The University of Louisiana at Lafayette was named the 2008 SPE Outstanding Student Chapter (OSC) at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Denver. Following is a brief interview with Chapter president Andrew Patin, who shares his views on the accomplishments and challenges of the past year.
What would you consider as your chapter’s biggest strength or biggest accomplishment this year?
We are a very diverse chapter; 160 students from 25 different countries. We develop strong relationships with one another and are able to help each other on and off campus.
Besides this award, we were named Outstanding Engineering Department (among other engineering departments in the university) 2 years in a row. The award consisted of different engineering competitions and disciplines (papers, projects, design competitions and quiz bowls related to the engineering field).
What would you consider is the biggest challenge your student chapter faced during the year. How
did you overcome it?
2007-2008-Having the finances to send 44 students to ATCE 2000 Anaheim, CA. It created financial bind to hold more fundraisers to make up for other activities. Result was not much member participation in following year.
Past year-More successful in funding for trip for ATCE Denver. We are improving our fundraising efforts.
What student chapter activity did your chapter enjoy most? Which was the least?
We enjoy all, but most is Engineering Week at University of Louisiana. Everyone gets involved on engineering projects and competitions. The bonding makes us a better department.
We make light of every situation, every task and try to make it fun and beneficial for everyone.
What would you consider your best resource(s) for student chapter operations?
Learning from past presidents: what good came out of it and how to improve for next year.
Also, the industry helps. We can call up companies we’ve worked with before for questions and assistance. They help sponsor our activities. Some have even approached our school.
Our family, friends, and relatives help too.
What can SPE do to better assist with student chapter operations and relationships?
Funding assistance to ATCE. We usually have a good relationship with our section (SPE Evangeline section). We attend their meetings and activities since they are located next or near our university.
Any big plans in store for next year you would like to share?
Keep up with what we’ve been doing. Build a name for ourselves at university level, nationally, and internationally. Be recognized.
What advice / message would you like to convey to other student chapters on how they may
become next year’s OSC?
Get more freshman (first year university students) participation. We’ve learned from Chapter Officers Workshops at ATCE 2008 freshman participation can be problematic. Overcoming this problem has created more freshman participation this year than I’ve seen.
Set standards as a club organization at a university-level – show how you are helping out the community as well as developing professionalism.
Bring in an industry professional who is a recent graduate to talk to your students. It will give them more insight to the industry upon graduation.
Special thanks to:
- Our faculty advisor, Dr. Ghalambor
- Past chapter president, Eric Lege
- All current and past chapter officers
- SPE staff
- SPE Evangeline section