July 26, 2011

2nd International Geosciences Student Conference

Even though it's only July and we've got five more months to go in 2011, I dare to say that I spent the best week of this year at the 2nd International Geociences Student Conference (IGSC) and at the SEG/ExxonMobil Student Education Program 2011 from July 8 to July 14 in Kraków, Poland. I associate my time in Kraków with so many strong emotions, wonderful people and valuable experience that it is second to none for this year. Please feel free to disabuse me of that opinion, but you would have to come up with something extremely special and with all due respect I doubt you could.

The IGSC is an international geoscientific conference organized by students for students under the patronage of SEG, EAGE and AAPG. That's the reason why the IGSC adds some very special color to the group of annual international conferences. Following the first IGSC 2010 in Bucharest, Romania, students of the AGH University of Science and Technology organized this year's IGSC and the AGH guys did one hell of a job in giving more than 150 students from all over the world a great time with oral and poster presentations, short courses, exhibition booths, networking events, field trips and the SEG European Challenge Bowl 2011.

 Alexandra Ricu giving a poster presentation on S/N-ratios

Maersk Oil Short Course on seismic interpretation

 exhibition booths in the AGH Entrance Hall

The IGSC and all the events connected to it had quite some impact on the careers and the lives of many people, but on a personal level I'd like to address two aspects in detail which will linger in my mind for quite some time.

First, last year at the SEG Annual Meeting in Denver I was in the audience of the SEG Challenge Bowl Finals 2010 and I really enjoyed it because the challenge bowl combines competition, widespread knowledge about the Earth sciences and also a hell lot of fun. From that moment on I was driven by the idea to be one of the contestants on that exact same stage in 2011. In order to make that dream come true and simultaneously jump-start someone else's career, I teamed up with my dear fellow student Laura. We came to Kraków for the SEG European Challenge Bowl 2011 with the intention to win and then represent the European continent at the SEG Challenge Bowl Finals 2011 in San Antonio in September. And even though it turned out to be a great competition including a nerve-racking and teary win in sudden death for the semifinal, we didn't win but finished third. However, I don't say this with any regret or disappointment because even without a victory the experience of the competition itself was worth it. I wish the winning team, Volodya and Emmanuel, all the best for the SEG Challenge Bowl Finals 2011 in San Antonio. I mean that. And I hope that they show what they're made of and bring the title to Europe.

SEG European Challenge Bowl 2011 in the beautiful AGH Aula

SGS winning in sudden death for the semifinal

SEG European Challenge Bowl 2011 Champions Volodya Hlebnikov (l.) and Emmanuel Ebuka (r.)

Second, I'm especially thankful that SEG and the Exxon Mobil Corporation honored my commitment with a travel grant to the IGSC and the SEG/ExxonMobil Student Education Program 2011. Following the IGSC, 33 young geoscientists from universities all over Europe participated in a 2.5-day program focused on preparing students for the breadth and challenges of a petroleum industry career. Thanks to the experience of the SEP instructors from ExxonMobil and their commitment to share this experience with us, we received an excellent training in how to integrate multidisciplinary subsurface data from plate to pore scale in exploration and production. In the process of studying play trends, verifying play elements, calculating seismic data acquisition geometries, interpreting seismic profiles as well as analyzing well logs and seismic attributes, we learned that even minute changes on a single element of the dataset might alter the whole system of interpretation. However, working as a team of motivated young leaders with excellent technical skills was the key to a well-founded final proposal on how to develop an oil and gas field. And by the way, this was so much fun!

 María García Juanatey and me interpreting seismic profiles

 Volodya Hlebnikov (m.), Mihai Furnica (r.) and me expressing our gratitude to the SEP instructors from ExxonMobil

SEP group photo

However, my time in Kraków would not have been that special without my old SLS friends, all the new friends from all over the world and especially my fellow students from Berlin. I'm glad to say that we managed to send one of the largest delegations to Kraków with ten B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. students from Berlin. In preparation of our trip to Kraków I had developed quite some ideas of how to present ourselves and our fellow students at home, but the reactions and the praise that we received from the other participants and SEG, EAGE and AAPG representatives as well as from industry professionals from companies like ExxonMobil, Maersk Oil and Shell exceeded everything that I had imagined in my wildest dreams. That means a lot to all of us.

 Student Geophysical Society Berlin at the IGSC Icebreaker

 Student Geophysical Society Berlin at the Maersk Oil Short Course

2011 has been an eventful year for the Student Geophysical Society Berlin and it's far from over, but in my eyes, the 2nd IGSC and our time in Kraków in general marked the new best highlight in our history. I'm truly happy and very proud to be a part of this amazing group of ambitious young geoscientists and represent them as their president because that's a true matter of heart. So what's next? Next month provides us with a challenging SGS Berlin Summer Field Camp together with local high school students, but that's gonna be the topic of another blog entry. And the big picture? Kraków was amazing, but in the end it's just another milestone on the way because I see us somewhere else and once again we come across the title of my blog because it's a long way to go. For the time being it's too early to talk about things in detail, but we are meant to be there, we deserve to be there and I promise that we will be there soon. We will raise the bar to unknown heights and on a personal level I will do everything in my power to make this happen.

1 comment:

Klaas Koster said...

Thanks for this great summary. I’m glad that SEG is involved in this event. Keep the ideas coming!

Klaas Koster

SEG President