Partnership with University of Houston a success

21 April 2008 | Story by Chris McEvoy

university academics
The Science faculty celebrated the success of their MSc course in petroleum geophysics in partnership with the University of Houston. (From left) George Smith of the geology department, Prof Kathy Driver, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Don van Niewenhuise of the Univeristy of Houston's geoscience department

UCT's Faculty of Science recently celebrated the success - and end - of a masters' course in petroleum geophysics, offered in partnership with the University of Houston (UH).

The course was launched after a 2004 survey conducted by the South African Petroleum Industry Association identified shortages of skills in the petroleum industry not only in this country, but throughout the continent. In response to this finding, the South African national petroleum company PetroSA, UCT and the University of Houston together decided in 2005 to launch the master's programmme in petroleum geophysics.

The first course was presented at UCT in March 2007, and is due to finish in May 2008. Academics from the University of Houston presented all but one of the 13 modules.

All 16 students that have graduated from the course are UCT students. Three are now working for PetroSA, one for the Petroleum Agency SA, and one for Schlumberger SA. The remaining 11 all have PetroSA bursaries.

UCT and UH are actively pursuing (with PetroSA and others) the extension of the MSc programme into the foreseeable future, starting hopefully next year.

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