Petroleum and Chemical Engineering Students at OU Win International PetroBowl Competition and Becomes First University to Hold Four Wins
A team of petroleum engineering students from the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma are international champions after being named winners of the 2020 Society of Petroleum Engineers PetroBowl competition last week.
PetroBowl, founded by the Society of Petroleum Engineering in 2002, matches SPE student chapter teams against each other for fast-paced quiz competitions. Students answer both technical and nontechnical questions about the energy industry.
The OU team advanced to the international championship after winning the North American Regional Qualifier in Los Angeles last February. This year’s championship was hosted virtually and delayed from its usual fall date to three weekends during January 2021 because of COVID precautions. While the format differed, it was still fast-paced and as competitive as ever.
“A top-level PetroBowl round is eight or 10 minutes of pure pressure,” said team member and Ph.D. student Felipe Cruz. “We must connect ideas from different subjects in petroleum engineering in very few seconds if we want to answer before the opposite team. And, of course, we must answer the questions right.”
The OU team was comprised of petroleum engineering Ph.D. students Felipe Cruz and Ashutosh Sharma, petroleum engineering master’s degree student Ducha Hapsari, and chemical engineering Ph.D. students Elton Correia and Ana Jerdy.
“Having chemical engineering students on the team was a definite advantage. Chemical engineers and petroleum engineers work together in industry, so it makes sense that we made a great PetroBowl team,” said Cruz.
The OU team’s victory was decisive, with each round’s scores:
Round 1: OU vs. French Institute of Petroleum – 145 to 5
Round 2: OU vs. University of Houston – 155 to 20
Quarter-finals: OU vs. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia – 165 to 35
Semi-finals: OU vs. Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – 115 to 60
Finals: OU vs. Universiti Teknologi Petronas in Malaysia – 135 to 70
OU teams claimed victory in 2007, 2008 and 2010, making this year’s victory their fourth.
“This incredible international victory by the OU PetroBowl Team speaks to the heroic efforts and dedication of this group of students,” said J. Mike Stice, dean of Mewbourne College. “More broadly, their win marks the fourth time that the University of Oklahoma has won this international competition, placing us in a category that no other institution has reached. This win and the ones that came before it speak to the ongoing tradition of excellence in the area of petroleum engineering at the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy.”
The team’s dedication not only yielded victory, but also provided invaluable learning experiences for the student team members.
“Preparing and participating in PetroBowl allowed me to understand the oil and gas industry, not only in a technical aspect but also how information connects to the big picture. I feel more comfortable when talking technicalities with professionals,” said Cruz.
While excited for their win, the team is already looking to next year’s competition in Dubai.
“This win means a lot to me because I feel like OU is my home. Placing OU as the best school in the PetroBowl’s history is fantastic,” said Cruz.