Continuing its commitment to education at the University of Houston, ConocoPhillips is donating $1 million to UH’s growing Energy Research Park (ERP) and $125,000 to various engineering, science and business programs.
The $1 million gift will support the ConocoPhillips Petroleum Engineering Building, which serves an expanding number of undergraduate and graduate students. ConocoPhillips has now given a total of $3 million to this facility, with previous gifts of $1 million in 2012 and also in 2011.
UH Energy is a key strategic focus for faculty research and teaching, and the ERP is at the heart of these efforts. The vision for the ERP is to build a premier research and education facility for students and faculty, as well as establish a unique environment for the best minds to forge new business approaches to the way energy is created, delivered and used.
An important element of this vision is the ConocoPhillips Petroleum Engineering Building, which in 2011 became the new home for UH’s popular petroleum engineering program. The building houses three teaching laboratories, three classrooms, a computer lab, faculty offices and a student lounge.
“ConocoPhillips is pleased to continue our support of the University of Houston’s Energy Research Park and the petroleum engineering program,” said Jeff Sheets, ConocoPhillips’ Chief Financial Officer and the company’s executive sponsor for the University of Houston. “The University of Houston plays a vital role in educating the next generation of top-quality and diverse engineering graduates for the energy industry.”
In addition to its long-standing master’s degree option, UH’s petroleum engineering program launched a bachelor’s degree option in fall 2009. The undergraduate program, which is designed to fill the gaps in the industry’s aging workforce and equip graduates with the skills needed in the evolving energy world, has grown from about 20 students in the inaugural semester to more than 400 students this spring.
“We are grateful to ConocoPhillips for making this important investment in the university,” said Dow Chair Professor Ramanan Krishnamoorti, special assistant to the president/chancellor for UH Energy. “This is a tremendous commitment to a number of great energy initiatives we have here at UH. We are truly fortunate to have ConocoPhillips’ continued support in helping us achieve our goal of becoming ‘the energy university.’”
ConocoPhillips also is giving $125,000 to UH to help fund a number of programs in the Cullen College of Engineering, the C.T. Bauer College of Business and the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM).
“We appreciate the unwavering commitment that ConocoPhillips has for our programs, particularly our petroleum engineering program and the ever-expanding Energy Research Park,” said Joseph W. Tedesco, Dean of the UH Cullen College of Engineering. “The unique partnership we forged in 2011 continues to be a win-win. It’s a win for the industry because we are helping to provide the workforce they need to compete in 21st century technologies. And it’s a win for the university because it further validates our mission.”
Cullen programs receiving money include the Program for Mastery in Engineering Studies, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers. At Bauer, the Emerging Leaders Academic Success Program, Beta Alpha Psi and the Diversity Case Competition are among the groups receiving some of the funds. The NSM program beneficiaries are the Scholar Enrichment Program, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (ABSA) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.