My Campus

Khalifa University’s Society of Petroleum Engineers Student Chapter Receives Excellence Award

July 5, 2021

Khalifa University’s very own Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Student Chapter was recognized with the SPE International Student Chapter Excellence Award. The Excellence Award is the second highest honor given by the SPE to the top 20% of their student chapters all over the world in acknowledgement of the chapters’ success in fulfilling the SPE’s mission through their programs and activities.


This year’s award also highlights the resilience of the KU SPE Student Chapter during these challenging times, especially at the beginning of the school year. 


The chapter continued the mission of the SPE and promoted the exchange of technical knowledge about the exploration, development, and production of oil and gas resources. 


The KU SPE Chapter also took part in different SPE activities, such as the Energy4me event, Drillbotics, and SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE). 


Though the SPE is known to be focused on petroleum engineering, the KU student chapter also organized activities that would reach out to a more diverse audience. Programs such as personal and professional development for students, skills enhancement, and discussions with alumni from different industries about their success stories demonstrate how the chapter works hard to engage its KU members in a range of skill-building and knowledge-sharing activities. 


Ahmed Khalid AlZaabi, KU SPE Student Chapter President, details his experiences through the year: “I became the student chapter president during a very difficult time. Aside from the impact of the pandemic, the chapter was facing challenges due to a lack of members. It was difficult to adapt to new norms and regain the chapter’s status.”


“Opportunities and doors are always there when you continuously work hard. The most important task is to remember that the effort and struggles you go through today will eventually pay off. The chapter was facing difficulties at the start of the academic year,  but we saw this as an opportunity for growth and we created and implemented several plans to turn this around,” commented Marwa Mohamed AlBlooshi, KU SPE Student Chapter Vice President.


“We approached this academic year differently. We took time to understand why the chapter was at risk and what is the best approach to recovery from it. Further, we wanted to clear the misconception that the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is limited to petroleum engineering,” Ahmed said. 


Marwa added, “The amazing and incredible tasks the whole team carried out by pulling on each other’s strengths enabled us to innovate and create a platform that benefited across the spectrum. In return, this allowed us to excel as a team making us a candidate for this internationally recognizable award.”


The honor of receiving the Chapter Excellence Award would not have been possible without the support of the Petroleum Engineering Department and the exceptional efforts of the team behind the chapter. 


Dr. Hadi Belhaj, Petroleum Engineering Associate Professor and KU-SPE Faculty Advisor, has guided the chapter and shared his expertise with the students, said: “The KU-SPE Student Chapter is always one of the very active chapters around the world and the top of the region. Their success in recent years, including winning the 2021 SPE Student Chapter Award, is a testament for this leading role. I am very proud of our KU-SPE Student Chapter for their remarkable achievements. Their resilience, hard work, and dedication to the SPE despite the current unprecedented challenges of C-19 restrictions and impairment economy paid off. The KU-SPE Student Chapter paved the way for generations to come and showed how to turn challenges to opportunities. I am sure their best is yet to come!”


Dr. Emad W. Al-Shalabi, Assistant Professor of Petroleum Engineering, who has continually supported the Student Chapter, commented: “This is one of the prestigious SPE awards which marks a great achievement for our KU SPE Student Chapter. I would like to commend all the members for their dedicated efforts, particularly during this challenging time of COVID-19. Indeed, hard work pays off!”


Abdessamia Jebbouri, Lab Engineer for the Petroleum Engineering Department, also congratulated the Student Chapter saying, “The 2021 Student Chapter SPE International Excellence Award is not our first award in our wall of fame; it is evidence of the continuous outstanding performance and fabulous achievement since the establishment of our KUSPE student chapter on 1 August 2004. We believe that besides the excellent students’ curricular activities during the most challenging COVID-19 circumstances, our student chapter proved their remarkable efforts in a variety of fields such as industrial and academic engagement, community involvement, professional development, and innovations. We have a strong belief that our role as faculties and instructors with our young students goes beyond education — we are leaders, coaches, advisors, and facilitators of nonstop positive growth, and this is what we sow in our students.”


Khalifa University’s Petroleum Engineering department ranks 21st in the QS World University Subjects Rankings. 


Ara Maj Cruz
Creative Writer
5 July 2021