the modern student; and for his dedication to preparing students to effectively present their research in SPE paper contests and technical meetings 
  • Shenglai Yang, The China University of Petroleum, Beijing, China, for his passion and excellence in petroleum engineering education, specifically in creating a team teaching approach in petrophysics that has won both local and national awards and has impacted more than 5,000 students and for promoting the use and comprehension of the English language in classrooms and through the publication of English-based textbooks

The SPE Faculty Recruitment Award recognizes petroleum engineering faculty who have developed innovative techniques to recruit doctorial students, faculty from other disciplines, and industry personnel to consider an academic career in petroleum engineering. Winners of thet 2013 award were

  • Brian Evans, Curtin University, in recognition of his use of innovative methods to attract students to enroll in a PhD program and to consider a career in academia, and to attract PhD graduates back to roles in academia 
  • Russel Johns, Pennsylvania State University, in recognition of his use of innovative methods to attract students with a commitment to first-class research in petroleum engineering with attention to detail in order to find practical new solutions for the current problems of the petroleum industry