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The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering hosted its annual student paper contest this year at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. The objective of the contest is to assist students in developing proficiency in presenting technical papers or research projects, both orally and visually, before a panel of experts.

Over 400 students ranging from juniors to doctoral level in petroleum engineering competed this year. The students gave 10 to 15 minute technical presentations throughout the day on Jan. 27 before judges from industry. The run-off competition on Feb. 3 brought the contest to completion by naming the top three winners in each of the four divisions—junior, senior, master’s and doctoral. 

2018 SPC junior winners

Junior winners (left to right in photo): Joshua Becan in first place, Magy Avedissian in second place and Megan Croy in third place.

2018 SPC senior winners

Senior winners (left to right in photo): Miranda Jones in first place, Claire Fiorenzi in second place and Madison Jackson in third place.

2018 SPC masters winners

Master’s winners (left to right in photo): Tian Liu in first place, Romain Lemoine in second place and Austin Lim in third place.

2018 SPC doctoral winners

Doctoral winners (left to right in photo): Sheng Luo in first place, Rongqiang Chen in second place and Mehrdad Alfi in third place.

This time-honored event, over four decades old, has grown significantly in both the number of students participating, as well as industry support and sponsorship. Former students and personnel from companies that hire Aggie petroleum engineers volunteer their time and funding, saying they consider this contest to be one of the most important professional development opportunities the department provides its students.

First and second-place winners from the senior, master’s and doctoral divisions will advance to the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Gulf Coast North America Regional competition in Houston on March 31. 

There are 14 regional student paper contests held globally and coordinated by SPE. At the contests, undergraduate, master’s and doctoral-level students compete against other students from their region for the opportunity to move on to the 2018 International Student Paper Contest, which is scheduled to take place during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition this fall.

Texas A&M petroleum engineering students have an outstanding record of winning in both the regional and international contests.  Since 1993, Texas A&M students have placed first at the regional contest 14 times in the undergraduate level, 14 times in the master’s level and 15 times in the doctoral level.  Since 1999, Texas A&M students have placed first at the international contest three times in the undergraduate level, three times in the master’s level and three times in the doctoral level.