The Training Academy consists of 20-weeks (100 days) of bespoke one or two week-long modules delivered by academic, governmental and industry experts from the Earth, Environment and Applied Business sectors covering the 4 main themes identified by NERC in the original call as well as additional ones of direct relevance to the Oil & Gas sector. The curriculum is developed by the CDT's Training Academy Committee which comprises industry and academic representatives, thus ensuring that the training programme addresses skills deficits identified by industry as being key to meeting current and future challenges in the sector.
The training programme comprises 10 weeks in year one, 5 in year two and a further 5 in year three. Courses in year one of the PhD programme are mandatory, with optionality being introduced in years 2 and 3 when students choose 4 weeks of courses which can complement and inform their PhD study and/or to develop their CV to cover a wider range of topics and disciplines relevant to the oil & gas sector.
Our partnership has the added luxury of selecting best-in-class from the pick of the current industry professional development and as well as expert academic input in relevant Oil & Gas disciplines including those in Petroleum Geoscience at Aberdeen, Durham, Heriot-Watt, Imperial College & Manchester, the Applied & Petroleum Micropalaeontology MSc at Birmingham, seismic interpretation at Oxford and sub-sea hazard assessment at Southampton amongst others. The aim is not to replicate existing MSc provision, however, but to build an academy which complements the current Masters programmes and company in-house training that industry recruits will subsequently receive.
Training is delivered in a combination of class lectures, group exercises and field trips on a one or two-week residential course basis. Entry cohorts train as a group for the mandatory courses, providing ample opportunity to build knowledge exchange and support networks amongst the student group as well as with the academic and industry professionals leading each course. Elective courses are open to all entry cohorts which promotes further inter-disciplinary working. Courses are hosted by a number of the CDT partners which means that students can experience a variety of research environments in cities around the UK.
The Training Academy holds an annual conference at which the PhD students present the results of their research to date. Oil industry sponsors and representatives from the UK regulatory authorities and government attend the event, which showcases the best academic research in the field of oil and gas. The conference provides a great opportunity for interaction with individual students and their supervisors, thereby facilitating the sharing of ideas and expertise and the identification of research links and new projects. The conference is also an ideal event at which students build the connections that lead to future recruitment opportunities.