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Gift-in-kind to bring industry-leading technology to OHIO classrooms

Published: August 20, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Students in Ohio University’s geological sciences department will have access to state-of-the-art software that will give them a competitive edge in a growing field, thanks to a gift-in-kind from the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production, and processing to the oil and gas industry.  

Schlumberger Technology Corporation is providing OHIO’s Department of Geological Sciences with access to its industry-leading Petrel* E&P software platform, a gift-in-kind to The Ohio University Foundation valued at more than $8.8 million. The software integrates data and workflows, comprehensively connecting companies involved in oil and gas discovery, recovery and production operations worldwide with a goal of improving the efficiency and safety of those processes.

“The monetary value of this generous gift from Schlumberger is significant, but the opportunities it will provide to our students, our faculty and our research are priceless,” said Nico Karagosian, vice president of University Advancement and president and CEO of The Ohio University Foundation. “In allowing our students and faculty to train on the same software used worldwide in the oil and gas industry, Schlumberger is collaborating with Ohio University to bridge the gap between theory and practice and positioning our graduates to become global leaders in a growing energy field.”

Drs. Xizhen Schenk and Gregory Springer, faculty members in the Department of Geological Sciences, applied for the grant for the software, noting the importance of research and real-world application of classroom instruction in educating today’s geoscientists and allied professionals.

“This software will give faculty and students the ability to explore conceptual and practical topics that were previously unavailable to us,” said Dr. Springer, an associate professor and chair of the geological sciences department. “There are often too few resources available for software purchases. The donation from Schlumberger Technology Corporation will greatly benefit students by giving them experience with industry-current software. This will not only help their education and research, but also their marketability once they graduate.”

Dr. Schenk, an assistant professor of geological sciences, said instruction on and use of the software will be integrated into the department’s Geodata Analysis course taken by undergraduates and graduate students. The course will also be a part of the curriculum for the department’s new MS Online in Geological Sciences (Non-Thesis) Degree Program. Designed for working professionals, this new degree program will debut in the fall of 2020.

“The mission of the program is to enhance our graduates’ marketability as the next generation of practicing geoscientists or earth science educators by incorporating the most forefront technologies in the industry into our students’ education,” said Dr. Schenk. 

In adding the Petrel platform to its curriculum, the Department of Geological Sciences is building on its strong student experience committed to developing well-prepared geologists poised to help solve problems related to energy, resources and the environment. Geological sciences students already benefit from a combination of classroom instruction, lab work and experiential learning opportunities that include field trips and a capstone field course.

Ohio University alumnus Patrick Jackson, BS ’81, MS ’83, is an exploration manager for Shell and knows the importance of the Schlumberger software in the energy industry. 

“My explorers use this software in our pursuit of exploration discoveries in the deep water Gulf of Mexico,” Jackson, who also chairs the Department of Geological Sciences’ Alumni Advisory Board, said. “The Department of Geological Sciences now has a great tool for developing the next generation of geoscientists.”

“Having industry recognize education as beneficial to students and their industry gives the department confidence in our direction and additional tools to develop important skills in our students,” said Dr. Springer. “It also means Ohio University is being recognized as a valuable player in the education of geologists, many of whom will go on to contribute to this country’s economic growth.”

Karagosian added that this collaboration between Ohio University and Schlumberger Technology Corporation reaffirms the University’s strategic commitment to and investment in initiatives designed to build a corporate engagement ecosystem that creates win-wins for OHIO and its private partners. 

“In providing our students the technical know-how and critical thinking skills needed in high-demand fields, Ohio University and our partners are preparing our graduates to hit the ground running on day one,” Karagosian said.

Schlumberger is the world’s leading provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing to the oil and gas industry, supplying its products and services in more than 120 countries.