$4 million donation from Shell to be used in geosciences school

Alexandra Klima

After the second largest energy company in the world recently invested nearly $4 million in the University, the money will be used to research new energy technologies.

Shell Oil Company gave a check to UT representing its contributions to the University for this year on Feb. 10. Scott Tinker, director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and associate dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences, said the investment will further support students’ education by contributing to a wide variety of resources to UT such as funds, programs and research initiatives.

Tinker said Shell has been investing money in UT for many years and the benefits are felt in many colleges such as the Jackson School of Geosciences, the Cockrell School of Engineering, the McCombs School of Business and the College of Natural Sciences.

The partnership will advance research in not only the general area of energy but also in more specific areas such as unconventional oil and gas research, Tinker said.

One of the benefits of the partnership is the recruitment of students and interns who have a passion for the oil industry, petroleum engineering senior Jose Gomez said.

Gomez interned for Shell Oil Company in the summer of 2009 and 2011. He said his experience was beneficial and helped him prepare for life after college.

“I applaud Shell for their investments in UT,” Gomez said. “My internship with them was a great experience that provided me with inside knowledge of the corporate world.”

Gomez said Shell can make their presence stronger at UT and other universities by showing more support for undergraduate efforts through student organizations, perhaps by attending meetings or funding organizations’ activities.

Shell’s main goal is to improve the industry, and their investment in university research ultimately allows them to accomplish their goal, Gomez said.

Gomez said his internship with Shell inspired him to look into the research program at UT, which Shell contributes to every year.

Mechanical engineering senior Orlando Salmon said he recently participated in university research and quickly thereafter reaped the benefits it offered. Salmon is a member of Pi Sigma Pi, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and an officer in the National Society of Black Engineers.

“College is such an exploration stage for students, requiring them to go out and discover new things,” Salmon said. “Participating in research goes hand-in-hand with the college experience and allows students to be at the forefront of their field, expand their mind and explore the world.”