Use of visualization labs to enhance petroleum engineering education

Habib Menouar, Lloyd Heinze, Marshall Watson, Talal Gamadi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The quest for excellence and efficiency in academia and education is critical. Some of the best proven methods of assessing educational programs refer to the standards and approach developed by ABET (The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). This institution which was initiated originally in the US is involved in the supervision and accreditation of more than 3750 educational programs spread internationally over 30 countries. The Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering has been using these standards since its ABET accreditation 66 years ago. It is still striving for excellence, improvement and perfection since then. The goal is to produce the best petroleum engineers using the last Student's Outcome approach (SO) and assessment methods as developed by ABET. ABET approach uses various tools to assess educational programs, some of which are conventional such as: Examinations, quizzes, guided homework's, term projects etc. others are more involved. The data are translated into quantifiable parameters for analysis. In addition to all these tools, this study uses one more that has been proven to be valuable and added to the arsenal available at the Bob L. Herd DPE. It is the use of visualization labs. This consists of models built to simulate various forces, physical mechanisms and engineering concepts encountered in drilling, production and reservoir engineering. The present study is directed toward the use of petrophysical or scaled models to enhance the methods of education in petroleum engineering and more specifically in reservoir engineering. Scaled models are not new in the oil industry. They used to be the only way to study oil reservoirs and forecast their behavior until the advent of computers and numerical simulation in the 1970's. Several scaled models designed to simulate water-flooding processes for educational purpose are used by students to complete projects on reservoir development. Analysis of the results shows the following: 1. After completion of the projects, students have a better understanding of the fundamental concepts and principles behind reservoir engineering, depletion mechanisms and other issues related to fluid displacement in porous media. 2. The Metrix associated with the student outcome and assessment methods developed for ABET evaluation showed that a well-conceived visualization lab can be extremely effective in petroleum engineering education in general and more particularly in reservoir engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613996638
StatePublished - 2019
EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019 - Calgary, Canada
Duration: Sep 30 2019Oct 2 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
ISSN (Electronic)2638-6712


ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2019, ATCE 2019


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