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GE Oil & Gas donates subsea model to UH program


UH received a valuable donation from GE Oil & Gas in May that will provide engineering students with an educational tool and an added edge for students of the already highly-acclaimed program.

The University of Houston received a subsea model that was previously housed at Texas A&M University and offered to UH to use for its Subsea Engineering Certification Program. The subsea program prepares engineering students for a career in offshore petroleum production. UH is the only institution in the United States which offers a certificate training program in subsea engineering and only one of five offering the program internationally. The College of Engineering is also in the late stages of the process to develop a Master of Science degree offering in subsea.

According to Matthew Franchek, Director of the Subsea Engineering Program and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, there are over 70 students currently enrolled in the program. The subsea model donation will contribute greatly to their education by providing a real-life example of the technology. Franchek also hopes to make the subsea model a popular destination for area schools, industry representatives and other campus visitors.

Franchek envisions creating a subsea model display which includes a “water wall” with clear stairs around the subsea model so it can be viewed from above as well. He would like for it to become a focal point for the Petroleum and Engineering building located at UH’s Energy Research Park.

“When we can get a facility and put it in place, this will be an excellent conversation piece, something we can take high school students by and use for outreach,” Franchek said.

Currently, the Subsea and Petroleum Engineering programs are working with the university to discover possible industry partnerships to support the exhibit for the subsea model in order to showcase the donation to the university.

“We’re coordinating our development efforts under an umbrella of petroleum engineering and subsea engineering and looking at why companies would want to invest, what are their possible outcomes and how do we provide an added value to them,” Franchek said.

The subsea model is currently being kept in a storage facility at Energy Research Park. This donation has a great potential to provide UH students with another edge to secure career opportunities after graduation with industry leaders. It can also provide further opportunities for partnerships and collaborations with oil and gas corporations for academics and research in subsea and petroleum engineering.

For more information on the Subsea Engineering Certificate Program, visit www.egr.uh.edu/subsea.