Young Professional Coordinating Committee Update: Learn, Grow, Contribute, and Be Recognized

The powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money. It’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements, according to the motivational theories developed by Frederick Herzberg and covered by the recent article “How Will You Measure Your Life?” in the Harvard Business Review. Serving as a volunteer in SPE and taking leadership roles is one of the most fulfilling activities, if practiced well. No other endeavor in our field offers as many ways to help others, learn and grow, take responsibility, be recognized for achievements, and contribute to the success of a team.

During the 2010 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) in Florence, Italy, the Young Professional Coordinating Committee (YPCC) leadership team had the opportunity to interact with a large number of young professionals (YPs) from around the globe and realized that there is very little awareness of the mission, charge, and structure of the YPCC. By disseminating this information more effectively, we expect to reach a larger YP population and expand the programs and initiatives developed by this committee.


The YPCC is a standing committee that reports to the SPE Board Committee on Education and Professional Activities. The YPCC mission is to identify, engage, and develop SPE members 35 years of age and younger, as well as other industry newcomers, by providing relevant technical education and networking opportunities.


The YPCC is responsible for governing programs and activities directed toward YPs. The committee serves as a resource to sections, section YP committees, and publication committees pertaining to YP initiatives and activities. The committee develops the YP Network (YPN) content and fosters participation. The YPCC also makes recommendations to the SPE Board of Directors as necessary to ensure YP programs have a continuous improvement strategy in place.


The YPCC is composed of 15 members, one of whom serves as chairperson. Members are appointed by the SPE president-elect and serve 1-year terms renewable for up to 3 years. The chairperson serves for 1 year, after which the chairperson-elect takes over his/her duties and a new chairperson-elect is appointed. Committee members should have experience working on YP programs locally and should be 35 years of age or younger.

Key Initiatives

Awards. The “Outstanding Section YP Program Award” is a key YPCC initiative, which has been extremely popular. Despite being a relatively new award program, it has seen significant progress since its beginning 3 years ago. The number of applications for this prestigious award this year has doubled compared with previous years. The quality of the applications resulted in a very tough contest for the top spot. This award has created a sense of competition, as multiple Section YP committees are designing their programs with the goal of winning the award.

These are early signs of the effectiveness of this award program. Its continued success will help ensure achievement of the YPCC mission. Apart from honoring the sections for delivering outstanding initiatives and innovative programs, one of the key objectives of this award program is to gather “best practices” from sections around the world. We hope that these best practices will promote continuous improvement of YP programs worldwide.

The YPCC also encourages nominations for the “Outstanding Young Member Service Award,” both regionally and internationally. In addition to this, the ATCE YP Paper contest encourages YPs to contribute to SPE’s body of knowledge, OnePetro.

The YPCC award subcommittee oversees these initiatives and continuously seeks to improve the practices we follow and the standards we set. 

YPN. Over the past year, the YPN has changed substantially with a simplified and improved design. A successful YPN photo contest was held over the summer and will continue periodically in the future. The YPN serves as a platform for YPs to network, brainstorm ideas, and share their views on various topics. It is indeed great to see multiple debates and ongoing discussions on the YPN. A whopping 41,000 hits were recorded on the YPN in one month recently, which testifies to its increasing popularity among YPs.

We would like to emphasise that the YPN is a great resource database, too. A range of guidance documents for establishing and running YP programs is available. A team of highly motivated individuals is working constantly behind the scenes to make the YPN a rewarding and useful experience for all our members

Ambassador Lecture Program (ALP). ALP remains a success story with its continually increasing popularity among our student members. The program aims to present the vision of SPE and provide an opportunity for students to hear a young engineer’s perspective on issues confronting the industry.

YPCC Leadership Team 2010–11. From left, Marjorie Nogueira, YPCC chairperson;
Melissa Schultea , SPE YP program manager; Abhijeet Kulkarni, YPCC chairperson-elect.

Video Library of Industry Leaders Pilot. An online collection of video interviews with oil and gas industry leaders is the latest YPCC initiative. Industry leaders will be asked to share their experience, wisdom, career advice, and anecdotes about their personal and professional lives. The pilot will be a video extension of the concept spearheaded in the successful Interview section of The Way Ahead and  provide an excellent opportunity to engage YPs. We expect the first video upload to appear on the YPN at the beginning of 2011. 

YP Regional Support

 The YPCC comprises members from all over the world, individually assigned to a region. They act as a resource for YP committees in their region. They also help facilitate collaboration among different sections in a region. In connection with the awards initiative, the YPCC will be distributing best practices to the YP committees to assist in their local activities.

The YPCC committee is here to serve you, local YPs, everywhere. If you have any questions or comments, please contact


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