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Education and Training for the Oil Industry

Nature volume 140, page 459 (11 September 1937) | Download Citation



THE days when a liberal education and an effective personality were sufficient qualifications for entry into the petroleum industry are now over. As Prof. A. W. Nash pointed out in a paper presented to the Chemical Engineering Congress, World Power Conference, 1936 (J. lust. Pet. Tech., 22; 1936), specialized vocational training is the only adequate background for technical men seeking employment in the industry. Moreover, this specialized training should be directed towards one particular branch of the industry, for example, geology, production, or refining, for in each of these branches different sciences are involved and correspondingly different technical knowledge is necessary for the solution of such problems as may be encountered. Before proceeding to specialize, however, the student must acquire a sound knowledge of the fundamental principles of physics, mathematics and chemistry, together with a working understanding of engineering and chemical engineering. Finally, having mastered these fundamentals and specialized in a particular branch of the industry, the technician should familiarize himself at least with the basic principles underlying the remaining branches of the industry, for in this way alone will he acquire a clear conception of any problem which may present itself from the point of view of the industry as a whole. Universities and other institutions which provide such training for the industry, are fully alive to the fact that, apart from the actual acquisition of knowledge, the student is there primarily to learn how to apply such knowledge, to interpret it and make use of it in the solution of new problems, and their curricula are adjusted accordingly. For the man who has made full use of any such training, there are openings in the industry unrivalled in any other from the points of view of scope and advancement.

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