SPE WA Scholarships 2016 20 Sep 2016

The Western Australia Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE WA) provides scholarships annually to support Western Australian university students specialising in fields of study that will lead to a professional career in petroleum engineering.

In 2016, the WA Section of SPE offered four scholarships with a value of $2,500 aimed at engineering students in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees pursuing a career in the oil and gas industry. These scholarships are aimed at recognising, encouraging and assisting talented and passionate individuals who are the industry’s up-and-coming energy professionals.

The recipients of the 2016 awards were selected based on academic performance, extra-curricular and volunteer involvements, and demonstrated interest in the oil and gas industry.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2016 scholarships:

  • Andrew Pelc, Chemical Engineering, University of Western Australia
  • Christopher Evans, Petroleum Engineering, Curtin University
  • Lauren Malaxos, Chemical Engineering, University of Western Australia
  • Rory Machell, Petroleum Engineering, Curtin University

The scholarships were presented by SPE WA 2015-2016 Chairperson, Stephanie Lim, at the Technical Lunch and Annual General Meeting on 14 July 2016.

SPE WA 2016 Scholarships Recipient – Profile No 1, Christopher Evans


I am currently in my penultimate year studying a Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering at Curtin University. I am set to graduate in November 2017.

I have always had an interest in the oil and gas industry. At a young age I was curious of where the petrol my parents put in their car came from. In my early high school years, I won a speaking competition by discussing rising petrol prices and how they affected my family. Once I studied chemistry I became interested in chemical processes and developed a passion for it. I then completed the Chevron Powering Careers in Energy course in year 12 of my studies. It was this course and my interest in the petroleum industry that influenced me to study petroleum engineering. Now that I have matured and commenced studying my degree, that curiosity has developed into a passion and commitment to benefit the oil and gas industry.

I am interested in applying myself to many different situations in my future career and also excited by the many challenges that lay ahead. The oil and gas industry is not a stable one. A high oil price is great for employers and employees alike, but during a downturn like the current one we are facing the industry becomes extremely competitive and finding a job is quite difficult. Whilst this may intimidate a lot of students, I simply view it as another problem that I must solve on my way to becoming a petroleum engineer. To gain a position at a successful petroleum operations company in today’s market climate would make me feel that I have truly earned it. You never know what is going to happen in the oil and gas industry, and I am incredibly excited to overcome any challenges that I face in my future career.

In the years to come I plan to complete my degree and obtain my Bachelor of Petroleum Engineering. I aspire to gain a graduate position at a successful petroleum engineering Operations Company as a reservoir engineer. After completing the graduate program I wish to gain a full time position at the company. Once I have this position I hope to work within the company to help make their processes more sustainable. I have always had a passion for sustainability, not just for the environment, but also economically and socially. I strive to set and achieve my goals, so I would add great value to the petroleum engineering community by working to maintain and hopefully improve the environmental and social sustainability.

I applied for the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) scholarship because I am greatly interested in becoming more involved in the organisation. I am grateful for the commitment SPE has to maintaining a strong involvement in the engineering community. I aim to create a stronger and more supportive community for my fellow petroleum engineering students. The scholarship will assist me in doing this by exposing me to more industry events and networking opportunities through SPE WA. The scholarship will also allow me to take full advantage of my surrounding resources. The grant would assist in my achievement of high results, offering me the potential to continue growing the petroleum engineering community through a graduate position.

I am privileged to be awarded the Society of Petroleum Engineers scholarship 2016 and I will take great pleasure in promoting SPE’s values.