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Penn State Geosciences graduate students win Imperial Barrel Regional Competition


 Penn State Geosciences graduate students

A team of Penn State Geosciences graduate students consisting of Alex Burpee, Travis Call,  Dan Kohl, Yunhui Tan, and Anna Wendt and advised by assistant professor Liz Hajek, brought home first place medals from the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Imperial Barrel Award Program. At the end of January, the team received an industry-quality dataset including 3D seismic and well data. They had two months to complete a full evaluation of the dataset and produce a 25 minute presentation summarizing their recommendations for petroleum exploration in the study area, which they presented to a judging panel of industry experts at the regional contest in Pittsburgh on March 24.

 The Penn State team beat out teams from Indiana University, Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis, University of Georgia, University of South Carolina (3rd place winner), University of Wisconsin, and West Virginia University (2nd place winner). The Penn State team will now compete against 11 winning teams from regions across the world at the Imperial Barrel Award International Finals at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach, CA on April 20.

The AAPG Imperial Barrel Award contest provides students the opportunity to gain real-world experience with data analysis, teamwork, decision making and professional communication. Participating teams have the chance to network with industry professionals and potential employers and also have the opportunity to win cash awards for their school. For more information about the Imperial Barrel Award, go to

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