SPE Webinar: Programming for Engineers

SPE Webinars is hosting a 4-day webinar series on “Programming for Engineers” during 19–22 September. The webinars will review fundamental computer science and programming concepts in the context of writing Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) "macros" to automate Microsoft Excel. Participants will build simple automated tools for common oil and gas tasks while covering algorithms, data structures, program design, and debugging. The Excel automation API, the limitations of the Excel/VBA environment, and some topics for future self-directed learning will also be discussed.

Each session runs 60 minutes and registering participants are automatically signed up for all four parts of this series.

Session 1, September 19: Covers fundamental programming concepts in the context of the VBA language. Data types, functions, and basic data structures will be used to build simple calculations that can be used from Excel spreadsheets.

Session 2, September 20: Discussion on object-oriented programming and the Excel automation API. Participants will begin work on a larger case study project and use the VBA debugger to locate programming errors.

Session 3, September 21: In the third session, the case study project started in the second session will be completed. Speaker will discuss how to provide a graphical user interface for Excel automation projects using VBA's built-in tools.

Session 4, September 22: The final session will review what was accomplished so far in the previous sessions, survey-selected additional topics, and discuss other programming languages and paradigms that students may wish to explore in the future.


Derrick W. Turk is an independent data science consultant supporting the E&P industry. He is the author of the aRpsDCA open-source library for decline curve analysis and developer of several proprietary custom software systems for production forecasting, portfolio modeling, and other tasks. Before his consulting career, he worked as a reservoir engineer assisting exploration and A&D efforts with numerical and statistical modeling. Turk holds a BS in mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas and has been a member of SPE since 2010.

To register for the webinars, click here.

Can't make it to the live event? Register anyway to have access to the on-demand archives to watch at your convenience.