Competition Draws Students to HSE Conference

Students from Montana Tech won the inaugural Student Challenge at the 2015 SPE E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Conference–Americas held in Denver in March.

The contest, sponsored by ExxonMobil, pitted six teams of five students against one another. The conference was held 16–18 March, and the Student Challenge was on the second day. The competition was modeled after the PetroBowl held at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

The team from Montana Tech scored the most points to win the Student Challenge at the 2015 SPE E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Conference—Americas.


“The HSE Student Challenge pilot‎ enabled SPE to connect with a new group of environmental engineering students who were unfamiliar with SPE, and it provided an exciting, dynamic alternative to a traditional student paper competition,” said conference committee member Trey Shaffer.

Student teams from Oklahoma State University, Texas Tech University, Montana Tech, Colorado School of Mines, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Oklahoma squared off in three rounds of questions about the oil and gas industry. Each round consisted of two batteries of quick-answer questions separated by a series of questions requiring written answers. Montana Tech pulled ahead to earn the most points and victory. The members of the team each received iPads and were invited to sit on a discussion panel.

Students contemplate a question at the inaugural Student Challenge held at the 2015 SPE E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Conference–Americas.


At a movie night event, held in the evening after the Student Challenge, attendees watched “Energy’s Crossroad: Pinedale, Wyoming,” a film from the Rational Middle Energy Series. The students from the winning team then joined Jennifer Cross, sociology assistant professor at the Colorado State University, and Gregory Kallenberg, the director of the film, on a discussion panel. The students helped fuel discussion for more than an hour after the movie.


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