Subsea engineering program starts up
October 22, 2012
UH is now offering the nation’s first subsea engineering master’s program.
The program is internationally fifth, but Director Matthew Franchek places its value as first because of the interdisciplinary way administrative, industrial and educational leaders come together to form the program.
According to Franchek, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved the program in September. The program branched out to include industry professionals like Randy Wester at FMC technologies who — as early as 2009 — pushed for a curriculum specifically designed for subsea engineering.
“There are billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas located in the Gulf of Mexico alone,” Franchek said. “With this program, we can partner with the industry to educate the existing workforce and to create next-generation subsea engineering technologies that can safely and economically produce offshore oil and gas.”
After approval by the dean, measures were taken to build the program to accommodate a curriculum.
Paul Jukes, president of MCS Kenny in Houston, wrote the first book about subsea engineering that is used in corresponding courses worldwide.
The amount of interdisciplinary cooperation and the readiness UH and the state embraced the new program with makes it one that extends beyond the University, Franchek said.
“What this means is that students are working directly with industry professionals and leaders in the field on a daily basis. Not only are we educating a new workforce, students are making invaluable network connections,” Franchek said.
“This is a beyond Tier One effort. (The program) graduated 13 students with certificates in advanced subsea education and now has over 70 students in the program while there are over 300 students involved in petroleum engineering programs.”