TOPCORP Project Receives Chairman’s Stewardship Award for Energy Education, Honorable Mention

TOPCORP, a consortium of The University of Texas at Austin, The Pennsylvania State University, and Colorado School of Mines, is proud to announce that our oil and gas inspector training program received the Chairman’s Stewardship Award for Energy Education, Honorable Mention, from the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. The award-winning program combines classroom instruction and field experiences with an online training course, and through funding and in-kind support the program is offered at no-cost to many federal and state regulatory agency personnel.

“The TOPCORP program is helping to ensure that the nation’s oil and gas inspectors can stay on top of the rapidly changing technology involved in the industry through our inspector training program. The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission recognizes that this training is a critical step to stewarding and protecting the environment, while efficiently producing energy resources,” said Dr. Hilary Olson, department lecturer and research center Director of Education, Training and Outreach for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Olson is the project lead for the TOPCORP project at UT Austin.

Constant innovation is a hallmark of the oil and gas industry. Private industry has the resources to invest in training for its engineers and field operators to learn and manage new technologies and processes in fields and wells. Government agencies often do not have the funding or capacity to provide similar training. As a result, there is a knowledge gap between the people who operate and manage oil and gas fields, and the people who are responsible for monitoring and regulating them on behalf of the public. TOPCORP is closing this gap.

Participants complete the TOPCORP program with a deeper understanding of the science and engineering facts related to the latest technologies used in oil and gas operations in order for them to better engage with industry experts when monitoring facilities, and also to better interpret and translate this work for the public citizens they represent in protecting the environment and in developing natural resources.

About TOPCORP: TOPCORP is a comprehensive, practical training program based on scientific principles for oil and gas field inspectors, regulators and policy makers to improve understanding of the technologies employed in conventional, shale gas and tight oil field operations. There is no other forum, gathering or system for oil and gas inspectors to learn this information and connect with their peers.

Since TOPCORP started in 2013, over 250 attendees from 30 different U.S. state, U.S. fed­eral and Canadian provincial regulatory agencies have logged more than 20,000 contact hours as part of the training program.