Conversations: Globalizing SPE Awards
- Behrooz Fattahi (2010 SPE President)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 12 - 13
- 2009. 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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As I write this, we have just completed our Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. A highlight of this event is always the presentation of international awards to our members for their technical and professional contributions.
SPE’s international awards recognize the outstanding achievements of members who have given outstanding levels of technical knowledge, time, energy and expertise to SPE and to advancing the industry. These awards are particularly prestigious and meaningful because they are conferred by peers. As SPE has grown globally, we have made special efforts to ensure that the awards program engages our worldwide membership. Yet we know that many deserving individuals have not yet been recognized for their work. Although we have seen significant increases in the geographic diversity of the award recipients since 2001, we know we can and must do more to publicize our awards program to nurture global participation. A good start is to ensure that members understand the nomination and selection process.
The timing of this column is fortunate, since nominations for the 2010 awards are due no later than 15 February.
I’d like to discuss three important points about our awards program:
- How SPE goes about selecting award recipients
- What you can do to prepare a nomination that will most effectively present the accomplishments of your colleague to the selection committee
- What SPE is doing to improve the awards process
Award Selection Process
The selection of the SPE international award winners requires a huge volunteer effort. First, our members must step up to nominate their peers. These nominations are reviewed by the respective awards committees (15 of them!), made up of members from throughout the world who have the technical or professional qualifications relevant for the particular award. In 2009, 50% of award committee members were from outside the US, reflecting the makeup of our membership. Each award committee operates independently of the others, and does not know the geographic locations of the recipients selected by other committees. Each committee makes its selection only on the basis of the nominations received for its award. The committees are charged with identifying the most qualified recipient from among the nominations received. We do not have a quota system based on regions.
To further increase the number of international candidates, SPE expanded its regional awards in 2006 to include technical awards and additional service awards. The regional award recipients are automatically added to the nominations for the comparable international awards in the following year. The geographic distribution of the recipients changes from year to year, depending on the number of nominations submitted from around the world and the quality of the nomination information.
Note that, above, I said that committees select award winners from among the nominations received. So, first you have to nominate somebody. That leads to my second point: preparing an effective nomination is essential.
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