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Why Should You Nominate Someone for an SPE Award?

Recognition by peers creates a special feeling of gratitude and the desire to redouble efforts. SPE awards can be a boost to your career.

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SPE awards can be a boost to your career. This is especially true for technical awards, which recognize your contributions to the profession and the discipline as well as to your employer.
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It was unseasonably warm in the late summer of 1999 as I was hiking a mountain trail with Steve Holditch during a break at an SPE Forum. He let me know that I had received the Lester C. Uren award (a fact I would have known earlier if I had been home to receive my letter from SPE!). I didn’t know I had been nominated or who had nominated me. I was elated. I was already an SPE Distinguished Member, but this was a major award—you know, the kind where you get to give a short speech at the awards banquet during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.

When you are recognized by your peers, there is a very special feeling of gratitude, and it makes you want to redouble your efforts. SPE awards cover a wide range of technical and service contributions and include regional and international scope. There are also awards for faculty, public service, and corporate contributions.

Since that time, I have tried to nominate others for awards as often as I could. I have not always been successful—but when the person I have nominated (or sent letters in support of their nomination) receives an award, I am (almost) as excited as they are. It is a great feeling. Even when I am not successful, the person I nominate appreciates the fact that I took the time and effort to nominate them and thought they were worthy recipients of such recognition.

You may wonder, “Won’t someone else nominate people who deserve awards?” Let me let you in on a little secret. There is no nomination fairy! No one secretly goes around identifying all the worthy candidates and putting high-quality nomination packages together for them. I don’t know how many times when I have learned that someone is receiving an award, I say to myself, “They didn’t already have that award?” I have served on enough committees to know that every year we get nominations for recognition that are long past due. If your university or SPE section isn’t receiving awards for its stellar SPE members, it is probably because they are not being nominated.

SPE awards can be an added boost to your career. This is especially true for technical awards which recognize your contributions to the profession and the discipline as well as to your employer. Want to know who the experts are in your area? Look at the past award recipients. Your boss may not promote you just because you won an award, but such recognition does not go unnoticed.

It is important that you pick the right award and do a great job of putting the nomination and recommendation letters together. I have served on awards committees and can tell you that poorly assembled and incomplete nominations never prevail. I know you are a professional and can do a great job when you put your mind to it! If you need to learn how to put together an effective nomination, best practices are explained here. There are even examples of good and bad nomination letters. FAQs are answered here.

Why don’t you join me and nominate someone for one or more regional or international awards this year?

The nomination deadline for SPE international awards is 15 February. Nominations for SPE regional awards are due 1 March. Nominate a colleague here.