AAPG finals: UNILAG, FUTA among best four
Newspaper article in The Guardian covering the recent IBA-Africa Region Finals in Lagos written by Mary Ogar.
OUT of the 18 universities in Africa that participated in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Africa Region Imperial Barrel Award Programme, three universities have emerged in the top position at the finals of the competition held recently.
The results for the finals shows Alexandria University of Egypt clinching the first position, while University of Lagos (Unilag) entering the competition for the first time came second. Third position went to Helwan University of Egypt while Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) was in fourth position and university of Western Cape Coast occupied the fifth position.
Speaking at the end of the semi-final competition in Lagos last Wednesday, the IBA Coordinator, African Region, Mr. Oluseye Ekun said that the winner would go ahead to represent Africa at the final competition in Long Beach, California.
Featuring postgraduate students from universities around the world, he said that the goal was to promote petroleum geosciences training and advance the careers of geosciences students.
He said: “ We divided the African region into the North Africa, West Africa and South Africa zones with two schools in each zones except for South Africa. The AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Programme (IBA) is an annual basin/prospect evaluation competition for geosciences graduate students from universities around the world. University teams compete to win scholarship funds dedicated to graduate student petroleum geosciences education.”
For this year, he noted that eighteen schools registered for the competition from Africa but seventeen schools qualified to compete for the Africa representative at the final competition in Long Beach, California.
They included University of Lagos (Nigeria), Helwan University (Egypt), University of Nigeria Nsukka (Nigeria), University of Ibadan (Nigeria), Enugu State University of Science and Technology (Nigeria), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (Nigeria), Federal University of Technology, Akure (Nigeria), University of Ghana (Ghana), University of Western Cape (South Africa), Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Ain shams University (Egypt), University of Cairo (Egypt), Alexandria University (Egypt), Benha University (Egypt), Suez Canal University (Egypt), Tanta University (Egypt) and Zagazig University (Egypt).
He explained that the students were usually given industry type set of data and were expected to analyse, use technical knowledge and apply the theory learnt in school to the practical data given. They were also expected to come up with opportunity in area where to drill and where not to drill.”
Besides, a panel of judges will evaluate their presentation, application, identify areas of opportunity, risk and make recommendation based on the student’s technical evaluation and delivery.
Ekun said that while the African region had taken steps to sponsor the runners up to Long Beach, California as an observer, the third place winners would also be sponsored to the NAPE conference.
On the benefits of the competition, he said: “ The competition is getting stiffer and this will help shape our undergraduates in terms of quality and purposefulness and encourage them on how to apply knowledge in the university. It will help build human capacity for the African region and create opportunity for students to mingle with industry experts.”
The Vice President AAPG, African Region, Mrs. Adedoja Ojelabi admitted that the two universities representing Nigeria had done a good job. “ The project although time constrained, they have done a good job and are among the best in Africa as far as the project is concerned.
The aim of the project according to her was to prepare future workforce. “APPG is about professional development and how to equip the best people to do the work. We encourage the teaching and learning of science and how to apply what has been taught in schools. We open opportunities for the students to network with professionals.
“Geology is more than studying in the laboratory but also integrating what has been taught. When the present crop of professionals retire, they must be able to build a solid human resource to take their place so part of our target is to groom a new set of professionals for the industry,” she said.
Ojelabi advised that government and private institutions should invest more in providing the needed infrastructure that would facilitate the teaching and learning of geosciences.
She said: “ There are so many aspects of geoscience and it is a discipline that requires practical. We need to break new grounds, our teachers need exposure, our trainers must be experienced to deliver up to date knowledge in the field. There is no point having about 130 universities and limited numbers of teachers and poaching has its consequences.”
Looking at the number of students who graduate from the field, she observed that a lot of them refuse to go into academics. She, therefore, advocated that more Nigerians should invest and dedicate their time to learn how to teach by going into the teaching profession.
Alexandria University of Egypt will fly Africa’s flag as Africa representative in Long Beach, California, United State of America to compete at the final on April 20 & 21, 2012, while the winner of the 2011 IBA Award final competition will be announced during the AAPG annual conference and exhibition scheduled for April 22 -25, 2012.
Prizes at the final competition include: First: The Imperial Barrel Award (plus $20,000), second: The Selley Cup (plus $10,000), third: The Stoneley Medal (plus $5,000), honorable mention: All remaining teams (plus $1000 each).
Click to view original article in The Guardian