Bringing real-world industry experience to Australian university students
Total Group has operations in over 130 countries, employing around 100,000 people, with many of these employees working for Total for their entire working life. The depth of expertise in the oil and gas industry, both in technical and non-technical disciplines, amongst these employees is great and an opportunity was seen to try and impart some of this real-world industry knowledge to university students. Total is doing just that in Australia with a number of courses held in Darwin and Perth, both key locations for Total’s interests and activities in Australia.
The North Australian Centre for Oil & Gas at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory
Building bridges between industry and academia
This is where Total Professeurs Associés, translating as Total Professors Association in English and known as TPA for short, comes in. Established in 2001, TPA operates as a not-for-profit association with a goal of building bridges between the oil and gas industry and academic circles. It does this by providing professors or experts, who are working or retired Total employees, to lecture in their field of expertise to university students, covering all the technical and non-technical areas that a large international group like Total encompasses. In 2016 there are over 200 TPA professors providing over 450 courses. Supported by Total, TPA covers the travel expenses for the professors to lecture at universities, but does not charge for the provision of these courses.
Providing courses to Australian students in Darwin and Perth
In Australia, TPA has been most active in the Northern Territory where since 2012 it has provided a number of courses on exploration and production subjects at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Darwin. With Total’s major interest in the Ichthys LNG project and the importance of the Northern Territory to the project, given the LNG plant is being constructed near Darwin, it was important that Total contribute to the education of local university students by providing some industry insights. To date, eight courses have been undertaken at CDU, in areas ranging from gas and LNG to project management, with around 240 CDU students as well as some local industry and business representatives attending.
In 2015 and 2016, TPA lecturers provided a one-week course on "Oil and Gas Economics" at the University of Western Australia in Perth to students studying Masters of Engineering in Oil & Gas. In 2016, TPA also provided its first course to Perth's Curtin University of Technology, with a one-week course on "Subsea Developments in Deep Water" to undergraduate and postgraduate students studying relevant disciplines.
For more information on the TPA and the courses it provides, please click here.