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SEG PCs for Students Program Winners 

April 27, 2010

Every year since 2001, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Foundation has sponsored a PCs for Students program that donates PCs and geoscience software to four or five SEG student chapters in geoscience departments of colleges and universities in developing nations. In 2009, the program, run by SEG’s Global Affairs Committee (GAC), awarded PCs to SEG student chapters in Ain Shams University (Egypt), Azerbaijan State Oil Academy, Ebonyi State University (Nigeria), Indian Institute of Tech (IIT), University of Petroleum (China).

“There is a growing demand in the earth sciences and exploration markets for trained and skilled geoscientists who are knowledgeable about critical exploration software tools and systems. To ensure that energy, resource, and mineral companies will be able to find well-educated geologists, geophysicists, and engineers, SEG is working with academic institutions and the corporate sector to attract students into the field of geosciences,” said Mei Zhang, a geophysicist with ExxonMobil Exploration Company and a member of the SEG Global Affairs Committee, PCs for Students Task Force.

One way of attracting students into geoscience programs is to ensure that their schools have access to PCs and geoscience software. “The PCs for Students program was initiated to address the limited access to computers and geoscience software in developing countries. The industry needs geoscientists trained in earth exploration software that has a powerful range of functionality, is flexible, easy-to-use, and easy-to-learn,” Zhang said. “The main objective of the program is to allow the selected SEG student chapters to use PCs and geophysical software to advance in the knowledge of geophysics, an immediate benefit to the students and, ultimately, the companies that hire them. This access is so difficult to obtain in certain parts of the world.”

Geosoft is one of the five sponsors of the PCs for Students program that’s helping to provide software for the students. Geosoft applications provide students with multidisciplinary geophysics, geology, and geochemistry mapping and analysis capabilities within a single environment that is seamlessly integrated with ESRI, the world leading GIS. It also exposes them to industry standard Geosoft applications, Oasis montaj and GM-SYS, that are used internationally across mining, oil and gas, government and environmental industries for surface and subsurface exploration.

“We’re pleased to be a sponsor of the SEG’s PCs for Students program. We welcomed the opportunity to support the work of international universities by providing access to technologies that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to use within their teaching programs,” said Lorraine Godwin, Geosoft’s North American Business Manager. “Through our participation in the program we can provide students with exposure to Geosoft software before they enter the workforce, and help them build valuable skills that complement their disciplinary education.”

In addition to participating in community initiatives such as the SEG PCs for Students program, Geosoft also has an education program that provides educational institutions with cost-effective options to access the latest geosciences technology based on their teaching and research needs.  

The student chapters that receive donations from SEG are selected based on the level of student chapter activity, participation in global SEG activities, past PC awards and other considerations.

Overall, SEG has awarded 35 PCs to 32 different student chapters in 23 countries, including India, China, Russia, Romania, Nigeria, Mexico, Indonesia, Egypt, Cameroons, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela, and Vietnam. Qualifying countries are classified as low and middle-to-low income countries by the World Bank.

For more information about the SEG PCs for Students program, contact Mei Zhang at mei.zhang@exxonmobil.com or Missy Feely at missy.feeley@exxonmobil.com. For information about Geosoft’s Education program, contact Rob Williams at rob.williams@geosoft.com.