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Poised to Shine on a Career Path in Petroleum Engineering

April 11, 2022 | Campus News

Aspiring O&G and energy professional Abdallah El Badaoui from Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU); was among the Top 100 worldwide selected to participate in the IPTC Education Week, a sideline of the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) 2022, which took place in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from 21st to 23rd February.

More than 30,000 visitors – including regional energy ministers, industry leaders, and governmental representatives from across the world were in attendance – to exchange views, expertise, and experience on industry trends, stimulating technical research and business activities.

Abdallah was picked among a pool of thousands of applicants worldwide in a year that saw the largest number of applicants since its inception. Following a one-minute video pitch by hopefuls, only 100 were selected and won full sponsorship by Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian public petroleum and natural gas company.

“We met Datuk Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz, president and group CEO of Petronas. He encouraged us to continue on the energy path and reassured us of the needs of young innovative engineers to address challenges related to energy transitions, such as managing greenhouse emissions and work towards global sustainability,” said Abdallah, a final year Petroleum Engineering student at APU.

He was thrilled with a geological field trip where he observed an enriching exchange between earth scientists that provided him with a vivid learning experience.

Participants were divided into different groups and took part in educational challenges on the second day. The completely hands-on learning began with a “geosteering” (drill wells) competition using software by Rogii, followed by a field development competition by Schlumberger, a French technology company, through the application of their software, Petrel.

“Participants got a chance to interact with energy leaders through workshops and panel sessions that catered for their professional growths,” continued Abdallah, who served as the President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) APU Student chapter for the term of 2020/2021, where he led his chapter to win their first SPE Excellence award.

The last two days of the conference were a precious chance for the young students to rub shoulders and network with industry leaders and potential employers, as they were permitted to join in the professional exhibition and technical sessions.

“We interacted with Dirk Orlowsky, the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) President; Anna C. Shaughnessy, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) President, and Mr Adif Zulkifli, Executive Vice President and CEO, Upstream, PETRONAS. They reassured us about the future of the energy industry,” shared Abdallah, whose motto is ‘Your network is your net worth’.

On the importance of networking before graduating, Abdallah further elaborated, “As global citizens, we don’t know where will we work in or which door we may knock-on. However, building rapport with the industry leaders goes beyond career opportunities, as it will also bring impact to our society, promoting social, cultural, academic and scientific exchange while celebrating our diversity,” opined this student-leader.

A Comorian by origin, Abdallah, 22, who was named as one of the Energy Leaders for Tomorrow in 2020 by Energy Intelligence, supported by TotalEnergies, Saudi Aramco and Gunvor Group, firmly believes there is an advantage in knowing people of different backgrounds in an ever-connected world.

To transmit this unforgettable and precious experience to his fellow junior in the society, the unstoppable Abdallah swiftly initiated a virtual talk upon returning to the campus, by collaborating with other student chapters’ representatives from Oman, India, and Indonesia. “In this joint event, we shared our experience of participating in IPTC 2022.”

Recognising his vast co-curricular experiences, SPE APU Advisor, Ts. Harvin Kaur Gurchran Singh affirmed, “This is not the only international arena that Abdallah has gone to, he had earlier represented his chapter and university in worldwide conferences, including the SPE Annual Technology Conference and Exhibition (ATCE 2021), and was one of the rapporteurs of the UN Youth Forum on crime prevention and criminal justice, Kyoto 2020.”

 

“For competencies in professional knowledge, people skills and working attitude that he demonstrated, I think he has shown high potential to develop into a competent Petroleum Engineer in the future,” Harvin continued.

Abdallah’s achievement impressed APU’s Chief Innovation & Enterprise Officer, Prof. Ir. Ts. Dr. Vinesh Thiruchelvam, as he commented, “As academics, we can open the door, but students must enter into it by themselves, this was exactly what Abdallah did. He ventured and explored opportunities on his own effort and initiative. His maturity and his pursuit of engineering led him to this achievement.”

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