Success Story: AAPG/ EAGE/ SEG Middle East Geoscience Student Conference

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American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

The Middle East Geoscience Student Conference brings together students, faculty and industry over four days of competitions, panels, discussions and workshops at UAE University

DUBAI: The Middle East Geoscience Student Conference wrapped up with more than 110 students and faculty members attending the action-packed four day agenda which included competitions, panels, discussions and workshops. The conference also gave students a unique opportunity to connect with industry leaders from across the region.

Jointly organized by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), the event took place from 26 February to 1 March 2017 in Al Ain, UAE and was hosted by the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).

Students and faculty members from 11 participating universities, as well as 24 professionals from the region attended the conference, which was supported by sponsors including: Saudi Aramco, Petroleum Development Oman, Schlumberger, Saudi Geophysical, Mubadala Petroleum, Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production.

The student conference offered participants from the MENA region to compete in three prestigious competitions, helmed by each of the three organizing societies.

2017 IBA 1st Place Winner: Sultan Qaboos University; Faculty Advisor – Mohammed Farfour
2017 IBA 1st Place Winner: Sultan Qaboos University; Faculty Advisor – Mohammed Farfour

Sultan Qaboos University (Muscat, Oman), led by Prof. Mohammed Farfour won the 8th AAPG Middle East Region Imperial Barrel Award Competition (IBA), an annual prospective basin evaluation contest for geoscience students from universities around the globe. The Sultan Qaboos University team will now travel to Houston, Texas, USA to compete in the international finals at the Annual Convention & Exhibition (ACE), for a chance to win scholarship funds for their school.

This year’s competition involved 6 teams representing universities from Jordan, Oman, and the UAE. The UAE University team (Al Ain, UAE), led by Dr. Amir Gabr clinched 2nd place and The Petroleum Institute (Abu Dhabi, UAE), led by Prof. Mohammad Alsuwaidi placed 3rd. The 11th SEG/DGS Middle East Challenge Bowl was organized in collaboration with Dhahran Geoscience Society (DGS) and had 7 teams battle it out with some fierce questions to get their hands on the coveted title. Israa Al Hinai and Ahmed Al Nabhany from Sultan Qaboos University emerged winners, ahead of Ain Shams University, King Saud University, UAE University (Male and Female Team) and Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi (East and West Campus). The winners will receive an expenses-paid trip sponsored by Dhahran Geoscience Society to Houston for the SEG International Exposition and 87th Annual Meeting in September 2017.

2017 IBA 2nd Place: UAU University, Al Ain, UAE; Faculty Advisor – Amir Gabr
2017 IBA 2nd Place: UAU University, Al Ain, UAE; Faculty Advisor – Amir Gabr

The EAGE GEO Quiz, a fun and interactive competition to test students’ knowledge, first held in 2007 in London, was also a part of the conference. Participating teams consisting of no more than 3 students had 30-40 seconds to answer geoscience-related questions over 3 rounds in a pop-quiz style.

This year the winning team, PETRA, included Abdalrhman Jaser from Yarmouk University, Mohammed Qasim Husban and Malek Tbakhi, from University of Jordan. They won full travel funding to the EAGE 79th Conference & Exhibition, held from June 12-15, 2017, in Paris, France. The ICI team and UNDERDOGS team from Petroleum Institute were second and third respectively.

A panel of session chairs and judges from the industry adjudicated an Oral and Poster Presentation competition. Out of 47 abstracts received, 6 were accepted for oral presentation and an additional 20 for poster presentations.

 2017 IBA 3rd Place:  The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Faculty Advisor – Mohammad Alsuwaidi
2017 IBA 3rd Place: The Petroleum Institute, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Faculty Advisor – Mohammad Alsuwaidi

The 1st place prize for the best oral presentation was awarded to Rufida Abdullah Aljabri from Sultan Qaboos University; 2nd place went to Aliya Al Kaabi from The Petroleum Institute; and 3rd place was won by Khayreyya Al Awadhi from UAE University.

The winner of the poster presentation competition was Israa Saoud Al Hinai and Shatha Ahmed Al-Issaei, both from Sultan Qaboos University; 2nd place went to Amna Salim Al-Dairi from Sultan Qaboos University and Reem H. Alhadrami from The Petroleum Institute; and 3rd place went to Moza H. Al-Shidi and Jenan Ahmed Attar Rawan, both from Sultan Qaboos University.

Other highlights from the conference included a technical course on rock physics by Aiman Bakhorji from Saudi Aramco; a career panel discussion; a course on The Other Aspects of Geophysics: Engineering and Environmental Applications by Haydar A. Baker, UAE University; a social night and a field trip through the Al Ain area.

2017 MEGS: Winners of the IBA Completion, EAGE GEO Quiz and SEG Challenge Bowl
2017 MEGS: Winners of the IBA Completion, EAGE GEO Quiz and SEG Challenge Bowl

The next Middle East Geoscience Student Conference will take place in Manama Bahrain alongside GEO2018. See you there!

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