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SPE Awards FAQs

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Professional members can nominate colleagues online to recognize their professional, technical, and/or service accomplishments.

We recommend that the nominator take time to consider the accomplishments of the candidate and determine if the candidate is a better fit for a regional award, or an international award. Next, we recommend that the nominator review the eligibility requirements for each available award to determine where the candidate has the best chance of being selected as an award recipient.

Program Overview

  • Self nominations are not accepted.
  • Students cannot be nominated.
  • The nominator is responsible for submitting the nomination by the posted deadline.
  • Each nomination must be accompanied by a minimum of one letter of support (we recommend the maximum of six). In addition, the candidate is responsible for uploading their CV/Resume or LinkedIn profile. If the minimum of one letter of support is not uploaded, and/or the CV/Resume or LinkedIn profile is not provided by the posted deadline, the nomination will not qualify to be moved forward into the judging rounds.
  • Judging rounds will begin in February of each calendar year.
  • Judging committees are comprised of SPE members.


  • Each region will accept nominations for candidates within that region. The nominator does not have to reside in the same region.
  • Regional nominations remain in the candidate pool for one year. Candidates must be re-nominated each year.
  • With the approval of the regional director, regional award recipients can transition into the international level of competition for the award equivalent. They will remain in the candidate pool for three additional years. The nominator should not submit a new nomination for said candidate.
  • Award judging committees are appointed by SPE Regional Directors.
  • Nominations undergo one round of judging.
  • The regional director us ultimately responsible for approving the recommendations of the judging committee(s).
  • Award recipients are posted on and in JPT online.
  • Award recipients are awarded at local/regional events.


  • 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.
  • International nominations remain in the candidate pool for three years unless the candidate is selected as an award recipient. The nominator should not submit a new nomination each year; however, they may log in and update/revise the existing nomination.
  • Award judging committees are appointed by the incoming SPE President.
  • Nominations undergo three rounds of judging.
  • The SPE Board of Directors is ultimately responsible for approving the recommendations of the judging committees.
  • Award recipients are posted on and in JPT online.
  • Award recipients are awarded at the ATCE Annual Awards Banquet each year at ATCE.

Below, you will find tips and best practices to help ensure your candidate will stand out in a very competitive pool.

  • SPE Awards are very competitive at both the regional and international levels. Each year, our award committees review many excellent candidates from around the globe, recognizing diversities represented in SPE membership. Preparing an effective nomination is the key to presenting the accomplishments of a candidate to the award judges.
  • Your nomination is your one opportunity to communicate with the judges – take advantage to help ensure they have all of the information needed to increase your candidates' odds of being selected.
  • Candidates must be nominated by a colleague. Self-nominations are not permitted. Students are not eligible.
  • Start early and pay attention to nomination deadlines – International, 15 February; Regional, 1 March.
  • Select the category most appropriate for your candidate (regional or international).
  • View eligibility requirements and select the award most appropriate for your candidate.
  • Compose summarized statement or citation explaining why candidate should receive the award. This single sentence should summarize candidates’ qualifications and how they apply to award criteria.
  • Provide specific examples of candidates’ work supporting award criteria.
  • Keep in mind, judges may not know your candidate. Your role as nominator is to produce an effective nomination – ‘painting a picture’ of your candidate and their technical and/or service accomplishments.
  • Nominators must manage the nomination throughout the process, ensuring required documents are uploaded by posted deadlines so candidate can move into judging rounds.
  • Make sure the presentation is easy on the eyes. If English is not your first language, consider asking a colleague for assistance. Check spelling and grammar.
    • Justification should contain detail containing candidates’ worthiness.
    • List award criteria and provide specific examples of candidates’ work that applies to each criterion.
    • Provide measurable results. Is it a “game changer?” How?
    • Explain if/how candidates work has influenced SPE.
    • Provide details regarding the originality of candidates work and its impact.
  • To be moved into the first round of judging, your nomination will require your candidate to upload their CV/Resume or LinkedIn profile. Once you have submitted your nomination, the candidate will automatically receive an email requesting this information.
  • To be moved into the first round of judging, your nomination must include at least one (we recommend the maximum of six) letters of support. When submitting your nomination, you will be given the opportunity to invite contributors to provide said letters. Once you have listed your contributors in your nomination, each will receive an automated email requesting their letter of support. We recommend that the nominator reaches out to the contributors prior to submitting the nomination. This allows the nominator the opportunity to advise the contributor of what is expected and to provide tips about how to submit an effective letter of support.
  • Remember – the more effectively written your letters of support are, the better chances your candidate will have of receiving an award. When determining who your contributors will be, consider asking well known, highly regarded people such as industry experts, past award winners, past board members, etc., but make sure the endorser is familiar with the candidate’s work. Provide your contributors with the following examples of letters of support: Letters of support should:
    • Include brief introduction and discuss relationship between writer and candidate.
    • Address specific examples of candidates work that meets award criteria. “Because he/she is a great engineer” must be followed by concrete evidence of why.
    • Letters copied from other sources may not do justice. Discourage multiple identical endorsements from colleagues.
  • SPE Awards are presented to individuals based on merit. Content of nomination should be driven by evidence of achievements of candidate. Judges seek concrete evidence and measurable results of candidate achievements. Thorough, well documented nominations enable judges to assess the candidate based on their merits. No special consideration is given to diversity factors.
  • Save a copy of your nomination, the CV/Resume, and all supporting letters for your records.
  • A completed nomination will consist of:
    • Nomination with required fields completed.
    • Uploaded letters of support (minimum of one, maximum of six).
    • The candidate’s CV/Resume (to be uploaded by candidate).
  • SPE allows an extra ten days past the posted nomination deadlines for the candidate to upload their CV/Resume and/or LinkedIn profile and for contributors to upload letters of support.

An international nomination remains active 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 that same candidate for the SPE Public Service or Distinguished Service Award.

If a regional award recipient is approved to be considered at the international level, their nomination will automatically be transferred to the international candidate pool where it will remain for three years.

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

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

Yes; however, it is recommended that you carefully consider the award requirements and the scope of the candidate’s achievements, and then nominate the candidate for the more appropriate award.

The annual call for nominations begins in September each year.

International Deadlines

  • 15 February – Nominations
  • 20 February – Attachments (CV/Resume, Letters of Support)

Regional Deadlines

  • 1 March – Nominations
  • 10 March – Attachments (CV/Resume, Letters of Support)

These are hard deadlines and SPE is unable to grant extensions.

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.

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.

No, new nominations are not necessary. Regional award recipients will automatically be moved into the international candidate pool.

Nominators are contacted to update the nomination. We strongly recommend that nominators update these nominations to make them more competitive for the international level of competition.

International award committees may choose not to review nominations that lack sufficient documentation.

A quality nomination which includes:

  • a concise statement including specific examples summarizing the candidate’s accomplishments that support the award requirements.
  • at least one well written letter of support (we recommend the maximum of six) from a colleague or colleagues. The quality of these letters matters. We recommend reaching out to your contributors prior to submitting a nomination to make them aware of their responsibility and of the deadline.
  • a CV/resume that will be requested from the candidate.

Note: If your supporters do not upload their letters of support, or your candidate fails to upload their CV/Resume or LinkedIn profile, the nomination will not move forward into the judging rounds.

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. 

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 any particular award judging committee cannot be nominated for the award in which they are judging. In addition, they cannot be nominated for that same award for a period of two full calendar years.

SPE Board of Directors are not eligible for SPE awards for the duration of their term on the board, and for two full calendar years after the expiration of their term of service.

Exception - The SPE president automatically becomes a Distinguished Member upon the completion of their term.

No, nominees may not access the contents of 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.


Each international award may be received only once. Exception – The Cedric K. Ferguson Certificate, which is presented to co-authors.


Regional awards can be presented to the same candidate in the same region once every 5 years.

SPE international award committees consist of seven or more geographically diverse SPE members serving three-year terms. The SPE President-elect annually appoints 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.

No, these awards have special requirements that prohibit nominations from general SPE members.

Stephen A. Holditch Award
Only members of the Board of Directors may nominate a candidate for the Holditch Award. If a member is interested in nominating a candidate for this award, they must communicate this desire with a member of the SPE BoD. The board member will then determine if they wish to proceed with the nomination.

Cedric K. Ferguson Award
All peer reviewed papers published in SPE technical journals with primary authors who are SPE members under the age of 36 at the time of peer approval are identified as candidates for the Ferguson award.

Rossiter Raymond Award
Award recipients of the Cedric K. Ferguson Award from a four-year period will compete for the Rossiter Raymond Award in the fourth year.

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.

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International award recipients will be announced after approval by the SPE Board of Directors at the Summer Board meeting (typically June – August).

Regional awards are announced by the Regional Director after approval and at their discretion (typically June – August).

International and Regional award recipients will be posted on and published in the Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT) online (approximately June – August).

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

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

  • You – you cannot nominate yourself
  • Student members
  • SPE Board of Directors
  • An award committee judge/member for the award in which they are actively judging, and for two calendar years following the end of their term on the judging committee.
  • Honorary Members
  • Members ordinarily residents in countries sanctioned by the US and EU.