TWA Student Chapter Spotlight: What Are the SPE Student Chapter Awards?

[In the picture: Student Awards Luncheon attendees at the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dallas, Texas.]

The new collaborative series between TWA and SPE Student Chapters, “TWA Student Chapter Spotlight,” aims to feature award-winning SPE student chapters from around the world throughout the year. Each article in the series will spotlight a student chapter and share its successes, challenges, and innovative practices. Judging for this year’s awards are currently under way, and recipients will be announced mid-June. This primer article explains the types of awards, recent developments, judging criteria, and submission deadlines for the awards.


The SPE Student Chapter Awards program recognizes the SPE student chapters that succeed in fulfilling SPE’s mission by serving local members. The awards honor exemplary efforts in industry engagement, operations and planning, community and social outreach, and innovation. With more than 400 chapters around the world, competition is strong each year. Recognition as an award recipient is an honor reserved for top achievers.

The student chapter awards provide much more than bragging rights. They are often the chapter’s key tool in securing support or sponsorship for local programming. In addition, awards motivate chapter volunteers to expand upon their efforts in future years. This serves to grow the Society and generate new, innovative ideas and methods to further SPE’s mission.

Award Categories

Presidential Award for Outstanding Student Chapter. Formerly known as Outstanding Student Chapter Award, this top award now recognizes the highest-ranked 5% of eligible student chapters that are exemplary in the scoring categories. Previously the top 10% chapters were awarded, but this has been reduced for higher prestige. Awards are presented during the Student Awards Luncheon at the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, the Society’s annual meeting.

Student Chapter Excellence Award. Formerly known as the Gold Standard, the Student Chapter Excellence Award will now be received by the next 20% of eligible student chapters. Previously 10% were awarded, but this has now been doubled to recognize more deserving student chapters. A certificate is emailed to the award winners.


Judging is completed by a committee of members selected from SPE’s Volunteer Opportunities portal and is based upon content submitted in the student chapter’s annual report. Reports are due 1 April each year. To ensure fair competition, eligible reports are divided evenly into four size categories based upon membership: Small, Medium, Large, and Mega.

The chapter’s events and activities are scored under several categories with the weightage shown below:



Industry Engagement


Operations and planning


Community involvement


Professional development




Judging for this year’s awards are currently under way, and recipients will be announced mid-June. Watch this space for spotlight on 2019 award winning chapters in the next editions of the series.


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