For Amanda, Asiman, Brandon, Phillip, and James S., this year's PetroBowl is more than a competition. It is about bringing the UL Lafayette PetroBowl Club’s reputation back to what it was five years ago. After winning second place in the international competition in 2016, the UL Lafayette PetroBowl Club struggled between fifth place, fourth place, and failing to qualify to attend the international competition. “But this year we are back,” said the club advisor, Dr. Ezeakacha. With seven members, the club will send five students to the qualifiers. Four will compete and one will be a substitute.
LAGCOE, through its LAGCOE Student Development Fund at UL Lafayette Foundation, will help cover expenses for these students attending the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) North America Regional PetroBowl in California, February 9th through the 11th. Brandon, a senior in Petroleum Engineering and three-time competitor, said, “I was super nervous. You are competing against all these other schools and you want to represent your university and see where you stack up against these other schools.” After recruiting the best undergraduate and graduate students in Petroleum Engineering, the club began to prepare. “We meet every week, multiple times to practice. We also study at home and go through all possible questions we may be asked,” said Philip. James D., the current president of SPE at UL Lafayette, is part of the PetroBowl Club, but won’t attend the qualifiers, “I am not competing this year, but I attend every practice. I want to see the team do well.” James S., a friend James D. recruited to the team, says that PetroBowl is time consuming, but it helps to expand one's knowledge of engineering. “You learn! It reiterates things you learned and helps expand your knowledge.” Asiman, from Azerbaijan, is one of the graduate students on the team. PetroBowl is the reason he applied to attend UL Lafayette. “While preparing for the competition back home, I saw about UL Lafayette, so I decided to apply.”
If the team qualifies, they will advance to the 2020 PetroBowl Championship, which will take place during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition on Monday, October 5, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. “We are just excited and looking forward to representing UL Lafayette,” said Amanda, a first-year competitor. “The team relies on fundraisers and donations; therefore, we are very thankful to LAGCOE for their contribution,” said Dr. Ezeakacha.
The PetroBowl competition pitches SPE student chapter teams against each other in a series of quick-fire rounds, answering technical and nontechnical industry-related questions. The contest has grown in size and popularity since its debut in 2002, and in 2015 was taken to a global level with the introduction of six regional qualifier contests. Regional qualifier competitions now take place in the Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and North America. The top 32 teams are invited to the PetroBowl® Championship at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition.
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