Project Management Program gains international momentum

The College of Technology (COT) Project Management program is attracting international interest as companies throughout the world increasingly realize the value of such training. UH COT is currently one of only 35 Project Management Institute (PMI) formally accredited educational organizations in the world for this class of instruction and certification, and one of only two in Texas.

The Great Wall Drilling Company (GWD) of Beijing, China has sent three technical management teams to UH for this training. GWD is a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation that manages and supervises their international drilling operations, oil-gas field engineering, and technical services. The company employs 30,000 people working in 28 countries, providing services for more than 100 oil companies all over the world. Management level technical staff members, mostly drilling engineers, from GWD have participated in the project management training since fall 2009 with phenomenal success. They receive 120 hours of classroom instruction in project management and the PMI model. After completing the UH program, all 52 participants passed the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.

In addition to the GWD program, a project management module has been supplied to Lukoil Oil (Russia), a major international vertically integrated oil & gas company. This program was coordinated Jack Christiansen, Director of the COT Petroleum Technology Initiative. Petrobras, a South American integrated energy company will begin a similar program in April 2012.

Dr. Gary Richardson, Professor in the Information and Logistics Technology Department serves as the coordinator for the University of Houston graduate level project management program. He says, "We have several future potential initiatives like this in play." He has previously taught a program in Finland and there are proposals in various stages with India, South America, Korea, and Afghanistan. In addition to the international scene, this program has produced around 300 project management professionals over the past six years, with an approximate pass rate of 99%. "We are very proud of our project management and the local faculty offers great educational value to both graduate and certificate participants," said Dr. Richardson.

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