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Curtin program provides skills for petroleum’s future

Media release

An innovative postgraduate degree provided by Curtin University of Technology has been shortlisted for a prestigious international honour, the 2009 Innovation and Excellence Award in Education and Training, by The Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), UK.

The Master of Technology (Petroleum Technology) program — also known as MTech — is the result of an industry partnership with Shell and training providers PetroSkills and Jee that provides on-the-job petroleum engineers with a high quality, flexible postgraduate training program.

Curtin’s Associate Professor Martyn Ray, MTech Academic Director, said the program had been a success right from the start.
“Large projects in the oil and gas industry are expensive and mistakes are costly,” he said.

“To deal effectively with the complexities inherent in many of these projects, the industry needs engineers with a wide range of skills and competencies.

“Our program utilises highly flexible learning design and course structure, linking to existing graduate training programs that provide the skills that modern petroleum engineers need.”

The strength of the MTech program is in its origins as a made-for-industry course designed by industry experts for Shell employees.

“What sets this program apart is its focus on training with the skills and competencies specifically required by petroleum engineers,” Associate Professor Ray said.
“This means that it translates well for remote learning and can be undertaken almost anywhere in the world.”

This initial success has led to the program now being made available to oil and gas personnel from any company throughout the world, through internationally regarded training provider PetroSkills.

“We offer a great deal of flexibility in this course,” Associate Professor Ray said.

“Participants can work at their own pace, depending on their work load and schedule, with the degree completed over a two to four year time period, part-time.”

Associate Professor Ray believes that demand for this sort of degree will only increase in the years ahead.

“This program is invaluable for the future of the petroleum industry in WA, especially as new developments progress, such as the Gorgon LNG project, that require thousands of skilled workers.”

The winner of the 2009 Innovation and Excellence Award in Education and Training will be announced on November 3.