On Saturday, November 22nd, the Engineering Affairs committee, in conjunction with the Student Engineers’ Council, hosted the Spark Conference. The purpose of this event was to expand on the curiosities of younger students and to hopefully ignite the spark of interest inside of them toward our industry.
A group of very diverse and enthusiastic high school and middle school students spent the day in Richardson learning about the fundamental concepts that drive the oil and gas industry through a design competition called, “ReservWars!” The students had three tasks: to design and built an ideal reservoir in terms of optimizing porosity, to design and build an ideal reservoir in terms of optimizing permeability, and to design a mechanism to clean up an oil spill from an array of household products. At the end of each task, the teams were scored and ranked. Several SPE members took the time to educate the students on the topics following each judging period.
By the time they left Richardson, the students were able to appreciate the foundational role of porosity and permeability, the properties of oil, the need for quick and effective ingenuity in the event of a disaster, the function of constraints in the design process, and the importance of enforcing safety regulations, most especially in this industry. Many of the competitors expressed a strong interest in pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry, and had a great time exploring the basics of oil and gas! This event will hopefully be hosted by SPE annually in the future, allowing SPE to continue inspiring future generations of Aggie Petroleum Engineers. A special thank you to Derek Hess and Han Park, the Engineering Affairs co-chairs, Michael Stolte, a committee member, and Nick Wiewiorowski, the Director of the Outreach Committee, for their help in planning and facilitating this successful event.