The answer to the title question will be found by considering the ultimateinfluence of the petroleum engineers on industry and by considering the toolswith which petroleum engineers must be equipped. Some 2000 to 3000 petroleumengineers are being absorbed by the industry yearly, indicating the magnitudeof influence which they may exert on the industry.
The petroleum industry is a highly technical one and it is inevitable thatmanagement be entrusted more and more to executives with technical training.The industry, therefore, expects the petroleum engineering schools to provide abroad basic training and a social and economic orientation which goes beyondmerely supplying the minimum technical qualifications necessary to dischargeresponsibilities for a particular job. Because of the many branches ofindustry, emphasis must be placed on the student's being trained infundamentals, as well as grounded in other engineering branches, such asmechanical, civil and electrical engineering. The petroleum engineeringgraduate must know how to outline and organize the material for an engineeringreport and should be thoroughly grounded in English, both written andspoken.
Even to the end that a five-year course may be required, they should receiveinstructions in auxiliary cultural and social science courses, industrialrelations, and public speaking. Training in the method of approach to anengineering problem is something in which industry is deeply interested. Astandard of ethics, a desire to arrive at the truth, and leadership trainingshould be stressed.
The basis of an answer to any question concerning the petroleum engineeringschools' responsibility to the industry will be found by considering theultimate influence of the petroleum engineers on the industry and byconsidering also the tools with which petroleum engineers must be equipped inorder to achieve success and happiness in the role in which their training, individual talents and choice of a profession ultimately will cast them. Theproblem must always be considered as it relates to a large group and not as itrelates to a particular individual possessing strong natural talents anddestined, by virtue of them, to pursue a certain course.
The question implies that petroleum engineering schools have a responsibility, and indeed they do, not only to the industry but also to the students and evento the public. Because the responsibility is concentrated in a relatively fewschools whose graduates are absorbed largely by the one industry, theresponsibility is more apparent and the effect of failure to discharge theresponsibility fully is more serious than the effect of similar failure on thepart of schools supplying a smaller portion of the industry's intake ofengineering graduates. This fact is especially true with respect to an industrysuch as the petroleum industry whose ratio of technical to nontechnicalemployees is relatively high and is increasing.