“East Meets West” Congress Going Strong Despite Downturn

Students attend the annual paper contest on the second day of the “East Meets West” International Student Petroleum Congress and Career Expo in Kraków, Poland, in April.

The AGH University of Science and Technology Student Chapter held its sixth annual “East Meets West” International Student Petroleum Congress and Career Expo in Kraków, Poland, in April.

Despite the slump in oil prices, Mikołaj Rałowski, event organizer and graduate student, estimated that the attendance exceeded that of last year’s. “We hosted 130 students from all over the world during the congress, numerous industry representatives, and countless local attendees,” he said.

During the 3-day event at AGH, students from four continents and nearly 30 countries attended lectures, delivered presentations, participated in competitions, and socialized among themselves.

The first day opened with “Today and Tomorrow of the Oil and Gas Industry: Chances and Challenges,” a panel discussion that featured Jeff Spath, 2014 SPE president; Matthias Meister, SPE regional director for South, Central, and East Europe; and other members of the industry and academia. It attracted more than 400 people.

Schlumberger, ORLEN Upstream, MOL Group, Discovery Polska, and Poland Shale Coalition were present at the career expo, where students asked company representatives questions about employment and internship opportunities.

In addition to the annual student poster session and international paper contest, the congress introduced a PhD research session this year. Doctoral candidates from around the world presented their latest research findings to a crowded room.

“We have proved to ourselves that even with the budget under everyone’s expectations, we are able to create a worthwhile student congress with great panels, high-level research presentations, and lively networking,” said Rałowski.

Next year’s congress will feature more student competitions and the opportunity for attendees to participate in the professional debate, which has been limited to panelists in the past, Rałowski said. There are also plans to coordinate on-site job and internship interviews with visiting companies, he said.


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