Development of the Young Engineer
- E.E. Sands Jr. (Union Oil Co. Of California) | K.E. Brown (U. Of Texas)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- March 1966
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 297 - 300
- 1966. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control
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The development of the young engineer is extremely important to the man as well as his company. It is the responsibility of both the man and his company to see that his development proceeds with a minimum of delay. A young engineer should he given responsible assignments as soon as possible after going to work. Management should see that he is not allowed to start in non-engineering jobs. In operational production, the engineer undoubtedly needs some field experience, but the idea that he needs a year of roughnecking and a year of roustabouting is no longer valid. It is the responsibility of management to provide challenging jobs to the engineer, but it is also the responsibility of the man to create his own challenges. Continuing education must be the responsibility of both the man and his company.
This paper is concerned with the development of the young graduating engineer from the standpoint of both his company and himself. We hear remarks to the effect that an engineer fresh out of school is worth more to a company than an engineer five years out. If this is the case, there is something wrong with the company's development program as well as the individual's. A company cannot afford to let this happen, nor can an individual afford to allow it to happen. Another extreme statement is that an engineer may be worth practically nothing to a company for his first two or three years. This should not be the case. An engineer should be given responsible assignments immediately after leaving school so that he may grow in technical and practical knowhow, as well as develop a sense of responsibility and confidence. If engineers are forced to develop into yes men, they lose a great deal of value to a company-but in particular they lose the spark of creativity which allows them to put forth new ideas that may be worth untold dollars to a company. In operational production an engineer should acquire some field experience and progress in the practical application of the technology he acquired in school. For example, an engineer cannot appreciate the problems of the hazards of drilling until confronted with the responsibility of supervising a drilling crew on a well. A company cannot afford to waste the talents of a young engineer on non-technical jobs. The idea that an engineer needs a year of roustabouting and a year of roughnecking is obsolete. However, a few months of getting his hands dirty has never seemed to hurt an engineer and serves to acquaint him with the jobs of men who, most likely, he will eventually supervise. His immediate supervision of drilling operations can certainly be very beneficial. On the other hand, he cannot be placed on some remote drilling rig and left alone. He must be consulted often and it is the responsibility of the company to see that his job remains challenging, He should apply his technical knowledge to any job that he is assigned. In short, a company must continue to challenge the new engineer. In addition, the engineer must take a certain number of tasks upon himself to further his own professional development. In particular, he should be active and participate in his professional society. He should become a registered professional engineer in every state in which he has occasion to work. The engineer should not leave it to the company to dig out every job and assignment that must be tackled. Management is receptive to new ideas and the creative engineer should be al. lowed some time to pursue his own ideas. The challenges in a new job are not necessarily the complete responsibility of management. The engineer, by thinking in terms of new ideas, economics and improved techniques, can create many new situations requiring solution. Continuing education must be the responsibility of both the man and his company. Participation in study groups as well as short courses should be pursued. For companies not providing their own schools, provisions should be made to send their men to various study groups or similar short courses.
Initial Placement of an Engineer In the Oil Industry
Although this paper is concerned with the development of the young beginning engineer, some mention should be made of the very important role of placing a man in the oil industry.
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