Graduate Student Research: Raj Kiran

Raj Kiran is a graduate student under Dr. Saeed Salehi. Below is the abstract of his research that he will present at ATCE in San Antonio in October.


Integrating Human Factors into Petroleum Engineering’s Curriculum: Essential Training for Students



The contribution of Human Factors, in complex commercial and contractual environments like the oil and gas industry, is fully-fledged and admitted. With the understanding that there were cascading failures due to human errors, the root cause analysis of accidents reveals that many of them were preventable. The Human Factors has not been accentuated thoroughly in this industry, and, traditionally, the focus has been on personnel knowledge and competence. In addition, lack of

emphasis on Human Factors in academia as a backbone of the industry could be another reason for this negligence. Therefore, the proper academic training, which thoroughly emphasizes the nontechnical skills (NTSs) in conjunction with Human Factors, is lacking in the curriculum of complex engineering programs like petroleum. This paper focuses on training introduced through a course “Human Factors in Oil and Gas Operations” in Petroleum Engineering Curriculum at theUniversity of Oklahoma.

The course content was designed to include technical concepts in drilling such as well barriers’ philosophy, challenges in well flow control, plugging and abandonment operation, and kick detection. Also, several NTSs include effective communication, decision-making, situational awareness, teamwork, individual and group scenarios based well control training. The course content reassures that young professional gain applicable NTSs and carries them to their work environment asserting safe and environmentally sustainable operations. A novel training approach was offered to integrate the theories of Human Factors with NTSs through the virtual reality simulation experience. The state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Drilling Simulator (VRDS) facility coupled with a commercial drilling simulation software to facilitate the scenario-based training for students.

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