Education for the Petroleum Industry
- D.L. Flock (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Petroleum Society of Canada
- Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 1964
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 20 - 23
- 1964. Petroleum Society of Canada
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 7.5.4 University Curricula
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Since 1930, petroleum engineering educators have faced the problem of theeducation of engineers for the petroleum industry. An essential balance had tobe maintained between competing and, sometimes, conflicting elements of thiseducation. The basic sciences, the fundamentals of engineering, the humanitiesand the specialized petroleum engineering courses had to be constantlyevaluated and assigned their proper proportions in the whole programme.Naturally, the design of the early curricula reflected to a large extent thedominant interests of the petroleum industry during those years; but eventuallycoherent and homogeneous petroleum engineering curricula evolved.
For about a decade after World War II these programmes were favourablyreceived, both by the students and the petroleum industry. But recent atomicdevelopment and the changing needs of industry have resulted in decreasedinterest and decreased enrollment in the petroleum discipline. Educators mustkeep up with the times. Chance and innovation must be accepted; education forpetroleum engineers must not only bring itself up to date, but must, ifpossible, prepare for a constantly changing world. The solutions discussed inthis paper primarily revolve about what might be classed as the two-degreeplan. So far these ideas have been favourably received.
Since 1957, engineering enrollments in some Universities in North Americahave sharply decreased. The petroleum engineering student, in particular, isapparently becoming almost extinct. Can industry do without him? It appearsnot; he is still needed and will be needed needed in the future. But hisnumbers continue to dwindle, and the resulting problems of engineeringeducators and industry are still unsolved.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the problems of educators andindustry concerning this development and suggest a solution. Many men inindustry have no firsthand knowledge of the basic content of petroleumengineering curricula. The principle objectives and historical developments ofpetroleum engineering are reviewed in an attempt to define dearly theactivities of the petroleum engineer in the industry.
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