Petroleum Engineering Alumni Newsletter - April 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

On March 20th, Penn State University hosted the regional SPE student paper contest for both undergraduate and graduate students.  In the past few years, TU has not participated in this contest.  However, this year, we received a good response from students and sent five students.  The students who participated are Ekarit Panacharoensawad (PhD), Yongfeng Kang (PhD), Duc Nguyen (MS), Shu Luo (MS), and Kyle Bonney (B.S.).  Duc Nguyen took second place in the MS division and Kyle Bonney took third place in the BS division.  I want to congratulate all five students for participating in this contest and representing TU well.  All of them told me that it was a good learning experience for them, and they enjoyed the hospitality of the Penn State SPE Student Chapter

TU’s College of Engineering & Natural Sciences held its 41st Annual Honors & Awards banquet on April 7th, where graduating seniors were recognized for their outstanding achievements.  Many students from the Petroleum Engineering department were recognized at this event - Saeed Al-Ahmari, Brett Blazer, Kyle Bonney, Phillip Bonney, Joe Hough, David Kita, Chew Chen Law, Joel Marshall, Josh McCartt, Adam Meeks, Whitney Schroeder, Anton Skopich, Damira Tursinbayeva, and Alex Zheng.  Special mention should be made of Kyle Bonney, Phillip Bonney and Brett Blazer, all of whom will be graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA.  You know how difficult it is to get a perfect GPA and, to my knowledge, this is the first time we are graduating three students with perfect GPA in the same year.  It is also worth mentioning that many of the other students in the group barely missed having a perfect GPA by only one or two courses.  Without question, the quality of our students has improved greatly in the last few years and the GPA of these students is a reflection of this.  I have spoken to our PE faculty and they all tell me that they have made the content of the course more challenging and that many students do really well in this environment.  Suffice it to say that we are providing you with better quality students who can become productive engineers. 

On a related note, I am also happy to say that the majority of students graduating this May have secured gainful employment.  This has been a tough year for any graduating class, and I can say that we are doing better than most PE schools.  To my knowledge, everyone who graduated in fall 2010 has secured a job, and less than 10% of the graduating seniors in May are still looking for a job.  I believe that this is due to strong alumni support and smaller classes which allow us to place the right students in the right environment.  This is not possible when the class sizes are large.

Alumnus of the Month

Born in Oslo, Norway, Dag O. Sanner graduated from TU with a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and a master’s degree in 1989, both in petroleum engineering. After graduation, Dag began his career with Phillips Petroleum Company in 1989 as a reservoir engineer and has served the company in USA, Norway, UK, Australia, Venezuela and Abu Dhabi.  He relocated to Perth, Australia in 1999 to work on Bayu Undan Field, a large gas/condensate discovery in the Timor Sea. He was named reservoir engineering director in 2003 and witnessed the Bayu Undan Field come on-stream in February 2004. He moved to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela late in 2005, seconded to Petrolera Ameriven. ConocoPhillips decided to pull out of Venezuela in May 2007 and Sanner relocated to Norway to take up the role as integration manager for the Ekofisk Field. He secured approval for the first subsea water injection project for ConocoPhillips Norway. Sanner is currently a Senior Vice President Development, ConocoPhillips. He is seconded to Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company Ltd., a joint Venture between ConocoPhillips and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company in the United Arab Emirates.  For more on Sanner please visit the Petroleum Engineering Alumnus of the Month – April 2010.  

Keep sending your comments.

Mohan Kelkar
Chairman and Williams Endowed Chair Professor

Petroleum Engineering Dept.