Geoscience students from the University of Utah took the top prize in this year’s AAPG/AAPG Foundation Imperial Barrel Award competition, beating out 10 other teams from geoscience departments from around the world.
The finals were held in Pittsburgh right before the start of the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition – and for the second year, the awards ceremony itself was held immediately before the convention’s opening session.
That session, emceed by IBA co-chairs David Cook and Chuck Caughey, and featuring swirling lights, rollicking music and a celebratory atmosphere, attracted a crowd estimated at more than 500.
Members of the winning Utah team are AAPG members Mason Edwards, Morgan Rosenberg, Tyler Szwarc and Alexandre Turner, plus Marko Gorenc.
The winning team, representing the Rocky Mountain Section, received the actual 2013 Imperial Barrel Award, individual medals and a $20,000 prize for their school’s geoscience department.
Finishing second (Selley Cup winners) was the team from the University of Oklahoma, representing the Mid-Continent Section, which earned individual medals and $10,000 in scholarship funds for the department.
Finishing third (Stoneley Medal winners) was the team from Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, representing the Middle East Region, which earned individual medals and $5,000 in scholarship funds for their department.
The remaining eight finalists, all winners in Region or Section competitions, each earned $1,000 in scholarship funds for their schools plus individual medals for themselves as IBA finals participants.
The final teams were (in alphabetical order):
- Africa Region – Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria.
- Asia-Pacific Region – Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), Indonesia.
- Canada Region – Dalhousie University.
- Europe Region – Manchester University, England.
- Latin America Region – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
- Eastern Section – University of Wisconsin-Madison.
- Gulf Coast Section – Texas A&M University.
- Pacific Section – University of Alaska-Fairbanks.
The IBA program gives teams of students the chance to evaluate the petroleum potential of a sedimentary basin and to test their creative geological interpretations. Their work must be completed in a six-to-eight week period, with results presented to – and judged by – an independent panel of petroleum industry experts.
A total of 107 teams from 30 countries, involving at least 535 students, competed in this year’s IBA program.
Past IBA winners were teams from:
- 2012 – University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
- 2011 – University of Texas at Austin.
- 2010 – Institut Francais du Petrole, Rueil-Malmaison, France.
- 2009 – Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
- 2008 – The University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
- 2007 – The University of Aberdeen, Scotland.