Engineering, construction and services firm KBR has made a $50,000 donation to the UH Cullen College of Engineering’s new Subsea Engineering Program.
The program focuses on the design and installation of underwater infrastructure used in offshore petroleum exploration and retrieval. Offering the first and only dedicated subsea curriculum in the United States, UH has admitted roughly 40 people to the program since January, when the first course launched.
The gift, made in partnership between KBR and its subsidiary Granherne, will support four industry professionals serving as adjunct faculty members in the program. These individuals have been designated KBR Lecturers in Subsea Engineering for the current academic year.
According to Matthew Franchek, professor of mechanical engineering at the Cullen College and director of the Subsea Engineering Program, this gift not only supports the subsea initiative financially, it is a signal to other companies and potential students that the program is both viable and valuable.
“It’s important to show that this program has strong industry support, that this program is their program, not just the university’s,” he said. “The best way to do that is to get companies’ names out there in association with the program.”
This is not the first donation the college’s Subsea Engineering Program has received from industry. Cameron, a manufacturer of subsea equipment, made a gift allowing for the creation of the Cameron Advanced Media Classroom.
In related news, the Subsea Engineering Program has earned the University of Houston and FMC Technologies a World Oil Award nomination in the Best Outreach Program category. The awards ceremony is scheduled for October 13 in Galveston, Texas.