Stand Tall and Speak Up: Let's Make Championing Our Industry's Image a Personal Mission
- Eve S. Sprunt (2006 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- August 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 14
- 2006. Copyright is retained by the author. This document is distributed by SPE with the permission of the author. Contact the author for permission to use material from this document.
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- 22 since 2007
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SPE is about you, the individual member. Over the last year, I have written a lot about how different aspects of industry image impact our industry’s ability to operate. Now, let’s make this personal and look at how industry image affects us as individuals and what each of us can do.
My daughter is now 25 years old. Recently, she reminisced about how, when she was 9 years old and in the fourth grade, I had visited her class to talk about my work. I was pleased that the visit had created such a strong positive memory. For my visit, I borrowed an SPE Magic Suitcase, which holds simple equipment to demonstrate the fundamentals of porosity, permeability in sand, oil sources and traps, and gas- and waterdrives (www.spe.org/web/suitcase/default.html). One demonstration that I thought these 9- and 10-year-olds would understand illustrated the concept of porosity. You can put it together yourself, using an empty container, granular material such as sand, beads, or marbles, and a container with water. Show the children the empty container. Then fill the container with granular material and ask them if it is now full. Then show them how you can add water to the “full” container. I also talked to them about what I enjoyed about my work.
Your section may have a Magic Suitcase that you can borrow. The Aberdeen Section has an active program using the Magic Suitcase to encourage children to take interest in science and engineering and to promote the oil and gas industry to educators and students at school career events. A slide show that is part of the Magic Suitcase materials is available at SPE.org. We are currently developing new pre-packaged presentation kits that our members can use in classroom visits or with civic groups. We want to make it easy to provide information to today’s students about the importance of energy in our everyday lives and about the outstanding career opportunities for young people in our industry.
Talking with your children, other family members, and friends is a good way to start working on improving our industry’s image. It also has the benefit of helping them better understand your personal role.
For the last couple of years, in conjunction with my job managing research in alternative energy, I’ve circulated news tidbits on alternative energy technologies within Chevron. One of my colleagues told me that he had shared some of this information with his daughter, a doctor in San Francisco, who works with the homeless and, with her friends, has modified a minivan to run on used vegetable oil. His daughter had previously chided him about his choice of occupation. However, he shared with her information on energy alternatives and convinced her that Chevron was serious about considering alternatives, thereby making her more favorably disposed towards his employer. This illustrates how little things can make a difference. My friend was pleased that just a small amount of information had made a difference in his relationship with his daughter.
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