Donation Benefits Nicholls Petroleum Degree Programs


THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University’s Department of Petroleum Engineering Technology and Safety Management (PETSM) received a donation of $3,000 from the Evangeline Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Friday, Oct. 25. The donation will benefit the department’s foundation fund for the enhancement of student activities, programs and faculty development.

“We are grateful to the Society of Professional Engineers and many other professional organizations and industry partners that support our department as we work to fill the pipeline with the next generation of engineering technologist to meet industry demands,” said Dr. Al Davis, Dean of University College.

PETSM is geared towards meeting the workforce needs of the expanding ultra deepwater oil and gas industry in southeast Louisiana and offers the only known program designed to accommodate the unique schedule of its workers. Courses are offered around the typical 7-days-on, 7-days-off or 14-days-on, 14-days-off work schedule of an offshore employee.

The curriculum is designed so students can exit with a two-year degree or continue on to receive a four-year Bachelor of Science in petroleum services with concentrations in exploration and production or safety technology. These degree programs will prepare students for mid-level and leadership careers as drill site managers, completion specialists, production managers, well-site intervention field engineers and safety, health and environmental technologists.

“The industry is reaching a critical tipping point due to a lack of experienced workers to replace the retiring baby boomer workforce, while at the same time, technological innovations have allowed oil companies to expand operations in deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” said PETSM Executive Director Michael Gautreaux.

These unique degree programs are the fastest-growing on campus, with fall semester enrollment at nearly 400 students.

For more information about PETSM, visit

(From left) Nicholls Safety Technology and Petroleum Engineering Adjunct Instructor Henry Clyde Foust, Randy Rice of the Evangeline Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, PETSM Executive Director Michael Gautreaux, Zack Carlisle of the Evangeline Chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Dean of University College Dr. Al Davis.

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