Student Wins Prestigious Award
Author: Bernie Vincent
Date Added: 23-Dec-2011
University of Aberdeen student wins prestigious international scholarship
Nurkenay Bulekbayeva, 19, has been awarded with the SPE STAR Scholarship Award for the North Sea Region for 2011-12, beating off competition from undergraduate students from across Europe.
Nurkenay, originally from Kazakhstan, is in her second year studying Petroleum Engineering at the University of Aberdeen and has been a member of the SPE Aberdeen Section since arriving in Scotland to study.
The scholarship is regarded as the most sought-after and prominent award given out by the international organisation and after a challenging application process, where Nurkenay’s academic achievements and personal qualities were scrutinised, Nurkenay was chosen as only one of two winners for the North Sea region.
Nurkenay, who is also vice-president of the University of Aberdeen’s SPE student chapter, said: “It is such an honour to be given this award by SPE. As soon as I arrived in Aberdeen I was advised to join SPE as it was the best way for students to interact with industry and the Aberdeen Section has been extremely supportive of me and my studies since I joined.”
The STAR Scholarship Award means Nurkenay receives approximately £1,550 [$2,500 USD] per year until she graduates and SPE Aberdeen and the University of Aberdeen have agreed to provide extra sponsorship for Nurkenay so that she can to fly to Denver, Colorado to collect her award at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) later this year.
Nurkenay continued: “The money will help me stay active with my SPE Aberdeen commitments and will also help me balance my university work with the networking and extra-curricular opportunities that being an SPE member has given me.
“The award also provides me with motivation to give something back to SPE by way of thanks for their continued support and I hope to continue to be a member after I graduate and long in to my professional career.”
SPE Aberdeen Section chairman Masud Javaid said: “Nurkenay’s award is great news for both SPE Aberdeen Section, but also for the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen as a city, as it gives us a global platform that lets people see that Aberdeen is a great place to study. We are all very proud of Nurkenay’s achievements. With her academic performance and extracurricular commitments, she is an excellent ambassador for SPE Aberdeen.”
SPE Aberdeen is run entirely by volunteers, and has members from across the range of age, gender and nationality and 4 student Chapters. The Aberdeen Section works closely with the oil and gas industry, Scottish universities and local schools, institutes and academia to advance the learning and technical excellence in all aspects of the industry; offshore, onshore and internationally.
Professor Tom O’Donoghue, head of the University’s School of Engineering, added: “I am absolutely delighted that Nurkenay has been awarded the SPE’s prestigious North Sea Region Star Scholarship. This is a fantastic achievement and everyone in the School of Engineering joins me in congratulating her. Nurkenay’s award is another great advert for our new undergraduate Petroleum Engineering programme, which started in 2008 and goes from strength to strength. The students on the programme have engaged well with SPE and have been very successful in picking up SPE bursaries.
“We have benefited from an industry-led Advisory Board, received substantial software donations from industry and have industry experts involved in teaching on the programme.With this level of support, and students of Nurkenay’s ability, I think we can look forward to more Star Scholarships in future years.”
The STAR Scholarship for undergraduates is in place to support those SPE members pursuing degrees related to the oil and gas industry and in total SPE dedicate more then one million dollars to be awarded through 15 different regions worldwide.
This article was published in the August 2011 edition of Roustabout and has been reprinted on OilCity with the kind permission of Energy International. www.energyinternat.com
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