New Awards Recognize Young Professionals at Local, Regional Levels

The demographics of the oil and gas industry clearly point out that a skilled pool of young professionals is the most precious asset companies must develop and preserve to succeed in the long term. This pool has to be attracted, retained, and motivated. A source of motivation is recognition. To boost today’s young professionals’ motivation, the YEPP Coordinating Committee has proposed several new SPE awards.

The awards will be given at three different levels (international, regional, and local) in two main categories (technical and professional/service). Currently, SPE gives two awards to young professionals: the Cedric K. Ferguson Medal (an international technical award) and the Young Member Outstanding Service Award (an international professional/service award).

The Regional Outstanding Young Member Award will recognize contributions and leadership to the public and the community, with respect to local custom, as well as to SPE, the profession of petroleum engineering, or the petroleum industry within the region. It is intended to encourage interests among the young members of the Society that are broader than the profession. The award will be presented on recommendation of a regional Outstanding Young Member Award Committee appointed by the Regional Director on the basis of nominations received from section leaders within the region. The candidate cannot be a previous winner of the International Young Member Outstanding Service Award, but by way of this nomination would be automatically under consideration for the Society award the following year if he/she still meets the age and award criteria. Each of the 14 SPE regions can grant one award.

The YEPP Coordinating Committee is developing the new awards to recognize outstanding contributions to SPE and the E&P industry on all levels. The committee is proposing that the awards be phased in first at the international, regional, and local levels. In 2006, in addition to the Ferguson Medal and Young Member Outstanding Service awards, honors will be given for Outstanding Young Member at the regional level and YEPP of the year at the local level.

The Young E&P Professional of the Year Award is aimed at recognizing individuals who exhibit excellence, proactiveness, and outstanding leadership skills in SPE activities at a local level. Potential candidates might include those individuals acting as current YEPP/Emerging Leader Program (ELP) Chairpersons. It is the responsibility of each local section board to identify the candidates and organize the award ceremony.

Currently, 22 SPE sections have ELP/YEPP initiatives. This means that there is now a huge opportunity for young professionals who are eager to start an ELP/YEPP chapter in their section to be recognized and obtain a significant visibility that will benefit their careers. In some of the most active local sections, YEPP of the Year Awards have already been given for 2005.

Despite the increasing number of possible awards, excellence is considered the necessary condition to be awarded. Please e-mail if you have any questions and visit for more information on each award.