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SPE Penn State Chosen to Host Regional Paper Contest

By On February 6, 2015 8:12 am


By: Adam Larson, Staff Writer, Shale Media Group
Edited By: Mindy Gattner, Editor, Shale Media Group

Anchored at the heart of the Marcellus Shale, State College, Pennsylvania is heavily involved in the shale oil and gas industry. The region is home to many top producers such as Rex Energy and Eclipse Resources. In addition to the industry centered in State College, Penn State University is known for its Petroleum and Natural Gas (PNG) Engineering Program.

Churning out graduates, the program places an emphasis on both a combination of relevant courses and active student involvement. Some of these relevant courses include applied reservoir engineering, drilling design and production engineering, reservoir modeling, and formation evaluation.

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Tied to these courses, a large number of PNG majors are involved with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Penn State Student Chapter. Under the umbrella of SPE International, the organization’s main purpose is to engage the future members of the petroleum and natural gas industries. “The Society has a long standing tradition of excellence; producing many professionals who go onto lead corporations large and small,” expressed Taylor Mattie, President, SPE Penn State and PNG senior.

png1As a part of the SPE International, regional paper contests are held annually. The annual paper contest gives undergraduate students, and M.S., and PhD candidates the opportunity to display and showcase their research, findings, and work related to petroleum engineering.

Currently, the Society recognizes 14 regions across the globe, which span to include: Africa, Asia Pacific, Canadian, Eastern North America, Europe, Gulf Coast North America, Middle East, Mid-Continent North America, Rocky Mountain North America, Russia and Caspian, Western North America, South America and Caribbean, South Asia, and Southwestern North America.

With these regions mapped out, Penn State has been chosen to host the 2015 Eastern North America paper contest. The region’s chapters include: Penn State University, Louisiana State University, Marietta College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Michigan Technological University, University of Louisiana At Lafayette, Ohio State University, Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Nicholls State University, University of Pittsburgh, West Virginia University, and Zane State College.

“The SPE Student Paper Contest is an annual traditional and is hosted by a different university’s student chapter each year,” conveyed Tyler Stom, Events Coordinator, SPE Penn State and PNG senior. “The contest gives students from all over the United States and internationally an opportunity to present their work at the highest level of student based academia.”

All housed in State College, Penn State’s internal paper contest will take place on March 20, 2015, while the regional contest is scheduled for April 26, 2015. After the students submit a paper to their regional contest and compete in the contest, SPE will send the winners of each region to the International Student Paper Contest held at SPE’s Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). This year’s ATCE will be held in Houston, Texas.

Through a panel, the students are judged based on a range of topics, including subject matter, delivery, and clarity of communication. Stom reinforced the gist of the contest by stating, “All students have a forum to present and compete against their peers. Winning at the SPE annual student paper contest is a huge achievement and is recognized as such throughout the industry.”

In addition to hosting the 2015 Eastern North America paper contest, SPE Penn State has a number of activities and events slated for the upcoming months. The chapter is hosting their 10th annual industry Golf Tournament on April 25, 2015. The golf outing consists of 60 industry professionals and 60 members paired together in a four-man scramble at the Toftrees Country Club in State College, PA.

Penn State Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Students at an EQT Rig Tour hosted by SPE Penn State.

Penn State Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Students at an EQT Rig Tour hosted by SPE Penn State.

The outing is an opportunity for industry experts to share experience and knowledge with the young students looking to enter the oil and gas workforce. SPE Penn State is still looking for companies to sponsor the event – click here to learn more.

All in all, SPE Penn State’s 2015 calendar is shaping up to surge the shale oil and gas industry with informative networking opportunities. Get involved and click here to learn more about SPE Penn State’s events. Also, the chapter is always looking for guest speakers to present at monthly membership meetings – click here to learn more.


Shale Media Group (SMG) is the news, information, and education resource dedicated to the shale oil and gas industries by messaging across video, Internet, publications, events, and radio. For more, check out ShaleMediaGroup.com to access all platforms, including SMG’s latest news delivery system–Shale Energy Business Briefing (SEBB), an ad-free subscription based service, where subscribers receive a real-time, daily email, featuring concise, hard hitting shale news 7 days/week, 365 days/year. To sign up, go to sebb.us. Adam Larson is a Staff Writer with Shale Media Group. Contact him at ALarson@ShaleMediaGroup.com.