A new breed of engineering graduates from The University of Western Australia promises to lead the search, recovery and production of oil and gas into the future with 32 students having just completed the first full field-development course normally reserved for Shell Upstream technical staff.
It's the first time the internationally renowned Shell "Introduction to Upstream Business" course has been offered at an Australian university, and only the second time to a university anywhere in the world.
The specially selected high-achieving students are mentored by world leaders in the upstream sector, which includes the search for potential underground or underwater oil and gas fields, drilling exploratory wells and drilling and operating wells that bring oil and gas to the surface.
The initiative has been led by Winthrop Professor Eric May, from UWA's Centre for Energy.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for UWA students studying oil and gas, petroleum and process engineering to learn from the best in the industry," Professor May said. "With Western Australia's resources sector thriving, there are many opportunities for UWA students to apply this knowledge."
The course was delivered by senior Shell engineering consultants Marco Boersma and Edwanee Cheah bin Abdullah, who between them have trained more than 1500 technical professionals around the globe. The training exposes students to real scenarios, with feedback from Shell engineers.
"The program is designed to place Shell's young professionals on a steep learning curve to launch their Upstream careers," Mr Cheah bin Abdullah said. "UWA students showed they could equally handle the very large amount of industry information thrown at them with great results - the experience should give them a head start in the oil and gas business."
Student Daniel Agostinelli hopes to work as a project manager for a company such as Shell when he graduates at the end of next year.
"The course provided me with an excellent overview of how a large-scale oil and gas industry project unfolds, he said. "There was a lot to be learned from the experienced course facilitators, and I believe that this will be a major stepping-stone in my career progression."
UWA's Centre for Energy is a dedicated centre for world-class energy research and technology development. The Centre works closely with leading companies, institutions and government agencies, and UWA's Energy and Minerals Institute to improve gas-to-liquid, clean coal and biofuel technology, and to develop efficient and effective ways to minimise greenhouse gas (CO2) and other emissions.
Asst/Prof Brendan Graham (School of Mechanical & Chemical Engineering) (+61 8) 6488 8516
Shannon Hooper (Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics) (+61 8) 6488 3992
Michael Sinclair-Jones (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 00 700 783