The Aberdeen, Highlands & Islands branch of the Energy Institute (EI) will host its annual MSc Student Best Paper competition for postgraduate students in Aberdeen tonight.

Tonight's event, sponsored by Total E&P UK, is organised by the branch to
celebrate this year's best thesis papers from MSc students studying energy-related topics at Robert Gordon University (RGU) and the University of Aberdeen (UoA).

From a field of over 400 eligible MSc graduates, six have been shortlisted by the two
universities and they will present their thesis in a Dragons Den style to a senior industry panel of judges specially chosen by the EI.

Representing UoA are shortlisted students: -
• Gopnauth Bobby Gossai - MSc (Econ) Petroleum, Energy Economics & Finance (with
• Carlos Andres Castaneda Lopez - MSc Oil & Gas Engineering (with Distinction)
• Imad Youssef - MSc Petroleum Engineering (with Distinction)

Presenting from RGU are shortlisted students:
• Elena Virlezeanu - MSc Petroleum Production Engineering
• Ibukun Okunmadewa - MSc Petroleum Production Engineering (with Distinction)
• Simon Leiper - MSc Drilling & Well Engineering (with Distinction)
The Energy Institute has once again attracted a very high-profile panel of judges spanning various aspects of the upstream sector who have kindly given up their time to assess the students.

The panel for 2018 includes:
• Pierre Cuisnier - Central Graben area asset director, Total E&P UK Ltd
• Donald Taylor - managing director Europe, TAQA Bratani Ltd
• Paul Williams – UK business unit manager, Premier Oil
• Chris Bird – chief operating officer, Goodwyn Energy
• Iain Hutchison - managing director, Merlin ERD Ltd
• Martin White – Europe area vice president, Halliburton

Nigel Bradburn of the Energy Institute said ”This annual event is a tremendous evening

bringing together industry and academia showcasing the latest research and thinking from MSc students at these respective Centres of Excellence.

“We are very fortunate to have such a high quality shortlist of students and it is a real privilege to listen to some of the brightest young minds destined to enter our industry. It is vital we show our support and encouragement and demonstrate that the industry offers a long-term career path. In return, it is a great opportunity for the students to present to key industry figureheads as they start out on their careers.”

“We are extremely grateful to the judges who have taken time out of their busy schedules to attend this fantastic competition. We are also indebted this year to Total E&P (UK) Ltd for taking their turn to host the event.”

Host Pierre Cuisnier, Central Graben area asset director, Total E&P (UK) Ltd said “As one of the technical partners of the Energy Institute, we are delighted to be hosting this prestigious event. We are strongly committed to supporting the next generation of young explorers, scientists and engineers in to one of the most highly skilled and innovative industries in the world. Having seen the thesis precis from all six shortlisted students, it is no doubt going to be a very interesting and competitive evening. We are encouraged by the quality of students who are graduating from these two academic centres of excellence.”

Lateef Akanji of the University of Aberdeen School of Engineering said: "The Energy Institute competition is an exciting event for staff and students at the University of Aberdeen and a great opportunity for selected students to showcase their dissertation work to a distinguished panel of industry representatives. We have an extensive range of energy-based MSc programmes that attract talented students whose work is of a consistently high standard, and this always presents a challenge when it comes to the selection of candidates for the competition. Nonetheless this remains a great opportunity to showcase the quality of our students as well as the high quality and relevant research undertaken at the University to key decision makers.”

Dr Mohamed Amish, oil and gas engineering programme leader, at RGU’s School of
Engineering, said: “The Energy Institute MSc Student Best Paper competition is an exciting academic collaboration with our industrial partners. This is a part of our continuous support to students and our commitment for the professional development of future bright young engineers.”

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