Chevron Corp. has pledged $1.5 million to the University of Missouri-Rolla to establish an educational and research partnership to help meet the needs of the energy industry.
UMR is home to the only petroleum engineering program in Missouri, and one of only 14 in the nation. More than 120 UMR graduates are employed by Chevron.
“This latest partnership between Chevron and UMR solidifies our long-standing relationship,” says UMR Chancellor John F. Carney III. “UMR graduates have a long history of contributing to the success of Chevron Corp., and UMR is very appreciative of this $1.5 million of support for the University.”
The Chevron gift will provide funds for faculty support and development, including the hiring of additional petroleum engineering faculty at UMR, an in-residence industry professional and in-house training at Chevron for UMR faculty. The gift will also benefit UMR students through scholarships, distance learning offerings and industry internships.
“The funds will be used to strengthen our petroleum engineering and geosciences and technologies programs, providing a source of funding for students and faculty, and facilitating research activities of importance to Chevron,” Carney says. “This support comes at a critical time for the United States as we search for new sources of energy to meet our national and international demands.”
“Today’s energy industry offers a vibrant, exciting future for young people as we address the world’s growing need for energy products,” says Mark Puckett, president of Chevron Energy Technology Co. “At Chevron, we believe in the power of ‘human energy’—our employees’ abilities to find fresh, innovative ways to deliver more energy products and improve the quality of life for people around the world. Our approach is grounded in positive partnerships and collaboration, and we welcome the enthusiasm and creativity from future generations of graduates to help us meet the world’s challenges.”
A portion of the gift will provide upgrades for existing general laboratory equipment and for UMR’s Heavy Oil Extraction Lab. Heavy hydrocarbons, which are abundant in North America, must be mined and treated to produce fluid petroleum.
“The role of heavy oil in our energy needs has increased significantly,” says Dr. Shari Dunn-Norman, associate professor of petroleum engineering at UMR. “The petroleum faculty look forward to the cooperative effort with Chevron to develop this critical expertise.”
The partnership also includes a research agreement that will simplify the process of performing Chevron-specific research projects and facilitate the exchange of visiting scientists to the campus, as well as visiting students to Chevron.