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A Unique University Professional Society Partnership

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.69.1 - 5.69.5



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Paper Authors

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Robert Sumrall

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Nuggenhalli S Nandagopal

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Gilbert J. Groendyke

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1350

A Unique University-Professional Society Partnership

N. S. Nandagopal, Gilbert Groendyke, Robert Sumrall University of Houston-Downtown/Brown & Root Energy Services


This paper describes the unique partnership between the University of Houston- Downtown (UH-D) and the Society of Piping Engineers and Designers (SPED). UH-D offers a four-year program in piping design. The program leads to a BS degree in Engineering Technology with a major in Process and Piping Design. The program is TAC/ABET accredited. The program meets the special needs of the Houston-Gulf coast area, which is a center for Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies, as well as chemical and petrochemical industries. SPED was founded in 1980 to promote the piping profession and to meet the education and training needs of piping engineers and designers. Because of the uniqueness of the piping profession and its special educational needs, SPED and the piping program at UH-D share many common objectives. As a result, there is tremendous synergy in this partnership. Both SPED and UH-D have exploited this synergy and used it to their mutual benefit. This has resulted in a win-win situation for both SPED and UH-D. This paper describes the origin and growth of this partnership. The future potential of this partnership is also explored. Finally, the importance of such partnerships in the success of specialized, market-niche programs is explained.

Origin of the Partnership

The University of Houston-Downtown (UH-D) offers a unique baccalaureate degree program in Process and Piping Design. When this degree program was created in 1977, an industry advisory committee was established. The members of this advisory committee were senior managers and supervisors in the piping design and engineering field. The advisory committee provided valuable guidance in the development of courses for the program so as to meet the needs of the industry. The committee also articulated very well the need for such a program in the Texas Gulf-Coast area which has a high concentration of professionals engaged in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of piping systems for the chemical and petrochemical industry. Thus, the

Sumrall, R., & Nandagopal, N. S., & Groendyke, G. J. (2000, June), A Unique University Professional Society Partnership Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8794

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