From the President - Februrary 2015

Well, as Christmas has come and gone, it’s time to ponder what you might want to read in February. It will be old  news by then, but gasoline is under $2.40 per gallon on the west side of Houston. A search of the  web shows that it is as low as $1.95 near Pearland. West Texas Intermediate is $58.15 as I ponder these things. I know that some people read the Look Back in Time columns. Steve Allen informed me that it was he  and not Steve Adams who partnered me to a HGS Tennis Tourney title way back when. Unfortunately for Steve, I don’t think that the tennis plaque is up at the office. I will check. I think that Steve was on the winning  team about six times, but my memory may be playing tricks on me.

On December 6 I attended the workshop of the Engineering and Science Council of Houston (ECH) at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This is truly a wonderful undertaking. I did not know that many of these programs existed ( at the Museum. More importantly, the University of Houston has started a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) center ( and will take over the hosting of the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH, https://sef This can be an eye-opening event as you see what the young minds have defined as a problem and how they have gone about resolving it. The fair is being organized more along the lines of the Intel Education Science, Math and Technology Competitions ( The Texas State competition is run under similar guidelines so this will give the Houston area competitors (18 counties!!) more preparation for the State and international competitions.

Last year’s Houston representatives did quite well at State and I believe that every one of them that went to the international event placed at the International Competition in Los Angeles. These competitions don’t come without expenses and logistical needs. With the space available at U of H, the fair organizers hope to have 1200 to 1400 teams participate this year on February 28. The fair needs judges. It also needs Special Awarding Agencies. They are looking for 800 judges this year! Please visit the web site and consider serving as a judge (https://sef judges-agencies). It will be time well spent.

Expenses associated with this fair increase with the number of competitors and of winners moving on to the State and International competitions. HGS assists this endeavor in three ways now:

1. HGS provides annual support to the SEFH. HGS is fortunate to be able to provide a small amount of money annually that goes towards the fair.

2. HGS provides three Interning Research Assistantships (formerly the HMNS Internships) that are presented at the HGS Guest Night. There is an opportunity to meet these outstanding students at the annual ECH SEFH banquet where HGS has three tables for its members to sit and share dinner with these awardees. There are usually extra seats at the tables so if you are interested in attending, contact Claudia Ludwig or Sue Pritchett

3. The last way that HGS supports the SEFH is through a dedicated contribution to the SEFH Foundation. This foundation was established in 2014 in an effort to provide more regular present and future funding for the fair. Last year’s HGS Board agreed to provide $50,000 to the foundation established at U of H. The money will be contributed over a five-year period. Probably the most surprising bits of information that came out of the workshop include:

•The need to reach out to children in the fourth grade

•The ninth grade may be too late

• The need to “sell” the parents as much as the children

• Perceptions about science

If you’d like to see our future scientists, sign up for the SEFH, you won’t regret it! I have asked the Young Professionals to make being a member of the HGS a part of their career development. Since bringing up that topic I have learned that Schlumberger is championing such participation. Maurice Nessim, President of Schlumberger’s PTS organization is an SEG Director at large and is championing participation in the SEG. Uwem Upong, President of Schlumberger’s SIS organization is championing participation in AAPG and professional geological societies. I hope that such activity will trickle down to HGS.

Lastly, Patrick Schorn, Schlumberger’s President of Operations and Integration, has an interview on the internal Schlumberger hub where he discusses the importance of his early participation in SPE. HGS is a great way to enhance your professional development. Consider serving on a committee or as an officer candidate. There is a local society in the Pacific section whose Board comprises 100% Young Professionals. Surely Houston could have three or four. Our Legends Night will have taken place by the time this is published. I hope that you had the opportunity to attend.

Until next month, when I have to ponder something new...

Sunday, February 1, 2015
From the President