Young Professionals Volunteer at ATCE

This year, the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) was held in Dubai during 26–28 September. The Dubai World Trade Center was a place where students, graduates, young professionals (YPs), and experienced engineers from all over the world exchanged knowledge, innovative ideas, and futuristic technologies. Participants had the opportunity to connect with people from different organizations, countries, and cultures.

During each ATCE, several volunteering opportunities open up for young member events such as PetroBowl, International Student Paper Contest, Career Pathway Fair, and Energy4me workshops. Many YPs dedicated their time and extended their involvement in the Dubai conference to challenge themselves in new roles as moderators, speakers, judges, advisers, and teachers.

PetroBowl. Students representing sections from around the world participated in the PetroBowl championship. This year’s edition saw 36 teams competing and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro team emerged as the winner, becoming the first South American team to have won the championship.

International Student Paper Contest. Students presented the results of their research. The judges were from operators and service companies with different areas of expertise. Emphasis was placed on original ideas and good presentation skills. The best three candidates from undergraduate, master’s, and PhD divisions were recognized. Diversity of topics ensured that there was plenty to learn about the new breakthroughs in our industry. Moderators were wonderful in conducting the contest in an enthusiastic atmosphere.

Career Pathway Fair. This fair is usually dedicated to students and graduates, where they get to see and experience technological advancements. Experts from all walks of the energy industry volunteer their time at the day-long fair to share their domain knowledge, vision, and how they address challenges on a day-to-day basis by partnering with peers in the industry. This year saw a slight shift in the audience, and we met several professionals who had questions about careers in the oil and gas industry. This part of the event was less formal and helped students break the ice with experienced individuals working in different career paths.

Energy4Me. An Energy4Me session was dedicated for teachers and students from middle schools in Dubai. We, as YPs, had the opportunity to share our knowledge and experience with 30 teachers. The workshop was very interactive and full of energy. Next day, more than 250 students participated in the workshop (picture on top). Volunteers helped them perform experiments to gain fundamental understanding of concepts involved in the extraction and processing of oil and gas. These included experiments on sound waves, core sampling, pressure, porosity, and more. We hoped to have encouraged young minds to pursue bright careers in the oil and gas industry.  Mohammed Al Hamad, a YP, shared his experience as a research associate at Schlumberger. At the end of the day, the students visited the exhibition hall to see the field equipment.

A networking event called Young Members Reception was held to help students, recent graduates, and YPs connect with others from around the world. An interactive exercise was held for the participants with a prize at the end, which got everyone involved.

ATCE offered attendees opportunities to form new connections and revisit old ones, provided YPs with insights from industry leaders, guidance to students on their future steps, and as always brought the close-knit industry together.