The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a well-established body which has long-served as a technical and professional resource for the graduate programme and research activities at Heriot-Watt University. Worldwide membership has reached over 90,000 people making it by far one of the largest resource pools available to those working in the many disciplines across the Oil and Gas industry. Student membership alone is quite staggering; there are over 20,000 people in 190 student chapters spread across 50 countries!

Tracing the roots of the society leads us back to the dawn of professional oil and gas exploration and development. The find at Spindletop, Texas in 1901 prompted the need for a forum for the rapid growth of the petroleum engineering trade. The American Institute of Mining Engineering (AIME) was founded in 1913 which grew vastly in presence and scope that a board of directors met in 1957 to form the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The Heriot-Watt Student Chapter

From a student perspective, there is no other resource quite like the SPE. The Aberdeen Section makes numerous activities and scholarships available for students at the department, and we have an excellent track record for student support from them.

Activities are coordinated through an elected student body from the 3 MSc classes at the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE). The election of the SPE Heriot Watt Student Chapter Committee takes place in October of each year following the new intake of Masters students.

Chapter Committee

The committee acts in the interest of the students by promoting engaging technical and social activities.

Why Join?

Discount on events

Student members receive discounts on books, conferences and may attend certain events for free, such as technical meetings of the Aberdeen SPE section. SPE HW Student Chapter also organizes visits to company premises as well as technical presentations by industry experts and SPE member students get to attend them for free.

Social events and networking

It is not always work. The social events organised regularly are an opportunity to get along with other members and network within the industry professionals at all levels, informally.

Engineers are the core of SPE although they are not the only members. SPE is a platform for multidisciplinary effort, regardless of experience or course of study, since all these professional are required to deliver the oil and gas, the world needs.

Online Knowledge database

Student members can access up-to-date technical transactions through one of many journals it produces through the OnePetro online library. The membership includes a monthly subscription of digital copy of JPT Online magazine which is a reliable, up-to-date and consistent source of industry-related information for E&P students and young professionals.

How to Join

In order to obtain the membership of the Heriot Watt Student Chapter, the following requirements should be fulfilled:

  1. You must be enrolled in a course at the Heriot Watt University leading to a graduate degree in petroleum engineering or related field (undergraduate degree for other fields may be acceptable)
  2. Must carry at least 30% of a normal full-time academic load

The university specific email address should be used to enrol as a student member. SPE will contact the faculty sponsor to confirm and obtain further details of the student.

You can obtain further details and apply to join (or renew membership) online.

Once you have obtained the student membership card, please inform us about your details, so that we can update our database and add you to the mailing list.

Membership fees

Student membership is US $14 per year and financial assistance is available.