Continuing threats of possible global warming, environmental disasters, and public misperception have cast a dark shadow over the oil industry for many years. Combined with recent scandals within the energy industry, continual mergers and corporate restructurings, and escalating prices at the fuel pump, it is no wonder our industry has been dealt a black eye. Even with the negative perception, global demand for hydrocarbons continues to increase. In the March 2005 Journal of Petroleum Technology, 2005 SPE President Giovanni Paccaloni writes that for our industry to continue to fulfill the worldwide demand for hydrocarbons, we must have “an ample and permanent availability of skilled students choosing petroleum and energy as an extremely exciting and challenging career.” As Paccaloni points out in his article, industry professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the age gap in workforce demographics as more people retire and fewer students pursue petroleum engineering education.
The SPE Board of Directors will call on young professionals to assist in connecting more university students with the oil and gas industry in an effort to increase aware- ness of exciting opportunities that exist within the energy industry. To support this initiative, the SPE Board of Directors has approved the Ambassador Lecturer Pilot Program. Selected lecturers in Europe, Louisiana, and Texas will have the opportunity to speak to university students of SPE student chapters in these areas. A primary goal of the program is to revive interest among university students toward the energy industry and the career possibilities within it by providing a glimpse into cutting-edge technologies available to young professionals. In addition to showcasing various technologies and providing practical experiences to students, it is imperative that emerging industry leaders help shed a positive light on the energy industry by showing students that the industry is committed to providing energy to the world in a socially responsible and environmentally conscientious manner.
The Ambassador Lecturer program will provide young engineers an opportunity to impact the future of the oil and gas industry within a formalized SPE program. This pro- gram aims to present the vision of SPE and to provide an opportunity for students to hear a young engineer’s industry perspective. A formalized presentation program also offers a support structure encouraging young professionals to take an active leadership and volunteer role within SPE. In addition, the pilot program will provide participants an avenue for recognition by SPE, colleagues, and industry leaders.
The advantages of participating in the Ambassador Lecturer Program go beyond public recognition. It will provide participants with an opportunity to share experiences and skills gained through work, acquire leadership experience, and hone public speaking skills.
The YEPP Coordinating Committee is seeking nominees for the program in Europe, Louisiana, and Texas who have a desire to drive the petroleum industry forward by promoting continued, responsible growth in the industry, pro- viding ideas and comments, and sharing experiences with university students.
If you would like to learn more about making a contribution to the future of the petroleum industry and contribute to the success of fulfilling the world’s energy demands in a safe, responsible, and environmentally conscientious manner, please contact Susan Sexton at firstname.lastname@example.org.