Why I Came to LSU

This blog post comes from one of our undergraduates majoring in petroleum engineering. He shares why he chose to attend LSU as an out-of-state student, what he finds unique about the college, and what his experience has been like so far.  

“If you want to be successful, you must decide exactly what you want, then be willing to pay the price to get it.” – Bunker Hunt

So why LSU? Is this school and Petroleum Engineering worth the 1,500 miles from my home and family? Can I actually do this? Am I good enough? These are just some of the questions I asked myself 10 months ago. Born and raised in Michigan, I didn’t have the luxury of studying Petroleum Engineering anywhere in-state or any nearby states. This was just another obstacle for me to overcome. So I began my search for a school by simply Google searching, “Top 10 Petroleum Engineering programs.” That was the first day I even heard Louisiana State University had a petroleum engineering program, let alone being in the top 10 in the country. So I made a list of five schools from that list that I would consider attending and began to research each school completely.

The last school I researched was LSU, but of course I already knew about the athletics. So I definitely liked the idea of getting to watch some of the best athletes in the country compete and get the opportunity to meet them around campus. Also, the campus was without a doubt the nicest of all the campuses I considered attending. Warm winters, as compared to a winter in Northern Michigan, was just another one of the great things about LSU. The most appealing thing about the LSU College of Engineering to me was having access to the Petroleum Engineering Research and Technology Transfer Laboratory (PERTT Lab) which is on LSU’s campus. The facility consists of six live wells used for research. Students have opportunities to work at the facility and gain experience, which I thought was extremely important.

Also, not only was the size of the College of Engineering impressive, but with a 90 percent placement rate into employment or graduate school after graduation was very appealing. Ultimately, I decided to go to LSU based off a phone conversation I had with Fredrick Thurber, the coordinator for the Petroleum Engineering department. He told me that if I wanted to graduate with a great education and world of opportunity in the oil industry in front of me, then LSU is the place to be.

Chris Adams in Tiger Stadium

Chris Adams in Tiger Stadium

Since coming to LSU, I have grown a lot as an individual. I had no idea how many great people I would meet. I’ve made life-long friends in the few months I have been here. I have had great instructors that have challenged me in the classroom, but allowed me to see just what I am capable of. Since coming to LSU I have gotten involved in student organizations that allowed me to make great friends, connections in the industry, and have some great experiences. As a petroleum engineering major, I am involved with the LSU Student Section of the American Association of Drilling Engineers and with the Society for Petroleum Engineers. Without both of these great organizations, my LSU experience would not be the same.

The American Association of Drilling Engineers - LSU Section

The American Association of Drilling Engineers – LSU Student Section

So if you are considering LSU and our College of Engineering, Geaux for the Gold! Come see what is offered here. A great education, beautiful campus, amazing programs, possibly the best few years of your life, and so much more is all waiting here for you in the LSU College of Engineering.

By Christopher Adams
American Association of Drilling Engineers, Executive Assistant
Major: Petroleum Engineering
Hometown: St. Louis, MI

Inside ASCE at LSU

To understand what a student organization is all about, just take a look at what the students spend their time doing! ASCE at LSU provides an inside look at their activities from the 2015 fall semester.

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) at LSU had a busy fall semester with our bi-monthly student chapter meetings, attending community service events and touring the Patrick F. Taylor construction site on LSU’s campus. The most recent chapter meetings featured guest speakers from ASCE Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers (COPRI) and BASF. Daniel Dehon and Jarret Bauer, two professionals in the field, spoke about the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of ASCE and how students can get involved. Kenneth Arceneaux, an employee of BASF, spoke about various civil engineering projects, tips on how to be successful and ethics in engineering.

Our ASCE student chapter joined the Louisiana Water Environment Association (LWEA) student members for a community service event to clean up the LSU lakes on October 11, 2015. A total of 24 students participated in removing debris and trash around the lakes and the surrounding areas.

LSU Lake Clean-Up

LSU Lake Clean-Up, October 11, 2015

In conjunction with the ASCE Baton Rouge Branch, LSU ASCE student members attended a luncheon featuring the $110 million Patrick F. Taylor Hall renovation and expansion project. Guest speakers Roger Husser, Director of Planning, Design and Construction for LSU Facility Services, and Mike Lemoine, Operations Manager for the Lemoine Company, spoke of the construction progress made in the expansion, and of the future phases in construction. A tour of the perimeter of the construction site followed the meeting, guided by Roger Husser.

Rendering of Completed Patrick F. Taylor Hall - East Elevation

Rendering of Completed Patrick F. Taylor Hall – East Elevation

The spring semester is sure to be even busier with our Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge competitions! To learn more about ASCE at LSU, visit asce.lsu.edu or follow us on Instagram @ascelsu.

Leading into Graduation: Leadership LSU Class of 2015

Courtney Irwin

Courtney Irwin

This month’s post comes from Courtney Irwin, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in leadership development. As an LSU student, Courtney served as the Engineers without Borders (EWB) chapter president. Courtney is also a candidate for the Distinguished Communicator certification, which recognizes students that demonstrate successful use of their communication skills in leadership roles and community service.

Leadership LSU is an annual program which addresses adaptive leadership through the lens of critical issues here in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. This year, the Leadership LSU Class of 2015 explored issues such as race, education, modern day slavery, and crime with various speakers including Maxine Crump, the first woman of color to live on LSU’s campus, and Dr. Laura Murphy, Founder and Director of Loyola University’s Modern Slavery Research Project. Participants gained specific insight into these issues and focused on the adaptive leadership challenges that each leader faced.

Leadership LSU Class of 2015

Leadership LSU Class of 2015

I learned an incredible amount about myself over the course of the program, and was able to identify challenges in my own life and my own leadership efforts that were echoed by the leaders and by my peers in each session. Throughout my time here at LSU and in the College of Engineering, I have been in many leadership positions, whether in small group settings or larger student organizations, and have faced many challenges. Some of these challenges stemmed from my own skills or my team members’ skills, but others were much greater challenges stemming from organizational or societal issues. Being able to reflect on my personal experiences while learning about the experiences of other leaders led me to many personal realizations and understandings. Sometimes, it is important to take a step back, as hard as it may be, and reevaluate a situation.

Courtney Irwin and fellow Leadership LSU Class of 2015 members

Courtney Irwin and fellow Leadership LSU Class of 2015 members

Even in a setting such as community service where you would like to be on the ground getting work done, it is sometimes more beneficial as a leader for you to step back, observe, and develop a new strategy before getting back in the action. Reflection can also be an incredible tool for growth. I was able to identify several aspects of my previous experiences and challenges that I had not extensively thought about before, and look at them with a new perspective.

The leadership and teamwork skills that I have learned throughout my time at LSU and through the Leadership LSU program have been, and will continue, to be invaluable as I move forward in my career. After graduation in May, I will work full-time in New Orleans, La. for Shell International Exploration and Production Co. as a Wells Engineer, specifically for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. As a drilling engineer, one works as a project engineer, interacting with people from many companies with different technical skills, educational backgrounds, and cultural backgrounds. It is very much a team position with inherent leadership because of the decisions that are left to the drilling engineers.

Many engineers are in roles with similar responsibilities and that require communication, team, and leadership skills. Be sure to make the most of the opportunities you are presented with here at LSU, both in and out of your classes. Geaux Tigers!

– By Courtney Irwin
Mechanical Engineering

Making the Most of Your Time at LSU through Student Organizations

This blog post is contributed by a mechanical engineering junior named Jordan who has been involved in student organizations at the College and University level. She’s going to share with you how they’ve made a positive impact on her time at LSU and even her future!

My junior year at LSU I decided to get more serious about my future and getting a full-time job, so I decided to work at the Encounter Engineering freshman transitions camp and become a part of a student organization called the Society of Peer Mentors. I found out about this organization because all of my friends were in it, which is usually how you learn good information in college: talking to people. Building friendships, talking to people, and seeking advice has caused me to have the most success at LSU. Friendships help get you through classes because of moral support.

Society of Peer Mentors before Encounter Engineering Camp

Society of Peer Mentors before Encounter Engineering Camp

Although I have been in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, African Student Organization, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineers Without Borders, and the Society of Women Engineers – the Society of Peer Mentors holds a dear place in my heart. The Society of Peer Mentors (SPM) instilled in me leadership skills, taught me responsibility, helped me network, and grow as a student. They taught me how to make a resume, interview and improve my communication skills. It also caused me to get rid of my hot pink hair and knee-high socks. SPM is an interdisciplinary leadership organization for STEM majors that feels more like a family than an obligation, and I can honestly say I would’ve dropped out of LSU if it weren’t for the people I turned to there for support. The faculty I met there really care about students’ success and the bonds I’ve made have been indelible.

Jordan with previous STEP Manager, Summer Dann, and another peer mentor.

Jordan with previous STEP Manager, Summer Dann, and another peer mentor.

Some other great things about the Society of Peer Mentors has been the students I’ve worked with. In SPM student innovation and involvement is key. In fact, some of my peers started Robotics mentoring programs at local schools and others started Louisiana’s first hackathon with “Geaux Hack.” It’s been amazing to constantly be working with amazing people that challenge me to be better every day.

Student organizations like SPM have been a stepping stone to my jobs. They taught me about responsibility and how to disagree with someone. I’ve had to deal with real-life issues like funding, conflict of interest and mentoring people in tough situations. They’ve made me a leader and have helped me connect to people I would’ve previously not thought possible. Undoubtedly the real world is harder. I found this out when I took a year off to work a Co-Op and get experience. But student orgs help you mature professionally, as well as personally, and help make the transition to full-time work easier.

Jordan and peers at a press conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal

Jordan and peers at a press conference with Gov. Bobby Jindal

That being said…Any form of involvement at LSU will help make you a better all-around person whether it be tutoring at the center of academic success, painting up with friends for football games, rolling down the Indian Mounds at four in the morning with your best friend, or playing pickup soccer with the international students on the Parade grounds. You get out of LSU what you put into it. As a student you need to enjoy college while it lasts and really find yourself. Take the time to discover your goals and passions and don’t get distracted from being happy. Make the most of your time at LSU and explore.

By Jordan Favret
Mechanical Engineering Junior