Faculty sponsor, Catalin Teodoriu, and graduate student Adonis Ichim brought the group to the FOREN2016 conference, which is the annual meeting of the Romanian National Committee of World Energy Council, in Costinesti, located on the shores of the Black Sea. Teodoriu and Ichim presented two papers together and Teodoriu was a round table presenter, as well.
Study abroad participant Jerry Lessley gives us a synopsis of Teodoriu’s round table discussion:
At the conference there was a round table discussion about education and, more specifically, masters programs. Some wonder whether Romania’s current curriculum is the best way to prepare students to work in the industry or if there is a more cost efficient system. Dr. Catalin Teodoriu compared the curriculum from different universities around the world. Currently, the University of Oil and Gas (UPG) in Ploiesti, Romania has a two-year masters program after four years of undergrad. This is similar to both Texas A&M and the University of Oklahoma (OU) but varies drastically from the Imperial College of London, which has the most complex masters program among the five schools he discussed. There, a student will meet all of the requirements for a masters in petroleum engineering in just a year by going through a rigorous cycle of learning a full course over only three weeks and then taking an exam before starting a new course. Dr. Teodoriu also noted that at UPG students get their bachelor’s degree in a specific area instead of just a general petroleum engineering degree and then go on to get a masters degree in another related discipline. At Texas A&M students take the same core classes but also have the flexibility to choose different electives in order to add more of a focus to their degree. Teodoriu discussed OU’s natural gas masters program, and how beneficial it is for students to be exposed to as many disciplines as possible in order to work well in the field. In his words, “First and foremost, you are an engineer. You are a petroleum engineer second.”