In 2013, Baker Hughes teamed up with the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the University of Oklahoma to start a partnership with its students and Baker Hughes known as the 21st Century Co-op. The BHI 21st Century Co-op is a five year accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree program in mechanical engineering or petroleum engineering. In addition to the required courses for both degrees, the BHI 21st Century Co-op curriculum includes customized courses offered by faculty and BHI engineers during summer internships, a senior capstone course, graduate cross-disciplinary courses and graduate theses all relevant to Baker Hughes and its initiatives.
Through the BHI 21st Century Co-op, sophomores studying mechanical and/or petroleum engineering are invited to apply for the program. Students must submit an application including a resume, transcripts and an essay. Baker Hughes personnel interview a short list of candidates, and in consultation with the OU mentors, invite sophomores to become BHI Scholars. Baker Hughes and the OU mentors seek students who want to further their education with a master’s degree and those who are very career-driven with high professional goals.
“Integrity, teamwork, performance, learning and courage are the core values of Baker Hughes. These traits are what it takes to be a BHI Scholar,” said Jerry Varughese, mechanical engineering junior and BHI Scholar. “Our team seeks individuals who are willing to go above and beyond expectations. Our team looks for individuals who are willing to work hard but also always ready to learn.”
The aim of the program over the next three years is to enable BHI Scholars to work as a team on different aspects of a challenge problem identified by the BHI mentor. This year 11 BHI Scholars worked on the challenge problem. The mechanical engineering BHI Scholars are Wiley Abbott, Miles Burnett, Eric Douglas, Brandon McCabe, Chris Sanders and Jerry Varughese. The petroleum engineering BHI Scholars are Bryan Bodie, Pamela Duarte, Dallas Milligan, Dana Saeed and Alex Smith.
“The mix of petroleum and mechanical engineers brings a unique dynamic that allows us to constantly keep learning different perspectives,” said Eric Douglas, mechanical engineering senior and BHI Scholar. “The best part of this experience is the ability to work as a team.”
Something different with this program is its focus on interdisciplinary and collaborative learning. “Taking both petroleum and mechanical engineering classes is beneficial to creating a diverse educational background that will brand the BHI Scholars as a more valuable asset in the workplace, as well as well-rounded engineers,” said Dallas Milligan, petroleum engineering sophomore and BHI Scholar. “Having a perspective from both disciplines gives the BHI Scholars a chance to see problems from a different view, which can make all the difference in creating a unique solution.”
On April 26, 2015, the Baker Hughes Scholars presented their solutions to the challenge problem to BHI mentor and engineer Larry Watkins. The challenge presented to the BHI Scholars focused on an overview of unconventional hydrocarbon resources, primarily shale plays and to review and identify the go forward challenges facing development of shale.
On April 27, 2015, Rustom Mody, Vice President/Chief Engineer for Baker Hughes Enterprise Technology and the principal sponsor of the BHI 21st Century Co-op Program, presented a check for $160,000 in support of the program.
“The commitment from both Baker Hughes and the faculty sponsors to the program is encouraging. The faith they have in the scholars as they develop us into future contributors to the oil and gas industry definitely drives us to do our best,” said Alex Smith, junior in petroleum engineering and BHI Scholar. “Having this support system to challenge and force us out of our academic comfort zone has been my favorite part of this experience.”
Faculty sponsors of the BHI 21st Century Co-op are Farrokh Mistree, AME; Maysam Pournik, PGE; Chandra Rai, PGE; and Zahed Siddique, AME. For additional information, please contact Farrokh Mistree, firstname.lastname@example.org.