June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
11.453.1 - 11.453.12
Development and presentation of the interdisciplinary course Petroleum Project Evaluation: integrating entrepreneurial and business concepts into a petroleum engineering curriculum.
The interdisciplinary course, PET 4460 – Petroleum Project Evaluation, offered at Montana Tech, was a direct result of the changing landscape in the petroleum engineering field. The course combined engineering concepts that students learned in other courses with entrepreneurship and other business concepts that entry-level petroleum engineers must possess in order to be successful. Faculty from the Business and Petroleum Engineering departments developed the course over a two-year time span with input/feedback from the Petroleum Engineering Department’s industrial advisory board as well as input from upper-level management from many of the businesses operating in the petroleum arena. The subjects covered in the class were designed to cover topics from “beginning to end” in petroleum project evaluation. The course begins with an overview of project management principles and then continues with coverage of subjects such as entrepreneurial startup financing and capital formation, land ownership, oil and gas contracts, cash flow analysis, financial statement analysis, and the use of futures contracts to hedge risk, to name a few. The course culminated with a hands-on project using the lessons provided in the course combined with commonly used industry software to “tie everything together.”
The paper examines the development of the course, the need for interdisciplinary cooperation, the delivery of the course, and assessment of the course effectiveness.
Introduction and Background
Today’s outstanding engineer must have the knowledge of many sciences and disciplines. Interdisciplinary skills help an engineer to cope with the changing social, economic, and political conditions that influence technology and its development1. Engineering is a profession that serves many functions of design and problem solving. These engineering functions support the goals of business and entrepreneurship, and in turn engineering is supported by entrepreneurship. The ideas and designs created by engineers are only useful if they fill a need and have a market, such as creating machines for improving industry or solving troublesome problems. As Thomas L. Magnanti, dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has stated, “We in engineering don’t study entrepreneurship per se; we do entrepreneurship. We create products and processes that people use. Bringing together management and engineering provides an ideal combination2.
This basic relationship is not often demonstrated in the delivery of college engineering courses. The lectures and labs for engineering courses tend to focus on the scientific method and the application of principles and tools to solve problems. For engineering training to be complete it must also emphasize that successful engineering takes place within the framework of business and entrepreneurship. Engineers are [an] excellent source of high growth potential
Abbott, D., & Edwards, L., & Evans, J., & Heath, L., & Johnson, M., & Kober, T., & North-Abbott, M., & Oldenkamp, R. (2006, June), Development And Presentation Of The Interdisciplinary Course Petroleum Project Evaluation: Integrating Entrepreneurial And Business Concepts Into A Petroleum Engineering Curriculum. Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--427
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