Student named as SPE Aberdeen’s first Energy Apprentice

Lalit Bhamare, an MSc Oil and Gas Engineering student at Robert Gordon University’s School of Engineering has been named as the first Energy Apprentice in a challenge organised by The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section. Around 50 students from across Scotland took part in the event.

SPE Aberdeen Energy ApprenticeThe Energy Apprentice, which was sponsored by Maersk Oil and Schlumberger, saw students from Aberdeen, Robert Gordon, Heriot Watt, Dundee and Edinburgh universities battle it out for the top spot.

The half day event took place on Wednesday 17 October and challenged participants to stand out amongst their peers by impressing panellists over a series of five rounds. The first four stages included a quick fire quiz, an energy investment challenge, speed dating style interviews and a ring of fire buzzer round.

The closely contested grand finale saw panellists from ConocoPhilips, ITF Energy and Schlumberger decide who would be named this year’s Energy Apprentice and win £300 towards their studies.

SPE Aberdeen Chairman Anthony Onukwu said: “The aim of the Energy Apprentice was to give students the opportunity to practice skills and experience situations and questions similar to those in a graduate assessment centre or interview situation. The level of talent we saw during the event was hugely promising and it is important that we continue to foster this potential.

“SPE Aberdeen has supported students for many years by providing scholarships and bursaries but we also want to fully prepare them for what employers in the oil and gas industry look for from candidates. The competition for the title was impressive and truly demonstrated to students that to obtain a graduate position, they must stand out from the crowd.”

The event was organised by volunteers from SPE Aberdeen’s Young Professionals (YP) committee, who are planning for the Energy Apprentice to become an annual fixture in the industry’s calendar of events, as well as extending the competition to other UK cities.

Anthony continued: “The involvement from Maersk Oil, Schlumberger and the panellists highlights the significance of such events in the oil and gas industry. It is hugely important that major players through to smaller companies in the industry support initiatives which are developing a sustainable workforce for the future.

“I would like to thank Jai Chainani of Chevron, chair of the YP committee, and his committee members for organising such a successful, positive event and I look forward to seeing it return next year.”

Energy Apprentice winner Lalit said: “I am delighted to be named as SPE’s first Energy Apprentice, particularly as the competition in the past couple of rounds was hard and everyone performed extremely well.

“I’ve gained valuable experience from taking part in the event, as well as advice on how to market myself in the job place. The networking opportunities and hearing first hand from oil and gas companies on how to enter the industry is rare, and all of the students who took part thoroughly appreciated this.

“I would like to give a particular thanks to the students in my team throughout the rounds, and to SPE Aberdeen for organising such a great event.”

Wyndham Williams, who is studying Mechanical Engineering and Gulbikesh Valeyeva, a petroleum engineering student, both of the University of Aberdeen, took second and third spots respectively.

Notes to editors:


  • SPE international is a large worldwide organisation, with thousands of members in the UK each affiliated to one of three UK Sections in Aberdeen, London and Great Yarmouth. The Aberdeen Section is the largest of these, with over 2,500 members and has won this year’s SPE International President’s Award for Section Excellence.
  • SPE Aberdeen is run entirely by volunteers, and has members from across the range of age, gender and nationality and four student Chapters at five universities in Scotland. The Aberdeen Section works closely with the Oil and Gas industry, Scottish universities and local schools, institutes and academia to advance the learning and technical excellence in all aspects of the industry; offshore, onshore and internationally.

 Energy Apprentice

  • Round 1: Quick-fire quiz :- This round consisted of ten questions related to the energy industry and tested contestants knowledge of the industry
    • Round 2: Energy investment challenge :- In this round, contestants worked in a team to play a board game style challenge on exploration and production investment
    • Round 3: Speed dating:- This round consisted of an interview with panellists involving a series of questions on future of energy industry
    • Round 4: Ring of fire:- This was a buzzer round. Two final teams competed with each other over challenging energy related questions
    • Round 5: Grand finale: The top three contestants were given case studies and asked to present their case in front of panellists. The panellists then selected the winning contestant as 'Energy Apprentice'


Issued on behalf of SPE Aberdeen by thinkPR.  For further information contact Jenny Adams on 01224 623960 or email