Between March 8 and March 12, 2016, a delegation of 33 students of the SPE Student Chapter Leoben attended the 3rd Annual Student Energy Conference (ASEC) organized by our friends of the SPE Student Chapter Zagreb.
The delegation was rather international, including students not only from Austria, but also from Germany, Hungary, Romania, Tunisia, and even the US. In total, the conference had around 300 participants, around 60 of which were from foreign countries.
Day 1 – March 8th
In small groups, our students arrived in the Croatian capital, leaving the early birds some time for sightseeing while waiting for the late arrivals. In the evening, we were guided to a restaurant and greeted with a great dinner of traditional Croatian cuisine.
Day 2 – March 9th
The conference was officially opened with speeches of the initiator of the ASEC, former SPE SC Zagreb President Filip Krunić, the current SPE Croatian Section President Dr. Vladislav Brkić and the Dean of the Faculty of Mining, Geology, and Petroleum Engineering, Prof. Zoran Nakić.
The opening ceremony was dominated by appreciating the conference sponsors and supporters, stating that “The moment we stop investing in knowledge, the next generation – in short: in the future – is the moment we stop working as a society!”. Furthermore, the hope for an intensified cooperation and joint projects with the neighboring Student Chapters was expressed. Within the frame of this, also the leader of the Leoben delegation, Oliver Kleinferchner, was honored for his efforts in supporting the logistics of the conference. The musical part of the opening ceremony was covered by five great members of the faculty’s choir, singing traditional Croatian folk songs.
After the opening ceremony, there was an interesting panel discussion about the pros and cons of drilling offshore in the Adriatic Sea. Even though the panel consisted only of petroleum engineers, the discussion was very lively, because some participants were – not entirely expectable – against oil and gas production in the Adriatic Sea; their concern about the negative impact of leakages and spills, not only on the environment, but also on tourism, one of Croatia’s main economic branches, was too big.
Technical presentations and insights in the research work of fellow students from all across Europe, as well as the operations of major oil and gas companies followed before and after the lunch break. The official program was then concluded by a workshop on the production analysis program Prosper.
However, the day did not end with this: After some free time, we could use to explore the city, or to simply have a rest, a disco night was organized, lasting until the early morning hours. This gave us plenty of time to get to know our fellow participants and local people.
Day 3 – March 10th
The presentations of the day were under the sign of environmental aspects of our industry, talking about waste disposal through wells, or geothermal energy. Since the weather was good, some of us decided to skip a promising-sounding afternoon session (dominated by the topics Oil Price and Energy Politics), and do some sightseeing instead.
Even though there was no program planned for the evening, a large part of our group gathered to explore a traditional brewery later that day, spending some time on enjoying some alternatives to our beloved “Gösser” beer.
Day 4 – March 11th
This was not only the day of the technical presentations, but also of the day of our delegation: Four people from Montanuniversitaet Leoben, among them DI Akos Kiss, DDI Dr.mont. Clemens Langbauer, Prof. Holger Ott and Prof. Herbert Hofstätter, giving some interesting insights into their research.
After listening to such great and encouraging presentations, the official part of the conference ended with a great closing ceremony, again accompanied by the SPE Student Chapter’s own choir.
The day ended with another disco night in one of Zagreb’s most prolific clubs.
Day 5 – March 12th
Even though one of the most looked-forward-to event, the paintball game, had to be cancelled due to the unexpectedly bad weather, those of our delegation who chose to stay until Sunday, enjoyed another day in Zagreb, including a great BBQ in the afternoon, also organized by the SPE Student Chapter.
At this point, we would like to thank the organizers of the 3rd ASEC for their great work and effort and their hospitality throughout the whole week. It was a great pleasure to spend those five days in Zagreb, and we are looking forward to meeting everyone again as soon as possible!
(photo credit to all photos: Christoph Schwarzenegger)