RGU student recognised by Energy Institute

A Robert Gordon University (RGU) engineering student has been named runner up in the Energy Institute’s (EI) annual MSc thesis competition. Newton Duarte (33) from Brazil, a recent graduate from the MSc Petroleum Production Engineering course at RGU, received the second prize of £150 for his thesis titled ‘Optimisation of a Wall Thickness Logging Tool’.

RGU EnergyThe event, sponsored by ConocoPhillips, was organised by the EI Aberdeen, Highlands and Islands branch to celebrate the best energy papers from MSc students at RGU and the University of Aberdeen (UoA). The annual event is held to bring together industry and academia, showcasing the latest thinking and research from MSc students and providing them with a chance to network with prospective future employers.

From some 390 candidates graduating this year, six students were shortlisted by the two universities, with MSc Oil and Gas Engineering graduates Alexander Belkin and Kwasi Attafua also representing RGU.

University of Aberdeen graduates Darren Coughlan and Ignacio Fernandez picked up first and third places respectively, but all six shortlisted students impressed the judging panel which included senior industry figures from Verus Petroleum, Petrofac, Siccar Point Energy, Meta, Strategic Decom and Ramboll Oil & Gas.

Nigel Bradburn, Chair of the local Energy Institute branch, said:

“The judges thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with the university students on some of the key themes affecting the sector. Submissions covered a variety of topics across the exploration, drilling, projects and operations phases of our industry and demonstrated the type of thinking needed to tackle the many challenges we face.

“The energy industry is ever evolving and innovation is critical to our future – these two world renowned universities bring to the marketplace some of these pioneering ideas and solutions.”

Nigel added:

“At a time of potential economic slowdown in oil and gas, the students have shown a willingness to challenge conventional practices and deliver more value, and in doing so, help to contribute towards the long term viability of the UKCS.”

Picking a winner proved to be very difficult for the judges and Nigel said they were all extremely impressed with both the quality and relevance of all six student presentations.

He said:

“They commended all the presenters and the two universities for their diligent efforts in preparing and sharing their papers. It’s really encouraging to see in-depth research and fresh ideas coming from the next generation of engineering talent and I want to congratulate all the students for their high calibre thesis submissions.

“Students are the lifeblood of an ever evolving sector and in the current climate it is even more important that academia and business are closely aligned.”

Host Bill McKenney, General Manager, Capital Projects, ConocoPhillips (UK), said:

”ConocoPhillips was delighted to support the Energy Institute and host the MSc Student Best Energy Paper Competition in Aberdeen – the standard and quality shown by all of the presenters was of an exceptionally high technical standard, which bodes well for the future of our industry.”




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