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Attendees of this year's NERC CDT Conference are pictured outside Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh

A select group of PhD students have embarked on a pioneering course to become the next wave of experts in the oil and gas industry.
 
The 32-strong cohort were today welcomed onto a unique UK-wide learning program named the NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (NERC CDT), which is being led by Heriot-Watt University.

The oil and gas industry is hugely important to the UK economy and we know that employers are looking to hire a highly skilled workforce who understand current as well as future challenges.

Professor John Underhill

Established in 2013, the doctoral course works alongside 17 academic partners as well as industry leaders and sponsors to develop the next generation of highly skilled workers capable of addressing the challenges faced within the oil and gas sector. 

The latest intake of students join the ranks of three previous cohorts taking the total number of PhDs in the program to 124.
 
As part of their induction, the students were formally greeted during the third annual conference for the NERC CDT held in Edinburgh. 
 
Professor John Underhill, the University’s Chief Scientist and Academic Director of the CDT, said on their arrival: “Today marks a significant milestone in the NERC CDT. 
 
“Thanks to an additional £1 million of UK Government investment and industry productivity research funding, we are able to continue the CDT to accommodate a fourth cohort.
 
“We are the only CDT in the UK that’s been granted such an extension underlining the value placed on this model.”
 
The NERC CDT provides students with a multidisciplinary learning environment delivered by academic, government and industry experts.
 
One of its main benefits is that it contextualises student research, making it directly applicable to the issues faced in the modern world. In addition, it focusses on the global burgeoning energy needs in an environmentally friendly and economically sustainable manner.  
 
Professor Underhill, who has led the program since it began, added: “The oil and gas industry is hugely important to the UK economy and we know that employers are looking to hire a highly skilled workforce who understand current as well as future challenges. 
 
“The NERC CDT aims to address these needs by giving students real-life experience of working within the industry. 
 
“This ensures that they are industry ready by the time they graduate, making them a hugely attractive asset to future employers.”
 
The students will spend the next four years on the PhD course. 
 
The NERC CDT is supported by the National Environment Research Council (NERC), the UK Government, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Oil & Gas Authority.

Principal Richard A. Williams pictured with Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy

 

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