The events of 2020 require no explanation. They have changed life for the last seven months and continue to do so.
SPE Aberdeen has a mission handed down from SPE International “to collect, disseminate, and exchange technical knowledge” and “to provide opportunities for professionals to enhance their technical and professional competence”.
Due to the issues with our typical delivery, many like-minded people congregating in the same room discussing and sharing knowledge, we have had to change our mode of operation somewhat.
Incoming SPE president Tom Blasingame likens the current crisis to a storm and notes “humans have evolved and survived not despite adversity but because of it”. I think we can reflect on this and hopefully see some cracks in the clouds and look for the sun breaking through.
With this in mind, we have turned our output digital and found many benefits. Our Continuing Education programme was hugely affected, so we replaced major conferences and adapted them to bite-sized webinars timed to suit the working day. With three (Seismic, Devex and CCUS) safely under our belts we understand what works and what does not. The feedback and data from a digital event gives a huge insight into viewing time and engagement — valuable information for our upcoming and future events.
Our evening technical programme, usually held at the Sandman Signature Hotel, was likewise affected but has transformed into a series of technical webinars. Being unhindered by location and timing we have managed to provide a varied range of topics delivered by and available to anyone around the globe, providing we are cognisant of the relevant time-zones.
Outreach to students and schools is more critical than ever. Teachers and lecturers are adjusting to the new normal of remote and blended learning. SPE Aberdeen is here to support, digitally of course, and has a vast range of volunteers standing by. Indeed, a number are currently supporting TechFest’s STEM in the Pipeline Energising the Transition essay competition and are being interviewed by students as part of the research for their chosen topic.
Our members stand fast and I hope they continue to associate themselves with SPE Aberdeen. The entire industry, not just Aberdeen, is in a stage of constant change, an energy transition if you will. We aim to be at the leading edge of this transition, understanding our members’ needs, and being at the forefront of technology exchange and knowledge sharing, especially where it involves skills transfer and the livelihoods of thousands of professionals.
What will the future bring? In any scenario SPE Aberdeen shall reflect what is current and pertinent to the energy industry, be mindful of and embrace change, and champion the future to carve out a meaningful, challenging career for all.