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Major success for Earth Science students

Posted on 26/03/2012

Professor Chris Elders with the five successful students

Five MSc Petroleum Geoscience students at Royal Holloway, University of London have won second place in a competition against 20 strong teams from universities across Europe.

Adam Cheng, James Cockerham, Rupert Davies, Luis Gomez Martinez and Brian O'Sullivan from the Department of Earth Sciences at Royal Holloway competed in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Barrel Award competition, held in Prague.

All the competitors were provided with different sets of data, similar to those used by geoscientists working in oil companies. The students were then tasked with spending eight weeks to evaluate the data, identify the potential for finding any additional oil or gas reserves in their given area and making a recommendation about whether there was investment potential.  

The students then presented their results to a panel of eight judges comprising of senior managers from a number of different oil companies including BP, Shell and Total.  

Our students narrowly lost out to The Institut Francais du Petrole who were crowned the winners but did walk away with a cheque for $2,500 for their second place position.

Dr Dave Waltham, Head of the Department of Earth Sciences, said: "This is a fantastic result and a tribute to the superb students we are able to attract here, as well as the hard work and dedication of the Petroleum Geoscience Teaching staff."

Professor Chris Elders added: “This competition is an excellent opportunity for the students to use the skills that they have acquired from the MSc programme, and to apply them in a situation that they will become very familiar with in their subsequent jobs.  Presenting their work to such eminent judges was a bit of an ordeal, but also a great way for them to get their names known and their talents recognised in the industry at an early stage in their careers."

Following the sad death of Earth Sciences student Kayleigh Sugar this month the students have decided to donate their prize money to a memorial fund that the department and students are setting up in her memory.


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