Heriot-Watt boosts geoscience link with Russia



A prominent academic is helping promote geoscience in Russia. 

Dr Andy Gardiner, an expert in reservoir geology at Heriot-Watt University, recently delivered the keynote speech at the launch of the local professional branch of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) in Tomsk, central Siberia.

The EAGE is a not-for-profit association for geoscientists and engineers. It is the largest international organisation for geoscientists and engineers in the energy sector with around 19,000 members worldwide.

Director of the EAGE Regional Office in Russia, Mikhail Novikov, invited Dr Gardiner to attend the event in recognition of the close ties between Heriot-Watt and Tomsk Polytechnic University as well as for Dr Gardiner's role in developing geoscience and engineering teaching in Tomsk.

Working closely with industry has been, and continues to be, one of Heriot-Watt's greatest strengths.

Dr Andy Gardiner

Around a hundred geoscience and engineering students, academics and industry professional attended the event.

Afterwards, Dr Gardiner, who works in the Institute of GeoEnergy Engineering (IGE), previously known as the Institute of Petroleum Engineering, at Heriot-Watt, said: “It was a tremendous honour to help launch the first professional chapter of the EAGE in Siberia."

The newly founded chapter now reaches across the Siberian taiga to link three cities – Tomsk, Novosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk. The inauguration follows the successful launch of a student EAGE chapter in 2017, which was also supported by Heriot-Watt University.

All EAGE members either work or study in related subject areas including geology, geophysics and engineering. The new branch brings together geoscientists and engineers from local universities and energy companies, giving them an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas.

One such institution, Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), has a long-established relationship with Heriot-Watt and, since 2001, has been teaching Heriot-Watt MSc programmes in Petroleum Engineering (PE) and Reservoir Evaluation and Management (REM). The TPU programmes have resulted in the creation of more than 1000 graduate professionals, who bring valuable skills and expertise to the Russian and international energy industry. Two recent graduates from the REM programme, Ms Sasha Volkova (TPU, 2017), the EAGE local Chapter president, and Ms Ludmila Belyakova (HWU, 2016) were behind the idea to establish both the student and professional chapters of the EAGE in Siberia. Graduates from the early days of the two Heriot-Watt programmes in Tomsk have now reached senior and influential positions in the Russian petroleum/energy industry and beyond.

Dr Gardiner has been an advocate of this hugely successful academic link for more than 15 years, helping bridge the gap between geology and engineering.

He continued: “The MSc programmes provide a platform for Heriot-Watt and Tomsk Polytechnic University students to expand their education in applied geoscience and engineering, and to understand the important links between the two. Their team projects, using real oilfield data, expose them to real-life industry problems. This ensures that, by the time they graduate, they are ready to face the full range of workplace challenges. Working closely with industry has been, and continues to be, one of Heriot-Watt's greatest strengths. As a University, we have a keen interest in increasing research and teaching links across disciplines and country borders.”

Heriot-Watt has, on average, more than 50 MSc students graduating from Tomsk each year. The annual graduation ceremony is regularly held in the impressive surroundings of the British Ambassador's Residence in Moscow, providing graduates with an unforgettable experience. In addition to the Masters programmes, the two universities are currently working together to establish new PhD research. 

Craig McManamon

Communications Officer

E: c.mcmanamon@hw.ac.uk

T: 0131 451 8099