University of Houston encourages graduates to ‘Focus on Energy’

At the University of Houston’s first “Focus on Energy” event, graduate students were encouraged to see how their studies can be applied in the energy industry.

Last month, the University of Houston hosted its first "Focus on Energy" event for graduate students. In an interview with Rigzone, the university's chief energy officer, Ramanan Krishnamoorti, explained what the school was hoping to accomplish with the informational session, which is part of a broader initiative to bolster energy-related education at the school.

Krishnamoorti said the primary goal was to encourage students in different academic departments to see how their studies can be applied in the energy industry, whether it is in operating oil and gas wells, developing new technologies or managing the business side of a company's operations.

"The event was held to educate and inform our graduate students about the wealth of opportunities that exist across UH in energy," he said. "Moreover, it gave the students a chance to get to know each other and understand the value of interdisciplinary learning and collaboration as a path forward once they graduate and enter the energy workforce."

Professors from a variety of disciplines and representatives of private-sector stakeholders in multiple parts of the energy industry spoke at the event, which was reportedly attended by about 80 graduate students. In addition to these presentations, students were taken on tours of different laboratories at the UH Energy Research Park (ERP). Krishnamoorti said this facility "represents the university's effort to translate academic learning and research to the commercial world."

"Exposing our students to the ERP allows them to see the value chain and enhances their connectedness to the energy industry," he added.

Educating the next generation of energy workers is an essential task. Technological development has been key to the current oil and gas boom and the nation will need to continually renew its scientific resources in order to maintain momentum in not just the energy sector, but the broader economy as a whole.

However, well operators do not need to wait for the "next big thing" to raise output at their properties. Implementing contemporary artificial lift solutions such as the hydraulic jet pump can significantly improve a well's recovery rate, while lowering the demand on power sources. Prized for its versatility, this pump can be successfully deployed at vertical, horizontal or deviated wells. It can even be used at sites where issues with the completion of well casing would limit the effectiveness of other solutions.