Petroleum graduates make history

Thursday, 15 December 2005

The future appears bright for the first group of Petroleum Engineering students to graduate from the University of Adelaide.

The 15 students will graduate at 2.30pm this afternoon (THURSDAY), and are the first batch to graduate from the University's four-year Bachelor of Engineering (Petroleum) program that began in 2002. All 15 have already been offered jobs in the petroleum industry, both in Australia and around the world.

Acting Head of the University of Adelaide's Australian School of Petroleum (ASP), Professor Peter Dowd, says a number of factors contribute to the considerable success of the program in such a short space of time.

"The quality of the students who are graduating today has been very impressive, and I have no doubt that many of them will go on to make a significant impact on the petroleum industry during their careers," Professor Dowd says. "The staff at the ASP are all experienced international figures in the petroleum industry, and their teaching is of a very high standard."

"Our links with industry are also vital to the success of the program. Students are able to undertake work experience with many of the industry's biggest companies as part of their degree, and this experience not only enhances the skills they learn in the classroom but leads to employment outcomes."

The link between the University and industry is no better illustrated than by the involvement of one of Australia's biggest petroleum exploration and production companies, Santos.

In 1999 Santos contributed $25 million towards establishing what is now the Australian School of Petroleum, in a sponsorship believed to be one of the largest ever given to a public university in Australia.

"Santos supported the Australian School of Petroleum both for the benefit of the oil and gas industry as well as to give young people the opportunity to enter a dynamic industry that provides a diverse and exciting career path," says Santos Managing Director Mr John Ellice-Flint.

"We are delighted to see that these goals have been realised with the first group of students to graduate from the school. Many of the students have already been recruited by our industry, which is testament to the quality of the program and the graduates. Congratulations to the graduating students and to the University of Adelaide. "

Brendan Hughes, who will graduate today with first-class Honours, says the Petroleum Engineering degree will give him the opportunity to forge a career and travel.
"I've got a job as a junior reservoir engineer with Sarawak Shell Berhad in Malaysia which starts in early February, so I'm pretty excited about that," Brendan says. "It's a great opportunity for me to travel, which I want to do, and to put the skills I've learnt here into practice."

Fellow graduate Anne Taylor will take up a position with Origin Energy in Brisbane next year and describes her experience at Adelaide as an overwhelmingly positive one.

"I chose Petroleum Engineering because it's an organic, changing field - you could be faced with a lot of different situations and have to apply different bits of knowledge to solve them," she says. "The students all got on well together and we had to work really hard to get to the end, but I think it's been worth it."

International student Anson Abraham, who was born in India and has spent most of his life in Sharjah, says he chose to study at Adelaide ahead of universities in the US and Canada because of its facilities and staff. He will begin work with Schlumberger, another major industry partner of the ASP, in February next year.

"I found the facilities to be excellent," Anson says. "The staff were very cooperative and helpful, and the close relations the School has with industry helped me to apply what I had learned in the classroom."


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