STUDENT CHAPTER & IBA - coordinated by David Contreras
The Ghent University AAPG Student Chapter: first Student Chapter in Belgium
Starting from September 2009, a few students of Ghent University established the Ghent University AAPG Student Chapter. We as students found it a very good idea to have a platform that would be managed by students and able to organize lectures, excursions and to invite industry representatives. The main purpose was to organize activities that enhance the contacts between students and the industry and to enlarge the students’ interest in and knowledge of applied geology, related to the oil and gas industry. On advice of Prof. Dr. J.P. Henriet, we decided that the AAPG Student Chapter program offers very good conditions to meet this purpose. Hence last summer Sam Poppe and Myriam Cuylaerts started the preparations for the foundation of a chapter. At October the 13th, the foundation of the Ghent University AAPG Student Chapter became a fact, by receiving the welcome letter from Tulsa.
With at the moment nineteen members - and still counting – the student chapter is certainly a success at our Geology Department. The current committee members are: Myriam Cuylaerts (President), Sam Poppe (Vice President), Federico Travella (Treasurer) and Lieselotte Wallecan (Secretary). Prof. Dr. Marc De Batist, professor at the Renard Centre of Marine Geology at the Ghent University Geology Department accepted the task of Faculty Advisor.
During the first months, the executive committee focused on the regulation of the administration, the recruitment of new members and the search for good activities for the spring term. Also an aapg chapter website was created, in order to establish a smooth communication towards our members and in general towards everybody who takes an interest in our chapter. Furthermore we took a quick start with helping our geological association with the reception of a recruitment team of PGS at our University, the 14th of October. Next we organized a first lecture, at November the 17th, with as title: “Natural Gas Hydrates, A potential future energy resource or a climate disaster scenario?” The lecture was given by our faculty advisor, Prof. Dr. Marc De Batist, who managed to capture the attention of an audience of about 45 students and academic staff. Also the reception afterwards, which was as well the “take-off” reception of the Student Chapter, was a great success and for many students the perfect introduction to the Ghent University AAPG Student Chapter initiative. Our president also attended the European Region Annual Conference, which provided the student chapter with a lot of new contacts with other chapters, students, AAPG members and industry representatives.
Of course we also worked at upcoming activities. This term, we will join the chapter of the TU Delft at the excursion they organize to the ‘drowned land of Saeftinghe’ which is tidal area of the Westerschelde. Besides a very interesting and educative excursion, this will also be a unique opportunity to bring together members of the two student chapters. Furthermore we are working at the organization of new lectures and we would like to attend the APPEX conference in London and to send a delegation to the First International Geosciences Student Conference in Bucharest, April 22 - 24.
To conclude the executive committee of the Ghent University Chapter hopes that this initiative will raise the interest of our students for petroleum related topics and that the chapter will give our students more possibilities to get acquainted with the international geological community and industry. We believe that our foundation this year will be the start of a long and active life for our Ghent University Student Chapter!