Capitalizing on Previous Success: Young Professionals Bring Innovation to the Gulf Coast Section

The Young Professionals (YP) Committee of the SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) was originally established in 2002 as the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The purpose of this program was to engage and develop individuals with less than 10 years of experience for future leadership roles within SPE. Since its establishment, the YP board has capitalized on lessons learned from very successful events such as PetroBowl, Roughneck Camp, the Emerging Engineers Conference (EEC), development, and networking events.

The number of SPE sections with YP committees is also growing rapidly with more than 50 in 2008. One of the visions of the GCS is to continue providing initiatives that can be adopted by other sections. Some of the new initiatives undertaken in 2008 include: the first YP Paper Contest, the use of the Magic Suitcase in community outreach activities, and a more effective strategy to raise funds for our events.

Attracting YPs to Write Technical Papers

The SPE GCS has invited YPs to submit abstracts for the first YP Paper Contest to take place during the 2008 EEC in Houston. The finalists will present their work in front of a panel of judges and 150 EEC attendees with the winner receiving a $500 cash award and the opportunity to submit their paper to the SPE eLibrary.  Companies are now engaging their younger staff into more challenging tasks very early in their careers. Particularly now, the YP community has the potential of creating and disseminating technical knowledge by writing and presenting the papers through SPE-sponsored events.

YPs Use Magic Suitcase for Community Outreach

Recently, YPs participated in Houston’s Girls Exploring Math and Science Event hosted at the Museum of Natural Science. This event hosted kids of all ages to participate in various activities dealing with math and science. Using the Magic Suitcase, a demonstration program developed by the SPE GCS, the YP volunteers talked to visitors about fossils and fossil fuels and described how crude is processed, produced and then used in various products. This demonstration was well received by visitors and teachers also asked for future demonstrations in their classrooms.

A More Effective and Encompassing Approach for Sponsorship Requests

The YP board introduced a new encompassing approach for sponsorship requests. Previously, the fundraising efforts were oriented to single events and companies were contacted more than once throughout the year. Currently, we are focusing our fundraising efforts on our two largest events (EEC and Roughneck Camp) by offering bundle sponsorship packages. Companies are now contacted once a year with more sponsorship options, involving various degrees of exposure and publicity. Thus, our fundraising efforts have surpassed $30,000, with several months remaining before our last conference.


Gulf Coast Section members from left, front row: Sofiri B. Hart, Tracy L. Jones, Kim Tran, Marjorie Nogueira, Manas Gupta, Sean O’Brien, and Kartik Ramachandran. Back row: Eric D. Detton, Hope R. Aures, Jasen Gast, Brian Arias, John R. Fenn Jr., Benjamin Shlyapobersky.


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