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SPE Awards FAQs

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Peer recognition is an important aspect of every professional organization. SPE members make many significant technical, professional, and service contributions to the worldwide petroleum industry.

The SPE Awards Program recognizes our members’ contributions to the oil and gas industry and petroleum engineering profession. Additionally, these awards recognize exceptional service in the Society and greater community.

The SPE awards program is nominator-driven. You cannot submit your own nomination.

  • You decide to nominate your colleagues to recognize their professional, technical, and/or service accomplishments.
  • You submit the nomination online.
  • You can request letters of recommendation by providing email addresses.
  • Award nominations are provided to award committees made up of SPE members.
  • The committee recommends the best candidate(s) to the SPE Board as the recipient of the award.

SPE Regional Awards

  • Award committees appointed by the SPE Regional Directors select SPE Regional award recipients.
  • Regional awards are presented in each SPE Region.
  • Regions accept nominations for SPE member candidates in that region. Nominators do not have to be in the same region.
  • The deadline to submit SPE Regional Award nominations is 1 March.
  • Regional awards are approved by the appropriate Regional Director.
  • Regional recipients become international candidates for the equivalent award if approved by the nominator and Regional Director, assuming the candidate meets all the international criteria. 

    Regional awards are presented at an appropriate Region or Section meeting. 

    Regional awards have 1 year of consideration. Candidates must be re-nominated each year. 

SPE International Awards

  • Award subcommittees appointed by the SPE President judge and recommend the SPE the International Award recipients.
  • SPE International Awards are presented globally without regard to a recipient’s region.
  • SPE accepts international nominations directly from SPE members and from SPE Regions. It is not necessary for a candidate to have received a regional award to be considered for an SPE International award.
  • The deadline to submit SPE International Award nominations is February 15.
  • The SPE international Board of Directors approve all SPE International award recipients.
  • SPE International Awards are presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.
  • SPE International Awards have a 3-year cycle of consideration. Candidates must be re-nominated every three years.

Yes. However, it is recommended that you carefully review the award requirements and the scope of the candidate’s significant achievement, and then nominate the candidate for the more appropriate award.

There are 14 Regional awards in 2 categories:

The annual SPE call for nominations begins in September, before ATCE. You can submit international nominations through the deadline of 15 February and regional nominations through 1 March. SPE will not extend these deadlines.

No. It is not necessary for a candidate to have received a regional award to be considered for an SPE International award. Direct nominations may be made for any SPE award.

Yes, regional award recipients may become candidates for the equivalent international award the following year if both the nomination and Regional Director agree to the transition.

Regional recipients are placed into consideration for the corresponding international in the year following their regional win if the transition is approved by the nominator and the Regional Director. Nominators are contacted to update the nomination. Updates to international nominations are accepted during the call for nominations, from September through 15 February.

International award committees expect levels of documentation in regional nominations to equal that of direct international nominations. International award committees may choose not to review nominations that lack sufficient documentation. 

Award committees expect you to provide a full and complete statement of your reasons for proposing your candidate for the award and details of your candidate's professional and industrial achievements supporting the award requirements in sufficient detail to enable to the committee to pass judgment on the candidate's worthiness to receive the award. You should provide:

  1. A completed nomination form containing:
    • A concise statement summarizing the candidate’s accomplishments that support the award requirements
    • Specific examples expounding on the candidate’s work that support the award requirements
  2. At least 1 individually composed letter of recommendation from colleagues in support of the nomination that include specific examples that support the award requirements. One letter is required. You may request up to 6. 
  3. A CV/resume will be requested from the candidate. They must respond for the nomination to be eligible. 

Concise, well-written nominations backed up by brief yet complete documentation that support the award requirements accompanied by personal letters from professional colleagues who endorse the nomination will help award committees. Incomplete nomination forms, insufficient documentation, excessive repetition, lack of specific examples that support the award requirements, and lists of every published document may cause the award committee to reject a nomination.

All regional awards require the candidate to be an SPE professional member in good standing in the region in which they are being nominated.  All but five international awards require the candidate to be an SPE professional member in good standing. The five exceptions that do not require SPE membership are: 

  • Honorary Member 
  • Anthony F. Lucas Gold Medal 
  • John Franklin Carll Award 
  • Charles F. Rand Memorial Gold Medal 
  • Robert Earll McConnell Award 

In the case of the Cedric K. Ferguson Medal and Certificate, the candidate author(s) must be an SPE member in good standing at both the time of peer approval and when the award is presented. The Ferguson Medal is the only SPE award that can be presented to a student member of SPE. 

  • Young Professional Service Award candidate must be SPE professional members in good standing under the age of 36 during the year the award will be presented.
  • The Ferguson Medal is presented to an author under the age of 36 at the time of peer approval and during the year the award is presented, and who is an SPE member in good standing both at the time of peer approval and when the award is presented.
  • The Lester C. Uren Award requires the candidate to have been under 45 years of age when the work being recognized by the award was completed.

There are no other age requirements for SPE International Awards.

No. The SPE Awards Program is for professional members. Candidates for awards requiring membership must be professional SPE members.

The exception is the Cedric K. Ferguson Medal. It is the only SPE award that can be presented to a student member of SPE.

Students can check with their chapter to learn about local awards available to student members of SPE.

Members of the committee judging the award and SPE Board of Directors are not eligible for SPE awards for the duration of and for 2 years after the expiration of their term of service, with the exception of the SPE president, who automatically becomes a Distinguished Member upon the completion of his or her term. 

An international candidate remains on the active consideration list for three years unless they receive the award or they no longer meet the award criteria. For example, a candidate for the Giovanni Paccaloni Young Professional Service Award may turn 36 during the 3-year cycle. In that case, they become ineligible. However; you can nominate the candidate for the SPE Public Service or Distinguished Service Award. 

If updated by the original nominator and meeting all eligibility requirements, regional winner nominations entering international consideration will remain active for three years. 

When the active consideration cycle expires, all material associated with the nomination expires, including letters of recommendation, updates and attachments. 

After a nomination expires at the end of the three-year cycle, you can renominate the candidate if they still meet the award criteria. 

No, nominees cannot have access to the nomination packet. SPE Award nomination materials are confidential. SPE staff can only provide a candidate’s name, the award, and the nominator’s name. SPE staff cannot release additional information about the nomination packet and cannot provide the list of endorsements. 

Award nominations are managed by the nominator and may be removed from the consideration only by the request of the nominator. Requests must be sent to SPE must receive your request during the annual call for nominations before the nomination deadline.  

Once judging begins, nominations cannot be removed. The candidate pools are fixed until the award recipients are announced after approval by the Regional Director or the Board of Directors. Each award nomination received by SPE is considered individually. If you request that a candidate's nomination be removed, only your nomination for that candidate will be removed.

An individual may receive each international award only once, with the exception of the Cedric K. Ferguson Certificate. It is presented to coauthors ,often faculty advisors of the main author, of papers  selected for the Ferguson Medal who are professional members in good standing over the age of 35, can be received more than once. Regional awards can be presented to the same candidate in the same region once every 5 years.

International Award Nomination Deadlines: All international award nominations must be submitted by 15 February. Attachments must be received within 10 days of the deadline. There are no extensions. 

Regional Award Nomination Deadlines: All regional award nominations must be submitted by 1 March. Attachments must be received within 10 days of the deadline. There are no extensions. 

You can make award nominations during the call for nominations by logging in to

You will need an SPE login to access the nomination form. Your login is the email address on your SPE member record, and your SPE password. You can use the login help link, or contact for assistance with your SPE login and password.

SPE international award committees consist of seven or more geographically diverse SPE members serving 3-year terms. The SPE President-elect annually appoints at least two committee members to each award committee. Committee members have an interest and expertise in the discipline recognized by the award and are distributed geographically and demographically as diverse as possible. 

Regional award committees are appointed by the Regional Director and are distributed from sections representing the full region. 

SPE recognizes members who maintain their membership for 25 years or more. These are not SPE Award Program recognitions. No nominations are necessary. The three length of membership distinctions are:

  • 25-year Club Member – Individuals with least 25 years of membership in SPE become 25-year Club Members. This select group of members is welcomed to visit with peers in the 25-year and Century Club Room during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. A member reaching this distinction also receives a 25-year membership certificate.
  • Senior Member – After 30 years of continuous membership with SPE and upon reaching the age of 65, a member is automatically considered a senior member. Senior members receive a 50% reduction in membership fees. A member who is retired at age 60 may submit a written request for senior member standing to SPE Customer Service at
  • Legion of Honor – After 50 years of continuous membership in SPE, a member is automatically inducted into the Legion of Honor. Legion of Honor members are exempt from SPE dues for life. They also receive a certificate in honor of their achievement, free registration for all SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibitions, and recognition in the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

You can direct questions about these honors to

All peer reviewed papers published in SPE technical journals with authors or coauthors who are SPE members under the age of 36 at the time of peer approval are identified by the corresponding author as candidates for the Ferguson medal.

SPE members ordinarily resident in a country embargoed or sanctioned by the United States government and European Union are not eligible to participate in the SPE Awards Program. More information on sanctions

International award recipients will be announced after approval by the SPE Board of Directors at the Summer Board meeting. Regional awards are announced by the Regional Director after approval and at their discretion. The list of International and Regional award recipients will be posted on and published in the Journal of Petroleum Technology.

International award recipients are presented with a certificate, plaque, or medal commemorating their achievement. They receive complimentary registration for the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) and tickets to the Annual Awards Banquet at which the award will be presented in front of their professional peers. 

Regional award recipients receive a trophy that is presented by the Regional Director at an appropriate regional meeting.