The NERC Centre for Doctoral Training (NERC CDT) took its message of collaborative research and training between academia, industry and regulators to its first international meeting by exhibiting at the 77th EAGE Conference & Exhibition held in Madrid, 1st-4th June 2015. Despite the recent oil & gas industry downturn the conference attracted over 6,000 delegates with a record 238 student submissions.
Conference theme 'Earth Science for Energy and Environment' offered a wide range of presentations from industry and academia, including a varied student programme, at which several HWU staff and PhD students presented their current research results.
The NERC CDT stall was manned by CDT Manager, Lorna Morrow and Training Academy Officer, Anna Clark. It proved to be popular with many opportunities to highlight the benefits of the CDT model to potential industry sponsors particularly from Europe, USA and China.
Prof. Philip Ringrose, from Statoil and current EAGE President, has been a valued contributor and industry support from the inception of the Training Academy. He visited the booth and was keen to promote the pioneering model of doctoral research and training to many potential student applicants for the 2015 and 2016 cohorts.
Prof. Ringrose met two of the first cohort of CDT PhD students, Rachael Hunter and Ross Grant, and Stavros Vrachliotis, one of the 2015 entrants, and listened to their experiences of the Training Academy courses at Heriot-Watt and at the University of Manchester.
The final motivational speech in the Student Programme delivered by Mr. Paul Gérard of Repsol, entitled 'The Role of Students in Collaboration between Academia and Industry' demonstrated EAGE's understanding of the importance of students in the industry recruitment environment.
The 77th EAGE conference was an excellent opportunity for NERC CDT to showcase the advantages of its collaborative approach having the partnership of 17 universities, 2 research organisations and major industry sponsors. It provides a forum for students and professionals from a variety of academic disciplines and operational backgrounds to exchange knowledge and experience, acquire new skills and promote informed debate on the energy challenges facing the world in the 21st century.
Prof. John Underhill, Director/Academic Lead, NERC CDT in Oil & Gas remarked "Having a stand at EAGE proved to be a tremendous opportunity to introduce the concept of the NERC CDT and its vision to a wider, international audience. There was great interest in the initiative amongst the 5,000 delegates attending the meeting, the Earth Science for Energy and Environment theme for which was exactly in keeping with our aim to place Earth and Environmental Geoscience at the very heart of oil and gas best practice as we inform and train the next generation of recruits."