SRU benefits from $3.8 million petroleum engineering software donation


Students in an engineering lab

Slippery Rock University’s petroleum and natural gas engineering program recently received a $3.8 million software donation from PE Limited, an international company known as Petex that develops engineering software for the petroleum industry.

April 26, 2024

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Slippery Rock University's petroleum and natural gas engineering program recently received a major boost through an in-kind gift from an industry partner. SRU Foundation Inc. accepted a software donation valued at $3.8 million on behalf of the University from PE Limited, an international company known as Petex that develops engineering software for the petroleum industry.

This donation will allow students at SRU to use the same advanced software that oil and natural gas professionals use in the field. SRU, which started its petroleum and natural gas engineering program in 2016, will have 10 educational licenses that will provide students access to Petex's software.

"This is a significant advancement for the program to have access to this software," said Mohammad Kazemi, associate professor of physics and engineering and director of SRU's School of Engineering. "We are building the foundation for the program and this software will help better prepare our students for careers in petroleum and natural gas engineering."

Several people played a role in helping SRU obtain access to the software, including Nicole Dafoe, dean of College of Engineering and Science, along with the SRU Foundation board of directors and its executive director, Dave Hollenbaugh. The Foundation is an independent, 501 ( c )(3) organization that supports SRU and its students through charitable gifts, scholarships and other resources.

"We are pleased to work with Petex and we are excited to receive this outstanding gift that helps raise the profile of SRU's engineering programs and enables our students to succeed," Hollenbaugh said. "Supporting SRU and its students is at the heart of the Foundation's mission, and we are honored to foster this relationship between SRU and Petex."

Petex is providing SRU with the company's Integrated Production Modeling software, which is a suite of programs used by companies to model their complete oil and gas production systems, including reservoir, wells and the surface network.

Founded in 1990, Petex has more than 400 clients worldwide and has been recognized as the market leader in technical evaluations for nearly a decade. Kazemi said that Petex evaluated SRU's program to determine how much of an impact the donation would have on the community and the industry before donating the software.

With access to these systems, SRU students will be able to develop predictive models that will prepare them for what they will encounter as professionals working in the petroleum industry.

"This software has many modules and it covers areas that most companies are using," Kazemi said. "One of the primary goals we have in our program is to more fully prepare students for the workforce so their on-the-job training can be greatly reduced. If our students are better prepared by being able to learn how to use this software as undergraduates, then they have better chances of finding jobs with better companies and with better compensation more quickly."

Several junior- and senior-level courses will be using the Petex software that will be available in a computer lab in Vincent Science Center. Classes using the software include, Reservoir Engineering, Production Engineering, Properties of Petroleum Fluids and Petroleum Engineering Capstone Design Course, which is a senior field project class where students will collect real-world data and model fluids inside the reservoir or wellbore.

"By using this software, students will see a big picture and how all these courses they are learning come together in one software package," Kazemi said.

For more information about the petroleum and natural gas engineering program at SRU, click here.

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