Dear SPE Aberdeen members, colleagues and friends,
Thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of our members, we have a very active section and all our events continue to attract a great turnout. As a result the section has an annual turnover similar to that of a small company. Although we are a not-for-profit organisation, we do make a modest surplus each year – mainly from our Continuing Education conferences and the Offshore Achievement Awards. These surpluses mean that we have some funds available to invest in the future of our industry. We do this mainly through our School and Career Guidance and Student Development Committees.
Our biggest and longest running programme is our annual student bursary award scheme, which was set up 25 years ago. Over the last 25 years we have awarded over £450k to students in our 5 university student chapters, helping young people through a financially challenging time in their careers. We are particularly proud that we were able to sustain this scheme even through the recent industry downturn. The section also helps with transport costs to facilitate student attendance at our events, and are pleased to be able to support students when a specific opportunity arises – most recently helping with the travel costs of the Heriot-Watt team to take part in the PetroBowl finals in Dallas later this month!
Encouraging young people to study STEM subjects and consider STEM careers is at the heart of many of our outreach activities. These range from providing volunteers to talk about our industry at career events in schools across the region to being long standing supporters of TechFest’s “Science Festival” and “Maths in the Pipeline” initiatives.
This summer we were delighted to sponsor Aberdeen Science Centre’s Summer of Engineering. Over an 8 week period there was a wide variety of activities showcasing the ways in which engineering helps shape our world.
In collaboration with Energy Institute and the Society of Underwater Technology, we are proud to be involved in the NASA in Aberdeen initiative. A team from NASA comprising of a NASA astronaut and a space scientist visits Aberdeen and delivers events that include a public lecture, primary and secondary school engagement and a family activity weekend. This year almost 2000 people attended these events. March 2019 will see a NASA team visit Aberdeen for the third year in a row – this year the theme is drilling – in the oil and gas sector and on Mars.
We also support “Inside Industry”, a career guidance website, which aims specifically to attract young people to the energy industry. It is the only tool of its kind focused on providing first class industry driven career information and advice and has been rolled out across more than 300 schools in Scotland.
Over the years we have supported the creation of the Northsound “Oil and Gas Schools Challenge”, an online visual tour of the “Captain” platform and exhibits at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum.
With such an active section, managing and running all the section’s events and keeping our members and the wider community up date is quite a task. Our volunteers play an immense role and they are supported by a number of contractors. These include section manager Diane Wood, section administration assistant Louise Thomas, section accountant Lorraine Mutch, event management company Mearns & Gill, website and IT support Neil Weightman Digital Media, marketing and PR assistance ThinkPR.
I want to thank all our volunteers, and our support team, for working so effectively together to deliver SPE’s mission in Aberdeen and across Scotland.