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UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA · PDF file University of Louisiana at Lafayette Petroleum Engineering Computer Lab Upgrade Dear STEP Grant Committee: We as the leaders of the organizations

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    STEP Committee

    Technology Fee Application

    Petroleum Engineering Computer Lab Upgrade

    to Meet the Requirements of Simulation in

    Curriculum and Professional Development


    Dr. Mehdi Mokhtari & Dr. Fathi Boukadi

    Name of Submitter

    (Faculty or Staff Only)

    Petroleum Engineering


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    Title: Petroleum Engineering Computer Lab Upgrade to Meet the Requirements of Simulation in Curriculum and

    Professional Development

    Date: 7/16/2018

    Name (Contact Person): Dr. Mehdi Mokhtari

    Address: Madison Hall 222E

    Phone Number: 337-482-6115 Email: [email protected]

    Department/College/Org: Petroleum Engineering/ Engineering


    When the oil and gas industry first began, it was based around people who were willing to get their

    hands dirty. Over the last 150 years, this industry has become more innovative and efficient to

    provide the energy demands of the world in a safer, more cost efficient and environmental-friendly

    manner. There are numerous types of computer software packages which can model and simulate

    situations which operate the oil and gas industry. In our department’s computer lab, we have been

    fortunate enough to get several of these costly packages donated so students can be proficient in them

    when they make it into industry. Unfortunately, we cannot run these software packages properly

    because the computers do not meet the minimum specifications that the packages require. This is a

    problem for teaching our students to learn the skills effectively.

    Based on recent survey, 81% of the petroleum engineering students feel that the current hardware in

    PETE computer lab does not meet the requirements for their curriculum and professional

    development for the simulation of oil and gas operations. On behalf of petroleum engineering

    department (both faculty and students), we are proposing that we need a major computer lab upgrade

    in order to run the provided programs properly and contribute to the professional development of our

    students. Below, we clearly elaborate the current situation of the PETE computer lab to replace 30

    outdated computers with 30 modern workstations to address this immediate need for petroleum

    engineering students.

    Purpose for Grant and Impact on Student Body as a Whole:

    The purpose of this grant proposal is to provide computers to our petroleum engineering students to

    educate them with the computers skills required for their curriculum and professional development.

    The major problem that is faced with the current computers is that they do not provide enough RAM

    to run the petroleum engineering softwares, they are slow or they are broken. The computers we have

    are equipped with either 4 or 8 GB of RAM. This amount does not meet the minimum requirements

    of the software packages that we have installed on them and makes running them a great deal slower

    (See Attachment #1). Also, the monitors we have are out of date and cause issues with display which

    hinder the programs maximum performance.

    One of the PIs of this grant, Dr. Mokhtari, recently purchased the COMSOL class kit software (with

    more than $9,000 budget from VP research) to advance the computer skills in the college of

    engineering. However, the efficiency of offered course on using COMSOL was low due to failed or

    slow efficiency of working with computers in the PETE computer lab. Additionally, Dr. Mokhtari and

    his colleagues recently received a grant with total funding of more than 9 million dollars to study

    Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) in Louisiana and Mississippi. There is budget for the purchase of

    several advanced computers for research through the TMS project and they will be located in

    graduate research office in Madison 234. For educational purposes, however, the STEP grant is

    required to upgrade the undergraduate computer lab (Madison Hall Room 132), so undergraduate

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    students can also benefit from this significant grant since the PIs will attempt to translate the research

    results to educational curriculum in undergraduate level for this huge shale oil resource in our

    backyard in the border with Mississippi.

    Because of the mentioned computer system issues, we are requesting to receive the funds to purchase

    (60) Dell 22 inch Monitors-P22117H (double monitors to enhance simulation/learning efficiency),

    (60) C2G 10ft Mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort Adapter Cables, and (30) Precision Workstation

    T3420 SFF computers. (See Attachment #2).

    Projected Lifetime

    Since this model of computer is considered medium to high grade, the lifetime of them can be

    projected to be at least 8 years. With proper maintenance (five year warranty is included in the quote)

    and room conditions they can last over 10 years.

    People Responsible

    This document has been produced as a result of teamwork between faculty (Dr. Mokhtari and Dr.

    Boukadi) and several motivated students (Archie Metoyer, Jr, Shubhankar Shrey, Philip Wortman,

    and Anh Le). Archie Metoyer took the lead in running the survey and preparing this document with

    the supervision of faculty and input from other students. Philip Wortman used his computer skills to

    set the computer packages based on the requirements for running PETE softwares, Shubhankar Shrey

    surveyed the status of current computers in the PETE lab and Anh Le assisted in running the survey.

    If the grant is accepted, Dr. Mehdi Mokhtari will take the lead in the purchase of computers and will

    be responsible for the maintenance of computer lab He will consult with the leaders of student

    associations in this regard.


    Upgrading the Petroleum Engineering computer lab will majorly impact our student body by

    providing professional computers to simulate and model situations related to the industry. Whichever

    side of the industry our students decide to be a part of (Reservoir/Geomechanics, Drilling,

    Completions, and Production), they will have to be proficient in operating computer software and will

    need professional computers for that use. Starting their junior year, our students will take classes that

    consist of learning the software packages. These classes include Phase Behavior, Drilling

    Engineering, Petrophysics, and Reservoir Fluid Flow (See Attachment #3). Once they reach their

    senior year they will work on a yearlong senior design project. This project consists of students

    working as a team of engineers to create well plans, risk analysis, and overall operations for

    producing oil and gas. Every software that our department offers will be required to be used

    thoroughly. These courses are very important to the quality of engineers we produce in our

    department and developing them into professionals prepared to enter the field. The enhancement of

    PETE computer skills is also emphasized in the several past PETE industry advisory board meetings.

    If we do not upgrade these computers soon, we will no longer to be able to give our students these

    resources to learn and become skilled in and it can jeopardize our ABET accreditation. To portray

    how important this is to our students, the leaders (Presidents and Vice Presidents) of the five student

    associations in our department has put together a formal letter. In this letter, students explain why we

    need a computer lab upgrade and how it will help them in their educational goals. There is also a

    survey that portrays how dissatisfied our students are with the computer lab we currently have (See

    Attachment #4).

    Previously Funded Grants

    There are no previous STEP funding awarded to the department of Petroleum Engineering.

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    Budget Proposal

    1. Equipment $54,180.00 (Quote Attached)

    2. Software $

    3. Supplies $

    4. Maintenance $

    5. Personnel $

    6. Other $

    TOTAL: $54,180.00

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    1) Specifications for the current computer and the software used in the Petroleum Engi- neering Computer Lab

    Figure 1: Specifications for most of the current computers in the lab (4 GB)

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    Figure 2: Specifications for the remaining of the current computers in the lab (8 GB)

    Figure 3: Minimum system requirements for Schlumberger software Petrel.

    Figure 4: Minimum system requirements for COMSOL.

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    2) Quote for the requested equipment

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    3) Flow Chart for Petroleum Engineering Curriculum

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    4) Letter by student organizations along with detailed survey

    Monday July 16, 2018

    STEP Grant Committee

    University of Louisiana at Lafayette

    Petroleum Engineering Computer Lab Upgrade

    Dear STEP Grant Committee:

    We as the leaders of the organizations of the Petroleum Engineering department feel that we

    are in major need of

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