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Software Donations Help Train Tomorrow’s Energy Workforce

Giving News

Take America’s largest geosciences school —the Jackson School of Geosciences — and its top university petroleum and geosystems engineering program — at the Cockrell School of Engineering — connect them with some of the world’s leading geotechnology software companies, and the synergy that results is no small wonder.

Donated software

Postdoctoral fellow Reza Tavakoli uses donated software at UT's Center for Subsurface Modeling. The center studies the behavior of fluids in permeable geologic formations like petroleum and natural gas reservoirs.

Landmark Graphics Corporation (a subsidiary of Halliburton Company), Schlumberger Technology Corporation, Paradigm, Seismic Micro-Technology, Inc., and IHS Global, Inc. produce cutting-edge computer applications that help oil and gas companies improve business performance while reducing exploration and development risk.

The software these companies create represents the state of the art in energy-related fields, so it’s only natural that UT, a major pipeline of personnel and expertise to the energy industry, uses it regularly as a teaching and learning tool. And thanks to more than $208 million in software donations from these corporate partners over the past five years, the University has been able to do more with less, a necessity in tight budgetary times.

Professor Mary Wheeler, director of the Center for Subsurface Modeling at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, says the donated software has had a profound impact on training students in areas such as enhanced oil recovery and carbon sequestration. “These contributions have been valuable in ensuring that we’re working with proper and effective data, so that we can remain a frontrunner in academia and research,” Wheeler says. “They help the University continue to graduate tomorrow’s leaders in the oil and gas industry.”

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