People, Engineers and SPE Members

9. October, 2011 News No comments
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People, this is what we engineers and SPE Members do not take care enough. We are people first, then engineers, then SPE Members. People come always first.

 I have attended and participated to the Offshore Technology Conference of Houston, Texas, for the last 20 years. Each and every year there are panel discussions, presentations of hundreds of papers and also multiple poster sessions from service companies and contractors. They all discuss, report and comment on techniques, methods, budgets and projects but also on all kinds of problems such as delays in completion (of wells, of projects, etc.), repair times, failures of equipment (not seldom enough reported), stand-bye times. What is behind all this ? People.

 Houstonis full of engineering “think tanks”. The buildings of such engineering companies as Technip, Worley Parsons, Brown and Root, Coots, Mustang and Sercel for instance are as big as the buildings of Conoco-Phillips, BP,Devonor BP. What is populating these buildings ? People.

There are as many engineers in consulting companies such as Gaffney and Cline, Knowledge Reservoir and DeGolyer and MacNaughton as in  the Operators offices. What is populating these companies ? People.

 Yes, I heavily insist on people. Our education, then our working life, do not recognize enough that we are dealing with people before than dealing with engineers and with SPE Members. We as people we have our family background, our environment, our education, and then later on we have our family life – husband or wife, and kids. All this create and induce satisfaction and dissatisfaction, pleasures and pains, happiness and madness. Whatever our professionalism, all this directly impacts our work as engineers and our behavior as SPE Members. If we have problems at home we cannot concentrate on our work, and if our Wife or Husband needs us at home we cannot be a good volunteer for SPE.

 I am personally pushing for an extended spread of integrated multidisciplinary project management teams. But if one does not like any other member of this team the project will then most likely go wrong as the individual thinking’s will not integrate. This was most likely situation that was at the origin of the Macondo catastrophe.

 We learn a lot at school then at university, but we do not learn how to work with people, how to understand our co-workers. This is not a matter of psychoanalyze (!…) , but just a matter of care. We must care for people and show it. Then the work, the project, will be enjoyable and most likely successful.

 When you compete with other students in the course of paper contests,  then later on with your co-workers for obtaining a promotion, or with other SPE Members for getting an award, please be fair, please care for your competitors. The competition will then be fun and the winner will deserve the glory and your faithful support.

 Care, and people will give you more in return than you can ever dream.

 

Serge Rueff, Ph.D,

Member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Petroleum Engineers International

Regional Director of South, Central and East Europe

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