LSU Marks a First With North America Student Symposium


February 8, 2018

BATON ROUGE – LSU will be the first university to ever host the annual Society of Petroleum Engineers North America Student Symposium on Feb. 21-24 at Patrick F. Taylor Hall.

The conference is organized by SPE students across North America and is a great opportunity for networking with industry professionals, learning more about the petroleum workforce environment, and meeting students from other universities.

Exactly 400 students from 62 schools will attend the four-day event, which was organized this year by senior petroleum engineering major and LSU SPE President Abdul Homran.

“I have had it in mind since last year that I wanted to host the next symposium at LSU,” he said. “With the help of (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) Craig Harvey and (Assistant Dean of Administration) Ami McGucken, we were able to make that possible.”

The symposium will kick off with the PetroBowl on Wednesday, Feb. 21 in PFT Hall. PetroBowl is a trivia competition that pits teams of students against each other in a quiz bowl format. The top five teams from 24 participating schools will qualify to attend the International PetroBowl Competition taking place at the Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in Dallas in September.

The Southwestern and Eastern North America Regional Student Paper Contests will also be held at the symposium on Thursday, Feb. 22. SPE coordinates 14 regional student paper contests at the undergraduate, master’s, and PhD level, with students competing against others in their region to advance to the International Student Paper Contest held during the ATCE.

Contestants enter an abstract of their paper and present it on the day of the competition. The papers of the winners who proceed to the International Student Paper Contest will be published in the conference proceedings and on One Petro, an online library of technical literature for the oil and gas exploration and production industry.

Also on Feb. 22, NASS participants will have the opportunity to take field trips to various oil and gas companies, such as Baker Hughes, Core Laboratories, Shell Robot Training Center, and Workstrings International. Interested participants may fill out a field trip registration form online. Schlumberger will be on campus to visit with NASS participants that day as well.

The symposium itself will take place Feb. 23-24, with nearly 30 leaders and experts in the oil and gas industry scheduled to speak.

The opening session begins at 8 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 23. LSU President F. King Alexander will greet the students, followed by a word from Sen. Sharon Hewitt. An industry panel discussion will take place at 9 a.m., led by SPE Rocky Mountain Regional Director Erin McEvers, alongside four top professionals in the oil and gas industry. The day will conclude with the NASS Career Fair from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

All remaining speakers are scheduled throughout the last two days of the symposium, including 2017 SPE President Janeen Judah, who will speak on Saturday, Feb. 24.

“We are honored to host the SPE North America Student Symposium – it’s a unique opportunity to showcase all that’s great about LSU Engineering to students from across the continent,” said Karsten Thompson, chair of the LSU Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering. “Credit goes to Abdul and all of his colleagues for the vision to compete to host (the symposium) and for lining up a very impressive set of events and speakers.

Homran is also organizing two evening socials during the week to introduce NASS participants to Baton Rouge food and culture.

“We want to make sure the participants have the education part but also get to experience Louisiana culture,” he said. “I’m sure some of the people from California and New York have never had a crawfish before.”

Dining and hotel recommendations will be provided to all participants. For a full schedule of the symposium, a list of sponsors or to register for one of the many events during the four-day event, click here.

Media are invited to attend and can contact Josh Duplechain, director of communications, for more information at 225-578-5706 or

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Contact: Libby Haydel
Communications Specialist
225-578-4840 (o)