Nicholls receives nearly $100,000 for petroleum education

THIBODAUX – Representatives of the American Association of Drilling Engineers presented an $80,000 check to Nicholls State University’s petroleum services program Thursday, May 29.

aade-check.jpgDr. Badiollah Asrabadi, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and distinguished service professor of mathematics, said the funds will be used to create the AADE Computer Simulation and Distance Learning Center – wherein petroleum services students will have access to 32 new computers, industry simulation software and streaming video capabilities for distance learning.

“We expect that this donation will greatly improve the quality of education, increase students’ access to state of the art technology and help meet the non-traditional working students’ scheduling needs,” Asrabadi said.

Bob Freeman, executive director of the AADE national board, and Johnson “Bubba” Hale, AADE director emeritus and chair of the Industry Advisory Council to Nicholls’ petroleum services program, presented the check on behalf of the New Orleans, Lafayette and national chapters of AADE.

“We’ve provided these funds because the petroleum services industry is in desperate need of qualified personnel,” Hale said.

Founded in 1973, Nicholls’ petroleum services program allows offshore employees to continue working a seven-on/seven-off shift schedule while earning degrees as full or part-time students. As opposed to traditional technology programs, Nicholls’ curriculum prepares students for the operations segment of the industry rather than engineering aid positions.

The majority of petroleum services students leave the program with significant promotions and increased job opportunities.

“I would like to thank Mr. Freeman and Mr. Hale for their valuable leadership and guidance, as well as all petroleum services faculty members who have worked very hard to improve the quality of education in our program,” Asrabadi said.