UTPB students earn engineering scholarships

UTPB’s College of Engineering was recently awarded scholarship funds by two local entities that will apply to students in their spring semester this year.
Dean of the College of Engineering George Nnanna said $101,500 was split among 58 students. The scholarship was paid in part by the Permian Basin International Oil Show, which contributed $86,500 and QEP, which gave $15,000, Nnanna said.
Each student received anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000, Nnanna said.
The college has 503 students in engineering.
“And we now have four programs — chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical and petroleum engineering. We have a couple of things in the pipeline. We are working on a master of science in mechanical engineering proposal and we are also looking at establishing a water-energy nexus research institute. Hopefully, those will come on line in the next year or so,” Nnanna said.
He hopes to start offering master’s degrees this coming fall.
The water-energy nexus research institute would be an applied research institute exploring the development of advanced technologies for treatment of produced water in the region. Treatment of produced water will be critical instead of re-injecting it back into the earth.
In addition, he said, they will be exploring a way to harness solar energy.
Nnanna said 86 applications were received for the scholarships and 58 were awarded. Recipients were selected by a committee.
“This is the first time we have awarded that many. We were trying to make sure that as many students as possible will have an opportunity,” he added.
“It’s a great opportunity for the students because they can focus more on their academics and achieve higher scholastic excellence instead of thinking about how to pay tuition, or getting a part-time job that they will be juggling between work and school. I think this is really a good opportunity and I would like for other companies or organizations to provide similar support,” Nnanna said.
The passing rate for the fundamentals of engineering exam, which is a licensing exam, had an 89 percent passing rate. Nnanna said that is roughly 10 percent higher than the national average.
In addition to the scholarship, Nnanna said he is working on getting students internships with local industries. And a course has been set up that allows students to get credit while they are on the internship.