SPE Penn State named 2016 Outstanding Student Chapter

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Penn State was recently awarded the 2016 Outstanding Student Chapter. This is an exciting time in our chapter’s history and we are very honored and humbled to bring this award back to Penn State.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering (PNGE) program at Penn State University has a rich history and legacy in the Northeast region of the United States. With conventional wells and the first commercial oil well discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, Penn State has been on the “map” since 1859.

Since then, the discovery of the Marcellus Shale has brought about a new industry wave. Terry Engelder, a Penn State petroleum geology professor, pioneered the discovery of the Marcellus in the early 2000s.  Penn State is the best program in the country for all things related to natural gas.

Penn State’s PNGE enrollment has skyrocketed, and the faculty has expanded to meet new student needs. SPE Penn State has also met the growing needs of students.

Derrick Shields, President of 2015-2016 states, “This is a huge award for not only SPE Penn State but for Penn State’s Petroleum Engineering Program as a whole. This was our goal as an executive board since we took the reigns over a year ago and to see everything come into fruition is a great feeling. This speaks volumes to the hard work all the officers put in, as well as the dedication of all our members.”

This award is the highest honor for a chapter, recognizing those that are exemplary in the categories of industry engagement, operations and planning, community involvement, professional development, and innovation. The award will be presented during the Student Awards Luncheon at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dubai, UAE on September 26-28, 2016.

Adam Larson, President of 2016-2017 states, “I really want to thank all of our amazing students and professors. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their support.  This is my third year on the Executive Board and I’ve seen the chapter grow by leaps and bounds.  For the past 20 to 30 years, schools in Texas and Oklahoma have won this award.  This proves to those naysayers out there that our Petroleum Engineering program is one of the best in the world.”

Shields continued, “We decided early that we needed to come together as a group, especially considering the state of the industry. The focus we put on professional development and both community and technological involvement were a big part of our success, but what really helped us stand apart was focusing on diversifying our members during these tough times.”

SPE Penn State has prospered through new initiatives such as Positive Energy community service, mentoring programs, engaging technical conferences, paper contests, and much more.


This is a huge win for Penn State.

We Are…



The SPE Penn State Executive Board