US Universities Expand CCUS Education

Undergraduate and graduate students interested in CCUS have the opportunity to choose from several universities’ expanded program offerings.

Young man eagerly raises hand in class
Several universities across the US are keeping up with the latest oil and gas industry advancements by expanding their course offerings focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS).
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Several universities across the US are keeping up with the latest oil and gas industry advancements by expanding their course offerings focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). Louisiana State University, University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, and the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) are among those to offer CCUS undergraduate courses or concentrations. Colorado School of Mines are also expanding their offerings to the graduate student population for students interested in earning a certificate in CCUS.

LSU’s Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering made history last fall as it became the first in the country to offer a formal concentration in CCUS, according to the school. The concentration includes courses such as the fundamentals of CCUS, underground geological storage, natural gas engineering, and geology or geophysics. The program currently has 17 students, 4 of whom are expected to graduate in May. Students are expected to complete 17 credit hours in the program. LSU also offers elective courses to prepare students for working in the industry including oil and gas production from shales, advanced drilling engineering, and data analytics.

“Because Louisiana is one of the prime locations in the world to perform industrial-scale CCUS, many of our existing corporate partners have expressed interest in collaborations with LSU related to CCUS research and education,” said Karsten Thompson, chair and professor in the LSU Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering, in a press release.

“[Students] can join a low-carbon solutions or CCS unit of a company and hit the ground running. We have talked to our recent grads who have moved into those units, and they emphasize how much they have had to learn about topics such as geochemistry, monitoring, and economics of the CCS operations. The classes in our concentration will give future students an excellent head start.”

Students at OU’s Mewbourne School of Petroleum & Geological Engineering will have the opportunity to earn a BS in geoenergy engineering, as part of the university’s new major this fall. The curricula includes courses on topics such as geothermal energy, drilling and well construction, energy resource economics, and CCUS. “This forward-thinking degree will be a broad launchpad for the 21st century, preparing students to pursue any number of careers in traditional or renewable subsurface energy,” the university shared in a press release.

Texas A&M’s Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering will also offer a CCUS course this fall.

CCUS continues to spread throughout the Lone Star State as UT-Austin expands its offerings to students with a new elective course available to both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as upperclassmen in other engineering disciplines. The university also announced the development of a new sustainable energy minor, including courses such as renewable energy technology, global warming, nanotechnology for sustainable energy, and CCUS. “As society’s demand for energy continues to increase—along with the ramifications of energy inequity and climate change—so too will the need for engineers and scientists with the expertise to help us forge a sustainable energy future. These energy leaders must be well-versed in a variety of energy sources, including the history, long-term viability, environmental impact, and policy and societal implications of each,” the university’s website shares regarding the minor.

Colorado School of Mines students will have the opportunity to expand their post-graduate education by obtaining the university’s graduate certificate in CCUS. The 9-credit-hour certificate requires courses on climate change and sustainability and political economy of the energy transition, along with the option of a third course on either geologic or nongeologic CCUS. The certificate is available to students in both fall and spring semesters.