TWA Student Chapter Spotlight: Texas A&M University, US


[Image courtesy: Texas A&M University. ]

The new collaborative series between TWA and SPE Student Chapters, “TWA Student Chapter Spotlight,” aims to feature award-winning SPE student chapters from around the world throughout the year. Each article in the series will spotlight a student chapter and share its successes, challenges, and innovative practices. 

As one of the oldest and largest student chapters in the world, the Texas A&M University SPE Student Chapter (TAMU-SPE) continues to provide students with unparalleled opportunities to gain professional and technical competence.

TAMU-SPE had a successful 2018–2019 academic year and will be awarded with the Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Chapter at the upcoming 2019 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Calgary. With 916 members and access to the resources of one of the largest universities in the US, TAMU-SPE assists in complementing the quality of a Texas A&M education with many opportunities, including professional and technical development, philanthropy, mentorship, and community service.

During the 2018–2019 academic year, TAMU-­SPE provided with an immersive understanding of the energy industry through a broad offering of technical events. The TAMU-­SPE Executive Series provided students with a glimpse into the career paths of current industry leaders. Our inaugural Sophomore Retreat allowed incoming sophomores in petroleum engineering to learn about networking, soft skills, industry needs, and academic expectations from experienced upper-classmen, professors, and industry volunteers.

TAMU-SPE also embodies the Aggie core values of leadership and selfless service through the Outreach and Philanthropy committee programs, which have impacted more than 2,000 K­-12 students and surpassed previous fundraising efforts for our local charities.

We hosted 117 events in the 2018­-2019 year, with the combined contributions of 143 persons in chapter leadership, committee leadership, and committee/TAMU-SPE member contributions.

Professional Development Events

A wide range of technical development events were conducted, including the following:

  • Nine R&D Series Seminars on EOR, petrophysics, completions, and machine-­learning, and other topics 
  • Two R&D Series Panels on fiber optics and hydraulic fracturing 
  • Six R&D Workshops on technical writing, multistage completions, and other technical topics
  • Two SPE Distinguished Lecturers: Gary Teletzke on CO2 Management and Karen Olson on Water Management 
  • Two cross-university Seminars by Kenji Furui  from Waseda University and Mark Zoback from Stanford University 

The consensus for the “Best Technical Event of the Past Year" was the R&D Workshop Series—in particular, the workshop on SPEE Monographs 3 and 4 was cited as the single best technical event. These monographs are used to estimate reserves and predict well performance for wells in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. The event was heavily attended and extremely well-received. The presenter spent the full day in the workshop and provided copious materials, including hard­bound texts of the monograph, all of which were sponsored by the presenter's company DeGolyer and MacNaughton. The specific impact of this event was immediate as these materials are heavily used by senior students in their capstone design and analysis courses. 

The TAMU-SPE Career Enhancement Event aka "petroleum engineering job fair" continues to serve as the most popular career event offered by the chapter for both students and industry partners. The CEE is a student-run event organized by TAMU-SPE to provide members and company recruiters a forum to discuss internship and full-time employment opportunities. The event typically hosts an array of corporations (operators, service companies, investment banks, and other energy-related companies) to help students assess and pursue employment opportunities in multiple sectors of the energy industry.

The Fall 2018 CEE hosted 416 students from multiple disciplines with majority of students coming from petroleum engineering, and 104 recruiters and industry personnel from 31 companies. The event serves as a conduit for students to network as well as directly engage with a wide variety of employment opportunities. To magnify the impact, the chapter organized several preparatory events through multiple planning committees such as Sophomore Retreat, Resume Workshop, and Mock Interview program.

At the 2018 TAMU-SPE Career Enhancement Event. Source: TAMU-SPE.

Supporting Freshmen and Sophomores

One of our popular, "home-grown" initiatives to support the professional development of younger members, the TAMU-SPE Student Mentorship Program pairs freshman and sophomore students with upperclassmen who have excelled in academia and who have completed an internship. Mentors provide guidance on writing résumés, navigating the career fair, and internship success, as well as guidance on academics. Since beginning the mentorship program, the percentage of freshmen and sophomores successfully obtaining internships has steadily increased.

TAMU-SPE hosts the annual Doug Von Gonten Golf Tournament to raise funds for the DVG Petroleum Engineering Endowed Department Scholarship.  From this year's tournament, the chapter donated $20,000 to the scholarship fund, which benefits petroleum engineering students.

Contributing to Community Causes

TAMU-SPE members participated in 13 philanthropic events that support our local communities, some of which include SPE Cares School Supply Drive; Aggie Replant; and TAMU Big Event, where chapter volunteers participated in the largest one-day, student-­run service project in the nation to maintain and clean up homes in local communities.

In 2019, TAMU-SPE coordinated a new event called the "Mind Unwind 5K" race involving students, local industry partners, and community members to raise funds for the local United Way, an organization that provides health support, education, and financial stability of community members.

Engaging With Gen Z

The TAMU-SPE Outreach Committee introduced aspects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields to K-­12 students and university freshmen by attending STEM and Energy Education Fairs, hosting petroleum engineering freshman seminars, visiting local elementary and high schools on multiple occasions, and facilitating a design competition. At primary education events, local students participated in interactive demonstrations, such as conceptual displays of porosity and permeability.

A classroom presentation by TAMU-SPE membersintroducing petroleum engineering to school students. Source: TAMU-SPE.

The student activities also included showcasing a functioning pump-jack model and a drill bit model that were 3D-printed. A live demonstration of an operational pump­jack at Texas A&M University for a group of high school students interested in the oil and gas industry was also held.


Steven Winn is the president of the Texas A&M University SPE Student Chapter. He is currently pursuing a BS in petroleum engineering and a certificate in Holistic Engineering Leadership at Texas A&M University. After graduating in May of 2020, Winn plans to begin full-time work at EOG Resources in their San Antonio Division.


The article was sourced from the author by TWA editor Yogashri Pradhan.