SPE 101

Are You Accountable?

Ken Leonard, Society of Petroleum Engineers

Some of the best advice I ever received came from a colleague who reminded me that each of us is accountable for our own professional development. It seems straightforward yet I have often observed talented professionals deferring to their employer on training rather than taking charge of their own destiny.

What have you done lately to further your career? And what does SPE offer that might help you on your journey?

A critical element of the SPE mission is to: “…provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence.” To do this, SPE offers a wide variety of services including cost-effective, hands-on training courses for all levels of professionals.

SPE training courses are instructor-developed—created by experts who present them under SPE auspices. Course lengths vary from one to five days and all petroleum engineering disciplines are represented. Topics range widely from shale gas development, enhanced oil recovery, water management, well design, and underbalanced drilling to risk management, reserves accounting, and engineering certification.

The SPE board of directors has endorsed a plan to significantly grow the program. This year we plan to deliver more than 60 courses and over the next year grow the program to more than 100 per year. These are offered across the globe in conjunction with SPE conferences as well as at our training centers in Calgary and Houston. In addition we hope to pilot several international courses, with possible candidate locations in Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, and Aberdeen.

You are accountable for your own professional development. Are ready to strengthen your technical skills or enhance your engineering knowledge? Check out an SPE training course. Visit our website at spe.org/go/trainingcourses for a complete listing of more than 55 courses. You owe it to yourself.


Ken Leonard is SPE’s Senior Manager, Global Training Programs. He joined the SPE staff in July 2010 after 6 years with Shell E&P and 32 years at the American Petroleum Institute.  Education has been the focus of his career, whether educating government officials on energy policy, working with fence-line neighbors on issues, or conducting workshops and training events for industry.