Texas Tech to Address Critical Petroleum Industry Workforce Needs at Houston Reception

Petroleum Engineering Department will kick off a $20M fundraising campaign.

Texas Tech University’s College of Engineering and Texas energy leaders will address oil and gas industry manpower and workforce demands during a Nov. 1 event, which also will serve to launch a $20 million campaign to underwrite the college’s ambitious vision for filling these demands.

Michael Williams, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission, will be the keynote speaker, at a reception scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 1 at the Petroleum Club of Houston, 800 Bell St., suite 4300. He will give an overview of global and national workforce issues surrounding the oil and gas industry and discuss the future demand for qualified petroleum engineers.

Texas Tech Chancellor Kent Hance will discuss the university’s partnership with the oil and gas industry. Pam Eibeck, dean of the College of Engineering, will mention the petroleum engineering department’s plan of action to support the future of the industry. Oil and gas executives and Texas Tech petroleum engineering alumni from Harris County and surrounding area have been invited to the event.

The past seven years have seen a rapid growth in enrollments of student seeking petroleum engineering degrees to meet the high demand in the industry. Even though faculty demand to educate students is increasing, companies are taking faculty out of academe with high salaries and signing bonuses. Across the nation 55 of the 201 petroleum engineering faculty positions are vacant. This scenario is leading to an industry crisis.

Without a sufficient number of faculty members, Texas Tech, as well as other petroleum engineering programs across the country, cannot educate the workforce or future faculty critical to the nation and world’s oil and gas industry.

With these needs in mind, the Petroleum Engineering Department will launch the aggressive $20 million capital campaign to acquire the financial foundation to support current faculty members and attract future faculty to the program. Components for successful faculty growth and retention include competitive salaries, research infrastructure, graduate student fellowships, start-up packages and industry research opportunities.

Texas Tech, with approximately 2000 alumni in the field, is one of the largest producers of petroleum engineering graduates in the world. The petroleum engineering program, one of only 16 accredited programs in the nation, has been in the top four undergraduate programs for the past two decades.

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CONTACT: Lloyd Heinze, chairman, Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-3573, or Lloyd.heinze@ttu.edu; or Kyle Edgington, director of development, (806) 742-3451, or kyle.edgington@ttu.edu.