2014 YMOSA Winners Share Their SPE Experience

Amber Sturrock, Subsea Umbilical Engineer, Chevron

I am honored to be recognized at an international level by my peers for my years of service to SPE. My involvement with SPE has greatly expanded my professional network, which has led to some amazing opportunities in my career.

Favorite volunteer activity: Perhaps, my favorite endeavor was serving on the organizing committee for an SPE Applied Technology Workshop on Deepwater Operations – Post Drilling      & Completions held in 2012.

My message to young professionals (YPs): Take an active role in any professional organization to which you belong.

Ning Liu, Subsurface Team Leader, Tengizchevroil

I felt grateful to the colleagues and friends who initiated and supported the nomination. I am privileged to have received this award among many deserving YPs. We all should take a moment out of our busy schedule to acknowledge and recognize our peers for their outstanding achievements.

Favorite volunteer activity: I have been an SPE technical editor since my early years in graduate school. By reviewing technical papers, I gain new perspectives in various technical areas, and  this helps me improve my technical leadership skills and build a professional network.  In turn, I am able to better serve SPE with increasing influence, from being an Outstanding Associate Editor for SPE Journal in 2009 to becoming a program committee member for SPE conferences.

My message to YPs: As the Chinese saying goes: A journey of one thousand miles begins with a single step. Enjoy the work assigned to you, always keep a positive attitude, and give your 110%.

Matthew Balhoff, Associate Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Winning the award is truly a great honor. The award ceremony was a once in a lifetime experience and it was an opportunity to be in the presence of so many people who have made huge contributions to the industry and SPE.

Favorite volunteer activity: I attended my first SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in 2002 in San Antonio as a student and now I try to attend every year. The ATCE is a great way to network, participate in and view technical presentations, and learn more about cutting-edge technology in the oil and gas industry.

My message to YPs: I recommend YPs to try to gain a broad experience in the oil and gas industry by working in all upstream areas (e.g., drilling, reservoir, and production). I also suggest getting involved with SPE early, whether it be through volunteering or attending technical meetings.

Manish Choudhary, Reservoir Engineer,  Royal Dutch Shell

YMOSA is quite a privilege and I am very happy to be selected for the award. The award re-energizes YPs to get more involved in SPE activities. I am also looking forward to mentoring upcoming YPs to take advantage of SPE programs and activities.

Favorite volunteer activity: For the past several years, I have been involved with  the Young Professionals Coordinating Committee. As part of the committee, I helped organize a YP workshop at the 2014 ATCE, mentored new sections to start YP programs, and I am currently helping to improve the Ambassador Lecturer program.

My message to YPs: Actively participate in SPE events to stay updated on new technologies. SPE offers lots of opportunities to improve technical, leadership, and soft skills. Make use of them to connect with members across the globe and to develop various skill sets.

Siddhartha Gupta, Software Product Manager, Schlumberger

Winning the award was a great experience and being in the same room as the other distinguished SPE honorees was a privilege in itself. Being recognized is always a nice thing, and now I have an even stronger drive to contribute to SPE at local and international levels.

Favorite volunteer activity: Serving on the YP board of the  SPE Gulf Coast Section was perhaps the most exciting phase of my SPE career. This position also helped me grow my professional network and connect with other individuals in the oil and gas industry working in the Houston area.

My message to YPs: I have met some of the best technical and management professionals in my career through SPE, so my first suggestion to the YPs would be to consider SPE as a group of highly talented individuals who can act as your mentors and sounding board. Start connecting with them today. Secondly, talk to the members of your local chapter and start getting involved. By going to more events, you can meet more YPs who will motivate you and perhaps even guide you to a new opportunity within the local chapter.  And lastly, for those who are already actively involved in SPE, my advice would be to try new things. For example, if you are on the YP board, try applying for the TWA editorial committee. SPE has so much to offer that working in one specific area gives you a limited perspective and does not allow other interested individuals to get involved.

Ghaithan Al-Muntasheri, Team Lead, Production Technology, Aramco Research Center

I am extremely happy to bring this honor to SPE Saudi Arabia Section (SAS) as well as Saudi Aramco and Aramco Research Center, Houston. Commitment and creativity are the hallmarks of research and development professionals. Volunteering with SPE has always been rewarding and to be recognized for contributing is something I never imagined.

Favorite volunteer activity: I think one of the greatest volunteer activities has been with SAS. I have helped to double the size of the section’s membership and actively served as chairman in 2012. During that time we had more than 4,000 members and I had the privilege of overseeing more than 100 events.

My message to YPs: Get involved. SPE offers you unlimited opportunities for personal and professional development.  Involvement in SPE has helped me to grow and contribute to the advancement of industry knowledge. It has also been a source of pride for my company, Saudi Aramco.


Photo:  Winners of the 2014 SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award (YMOSA) at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. From left: 2014 SPE President Jeff Spath, Amber Sturrock, Ning Liu, Siddhartha Gupta, Manish Choudhary, Matthew Balhoff, and Ghaithan Al-Muntasheri.