The Katy, Texas high school students had a chance to see some of the large oil field equipment like blowout preventers (BOP) used to seal, control and monitor oil and gas wells to prevent the uncontrolled release of crude oil and/or natural gas. Students met with LR engineers and received a variety of technical presentations on several engineering projects.
John Crow, instructional specialist for careers and technical education for the Katy Independent School District, brought the 26 students for their first field trip to LR. All of the students are juniors and seniors interested in the engineering careers pathway.
“The purpose of these field trips is to give the students an exposure to the engineering career field and help them to better understand what engineering is all about. We wanted them to see firsthand what engineers are actually doing.”
John said the real value of field trips is for students to talk with engineers and get some hands-on access to the equipment instead of just learning the engineering theory. “Getting to see the equipment, learn how it works and how it ties into what they want to do someday and to see what engineers do in the field.” He hopes to expand the program to other companies in the area. “The kids had a great experience and are very excited about pursuing an engineering career.”
During their visit, three LR engineers discussed their careers and experiences in the oil and gas industry. LR’s Robert Hall, a graduate in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, who has been in the field for five years, talked about his interest in design and that he was good at math. He added students interested in research and development need to get a high grade point average. “When you do engineering, there is a space for you no matter what. I didn’t know what my path was going to be when I graduated and did not have a job offer.”
Keeshan Patel, a senior at Seven Lakes High School, plans to be an electrical engineer someday. He found the experiences that the young LR engineers shared to be very valuable. “Their reflections on high school experiences and how their college affected their careers were valuable. I have an internship now and the benefits they said can help me to plan my future. I appreciate LR helping our school district.”
Robert landed his first engineering job after only four months and had the opportunity to work on a land rig after only two weeks on the job. He has worked in a variety of engineering jobs in different countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, Korea and Mexico. He spent his first two years providing technical support for the drilling group. “For a guy who spent four months working on the golf course after college, it has turned out pretty well.” Robert now works as a business manager with a large number of people reporting to him, but said that his engineering degree was very important to his early success.
Seth Demberg, a Montreal, Canadian citizen, has worked for LR for two years and said he took a non-traditional pathway to get where he is today. A 2013 graduate of the University of Houston with a civil engineering degree, he was interested in working in the field and dealing with clients. He also advised students to take advantage of any available internship programs.
“Every job you take in your pathway will help you build up to where you need to be today,” Seth said. He joined LR in six days after his first phone call after applying for a LR position. One of his goals has been to focus on improving his technical know-how working with BOPs and other drilling equipment. He now looks forward to attending the subsea training course at the LR Training Center.
LR’s Lance Norris interest in working on his 1976 Corvette and drafting/design/3D modeling classes in high school led him to get a mechanical engineering degree from Texas A&M. Although he had an internship with a Colorado pipeline company, he worked for his dad after college providing anti-terrorism training for police officers until he was eventually hired by West engineering, which was later acquired by LR. He started work in the BOP group and stayed in that group for about three years. He has been in drilling systems for two years.
“The best aspect of my job is the field work and travel opportunities.” Lance has been to Korea and Singapore and has been on more than 10 different rigs around the world. Lance is currently a drilling systems engineer that is also supporting the Safety and Environmental Management System audits for offshore facilities in U.S. waters. “I always accept cross-training opportunities because I want to keep learning.”
Matthew Dean, a junior at Seven Lakes High School, wants to be a civil or mechanical engineer someday. “The knowledge and experience of how different technologies work and real world applications,” was what he enjoyed most about the field trip. He added that both his parents are engineers and he had heard about LR in the past.
Lloyd’s Register Energy provides competency training on everything from BOPs to electrical troubleshooting. The training center, located at 15740 Park Row Drive, Suite 500, in Houston, Texas, features four modern classrooms and a large warehouse where large pieces of oil field equipment are kept. The warehouse has an overhead crane that allows for equipment to be brought in for specialized training.