Oil and Gas Industry Donation
Funds Scholarships, More


The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Petroleum Technology program has received $13,500 from an annual Oil and Gas Industry charity auction that has purchased equipment and given scholarships to students to help pay for books and supplies.

Each full-time student in the program will receive $250 and each part-time student $125.

Dr. Livingston Alexander, university president, said the donation represented a vote of support for the reinstatement of the petroleum technology degree program two years ago.

“In re-establishing the program we hoped to secure the support, endorsement and good will of representatives of the oil and gas industry. This generous gift is a clear indication that our friends in the industry support what we are attempting to do.

“We are deeply grateful to the local Oil and Gas Industry for its generous support of students enrolled in the program and for making it possible for us to secure vital equipment.”

Dr. Assad Panah, director of the petroleum technology program and professor of geology, said two desktop computers and a Trimble handheld computer designed for field data collection, were purchased with the donation. The program was also able to purchase a ProScope HR, the world’s first handheld digital microscope, which can let students see samples in the field at magnifications of 30 to 100 times.

“The ProScopes,” Panah said, “will be used in the laboratory for field sample analyses and reservoir rock characterization.”

The donation also funded the purchase of 12 pocket stereoscopes for interpreting enhanced aerial photos that appear three dimensional and high-powered hand magnifying lenses and surveying tools to collect geologic field data and measure rock layers.

“Students will be better prepared for careers in the petroleum industry from experience with this equipment,” Panah said.

The annual event was co-chaired by Betsy Aiello of Aiello Brothers Oil & Gas and Renee Snyder of Snyder Brothers Oil & Gas, with assistance from Lisa Pecora of Rattler Well Services.

Pecora explained that the auction “started three years ago to bring together all facets of the oil and gas industry for an evening of celebration while giving back to community charities. We are thrilled to support the university’s petroleum technology program this year. Our industry counts on good quality education in the various aspects of the oil- and gas-related businesses in Bradford and hopes the funds donated provide equipment to keep the program current. We want the scholarships to assist students in the program as they continue their petroleum related education.”

Timothy Lyon, sales engineer for Schlumberger and adjunct professor in the program, agreed. “Choosing Pitt-Bradford’s petroleum technology program as the benefactor from this year’s event underscores the industry’s desire for local high school graduates to continue their education in science with the two-year associate degree program in petroleum technology, “ he said. “This offers a promising opportunity for gainful employment and advancement, which is most attractive, especially as the country faces an economic recession.”

The curriculum includes classes in geology, drilling, petroleum and natural gas chemistry, gathering and transportation, well log interpretation, geophysical prospecting, as well as classes addressing environmental and safety aspects of the industry.

In the photo, provided by Pitt-Bradford, from left, Dr. Assad Panah, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professor of geology, shows new equipment to Douglas E. Kuntz, president and CEO of Pennsylvania General Energy Co., LLC, Tim Lyon, sales engineer for Schlumberger, and Dr. Livingston Alexander, president of Pitt-Bradford. A donation from a Oil and Gas Industry charity auction earlier this year purchased equipment for Pitt-Bradford’s petroleum technology program and provided scholarships for students in the program.

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