September 29, 2011

Imagine getting first-hand, real-world experience as an undergraduate student – a chance to see components of your education, traditionally limited to the classroom, translated into learning adventures. For 25 LSU engineering and geology students, this experience was the highlight of their summer and an opportunity to enter the fall semester with an enhanced, “big-picture” and practical perspective of their academic educations.

LSU’s College of Engineering partnered with Halliburton to host the first Camp Tiger, a week-long inside look at the raw chemical, manufacturing and field operations that make Halliburton a global leader in the oil and gas industry.

Students spent a week at Halliburton’s Duncan, Okla. training facility, the Halliburton Energy Institute, learning about different jobs in the industry and the touring the Halliburton Technology Centers alongside Halliburton training staff and two LSU engineering professors.

“The most beneficial experience at Camp Tiger was to experience first-hand the work done at the oil field. It was fascinating to learn every single step of what it takes to remove oil and gas from the ground, and how safety procedures are followed,” said Glauce Pickering, chemical engineering senior and camp participant.

Camp Tiger offered learning experiences for students across a wide variety of engineering disciplines. Lessons in the design, improvement and maintenance of oil and gas industry chemical processes piqued the interest of chemical engineering students, while an overview of manufacturing plant component operations catered to the interests of mechanical and industrial engineering students.

Camp activities also included tours of rig sites, drilling operations and hydraulic fracturing job sites, providing an excellent overview of ongoing advances in oil and gas exploration and production, which proved to be of particular interest to petroleum engineers, field engineers and geologists.

“Any experience outside of the classroom is as good as gold in any trade, but I feel that engineers don't often get enough experience or learning opportunities while they are still in school,” said Shelbi Bertrand, chemical engineering senior and camp participant. “I think that the opportunity to get some experience and an exclusive look at what goes on behind the scenes of a drilling operation, at one of the world’s largest oil field service companies, is a great thing to have under one's belt.”

Camp Tiger faculty advisor and LSU mechanical engineering professor Ingmar Schoegl gave his own thoughts on the camp’s “beyond the classroom” focus. “I think it was a good opportunity for the students to see what is out there in the oil and gas business and to get a good overview of current technology and operations at Halliburton and similar industries,” he explained.

The great lengths Halliburton staff and camp coordinators went to accommodate the students impressed Schoegl and camp participants.

Bertrand felt welcomed and valued while at the Halliburton facilities. “The tour guides [at the Halliburton Research Center] did their best to explain all the things that chemicals are involved in at the drill site, especially in the concrete used to prop open the drilling hole,” she said. “Also, I have a specific interest in being a field engineer (I like to get my hands dirty sometimes) and the last day of Camp Tiger, we went out to an operating drilling site and got to see all that a field engineer oversees.”

Pickering’s favorite aspects of Camp Tiger were the industry experience and the real-world learning. “The practical aspect of the camp was extremely important,” she said. “The camp stressed the need of more programs like these at LSU.”

In summing up her experience this summer, Pickering said, “I rate Camp Tiger as 10 out of 10! It was an excellent experience, fundamental to any engineering student.”

“As an undergraduate, it is nice to know what you can expect when you get out into the work force and Halliburton did a great job at showing us what they are all about,” Bertrand said. “It was a wonderful experience, and I hope it continues so that other engineering students can benefit from it.”

For Bertrand, “Camp Tiger was the highlight of my summer.”

“From recruiting LSU Engineers to helping build our programs, Halliburton has provided resources to strengthen the quality of education and environment in which our students learn,” said Sarah Schram, director of Corporate Relations and Economic Development, College of Engineering. “Camp Tiger provided our students with an invaluable experience to gain insight into how an oil-field service company interacts with its clients and develops products through research, and we look forward to continuing offering our students this opportunity.”

2011 Camp Tiger participants included:

Theodore Yao, Petroleum Engineering

Scott Kingrey, Mechanical Engineering

Thomas LaCour, Mechanical Engineering

Steven Bosworth, Mechanical Engineering

Sam Neely, Industrial Engineering

Robert Schoen, Chemical Engineering

Ben Capella, Petroleum Engineering

Shelbi Bertrand, Chemical Engineering

Willy Alvarenga, Chemical Engineering

Harsha Sirigireddy, Chemical Engineering

Tony Pananos, Petroleum Engineering

Eleanor Rome, Chemical Engineering

Ping Puyang, Petroleum Engineering

Mohammad Abu-Laban, Chemical Engineering

Theresa Garcia, Industrial Engineering

Spencer Wilcox, Mechanical Engineering

Christopher Hunt, Petroleum Engineering

John Casper, Petroleum Engineering

Daniel Dauterive, Petroleum Engineering

Rebecca Marx, Mechanical Engineering

Abiola Olabode, Petroleum Engineering

Glauce Pickering, Chemical Engineering

Alireza Roostapour, Petroleum Engineering

Jaren Lee, Chemical Engineering


Article written by Paige Brown, communications graduate student worker. For more information, contact Cassie Arceneaux, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-0092.

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