Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Schlumberger reaches out to HBCUs with its software donation program


By David Schwartz
Published: November 9th, 2021

A detailed article on Schlumberger’s expansion of its software donation program to HBCUs appears in the October issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, click here. 

The American workforce experienced an unprecedented and challenging year as a result of the global pandemic and racial division in the wake of the George Floyd killing. This prompted many corporations to revisit their current support models around inclusivity, including their impact at HBCUs.

Schlumberger, spearheaded by their employee resource group (ERG) in a joint effort with UIDP (University-Industry Demonstration Partnership), began reviewing ways to incorporate long-lasting impact in their engagements with HBCUs. The technology company is the leading provider of digital solutions and innovative technologies to enable performance and sustainability for the global energy industry.

“Our Schlumberger ERG, BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership & Diversity), saw the need to expose HBCUs and other colleges to our software donation program, which provides over 70,000 licenses worldwide annually,” explained April Duerson, business engagement lead for Schlumberger and BOLD committee member.

The initiative offers universities the use of the company’s software as part of their curricula. There are numerous software offerings available for educational use. One example, the Petrel E&P software platform, analyzes underground activities for geological surveys and is widely used by engineers to conduct oil and gas and climate change research. These licenses are intended to give students early exposure to prepare them for internships and careers after graduation. In addition, the donation program empowers research at the university level.

“We have 400 universities in the program worldwide, in more than 120 countries,” says Marina Bulova, Schlumberger’s director of university collaborations. The program’s main goal, she continues, is to give the software to students so they can use it for educational and research activities. “We want students to be equipped with our software so when they join the workforce, either with an operator or with Schlumberger, students already know the basics,” says Bulova.

As part of its initial efforts, the BOLD ERG identified that Schlumberger had no HBCUs leveraging the software donation program. “This was primarily due to the lack of awareness of this fantastic opportunity,” says Duerson, herself a product of a HBCU, noting that Schlumberger now serves on UIDP’s HBCU Steering Committee. “Schlumberger’s goal in partnering with UIDP is to expand our outreach to all universities,” she says.

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Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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