Grreting from Dr. Ozkan

Grreting from Dr. Ozkan

PETROLEUM ENGINEERING

NEWSLETTER

VOL. 20, NO. 1 SEPTEMBER 2016

GREETINGS FROM DR. ERDAL OZKAN

PROFESSOR AND F.H. “MICK” MERELLI/CIMAREX ENERGY DISTINGUISHED DEPARTMENT HEAD CHAIR

It has been a difficult year

decline in our incoming class

for the oil industry. Petroleum

size this fall. If the predicted

Engineering departments

drop of 50-60% holds true

have had their fair share of

and continues for the next

the downturn. At Mines, we

three years, we will end up

have experienced a reduction

with half of our enrollment

in our financial support, drop

in the 2018-19 academic

in research funding, and, most

year, which will still be twice

importantly, some decline in

the size we had in 2009.

our student placement and

Moreover, if the predictions

internship statistics. However,

hold and the industry bounces

thanks to our strong industry

back by 2019, a new hiring

ties, dedicated faculty and

wave is also expected,

staff, and excellent alumni

which makes planning really

support, we withstood

challenging. To add to the

the impact of the industry

problem, in academia we

downturn and proceeded

do not have much flexibility

with projects to improve our strengths.

Dr. Ozkan presenting the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award to Jeff Olson to respond to industry cycles,

for the spring 2016 graduation. and it takes longer to see

the results of new initiatives.

As examples of our efforts to combat the adverse effects of the Particularly, being a state institution, it is difficult to put a cap

downturn, we offered six, two-day short courses to our seniors on our enrollment and, because CSM already accepts top

in the spring semester to enhance their knowledge, enrich students, no other screening criteria (such as grade barriers

their resumes, and improve their employment prospects. to advance in the curriculum) can effectively reduce the

Also, during the summer, we ran three in-campus externship student flux into Petroleum Engineering when the employment

programs for our students who could not secure an industry and salary statistics top the charts. As of mid-August, we did

internship. The five-week externship programs focused not have the final official statistics, but the surveys in April

on Enhanced Oil Recovery, Drilling and Production Data indicated that our final job placement would be over 50%,

Analytics, and Hydraulic Fracture Design and comprised of which was only a few percent below the campus averages

design projects based on industry provided data. Throughout for all disciplines.

the externships, students worked in teams, designed projects,

received training on processing and analyzing data, and My citing of the enrollment predictions is not to hide behind

learned new software. Most importantly, our externs had the statistics. On the contrary, our attitude has been to convert

opportunity to interact with industry experts - who graciously this crisis to an opportunity. To become less vulnerable to the

contributed to the success of the program - made presentations adverse effects of future industry cycles, we need to create

of their projects to professionals, and received invaluable practical and realistic solutions. We have started a curriculum

feedback. You can find more details about the short course revision process to ensure our graduates will be equipped

and externships programs in this newsletter.

with skills which are most up to date, highly desired, critical,

and essential for the industry under any market conditions. We

Contrary to intuitive expectations, our student numbers have will start some features of our new curriculum this academic

not changed considerably since the start of the downturn. year, with the goal of being fully implemented in the 2017-18

After two years of downturn, we are expecting a noticeable academic year.