Student secures top scholarship

ABERDEEN University student Nurkenay Bulekbayeva has been awarded the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) prestigious SPE STAR Scholarship for the North Sea region for 2011-12.

The 19-year-old beat competition from a list of undergraduate students from across Europe.

Miss Bulekbayeva, originally from Kazakhstan, is in her second year studying petroleum engineering, and has been a member of the SPE Aberdeen section since arriving in Scotland to study.

She was one of only two winners for the North Sea region.

The vice-president of Aberdeen University’s SPE student chapter, said: “As soon as I arrived in Aberdeen I was advised to join SPE, as it was the best way for students to interact with industry and the Aberdeen section has been extremely supportive of me and my studies since I joined.

“The money will help me stay active with my SPE Aberdeen commitments and will also help me balance my university work with the networking and extra-curricular opportunities that being an SPE member has given me.

“The award also provides me with motivation to give something back to SPE by way of thanks for their continued support, and I hope to continue to be a member after I graduate and long into my professional career.”

The STAR Scholarship Award means Miss Bulekbayeva will receive about $2,500 (about £1,550) a year until she graduates.

SPE Aberdeen and Aberdeen University have also agreed to provide extra sponsorship for Miss Bulekbayeva so that she can to fly to Denver, Colorado to collect her award at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) later this year.

Aberdeen University’s undergraduate petroleum engineering programme was launched in 2008.

The STAR Scholarship for undergraduates supports SPE members pursuing degrees related to the oil and gas industry.