Montana Tech Team Named World Champions at International Competition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility

A team from Montana Tech won the student challenge at the first International Competition on Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility. The conference and the competition was organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and was held on April 12, 2016 in Stavanger, Norway. Students from different universities were put in teams of five to compete against each team. The students came from Stavanger, Norway; Manchester; Denmark; Singapore; Malaysia; Nigeria, and the USA. The Montana Tech team was the only team representing the USA. The Montana Tech team consisted of five students, three from Environmental Engineering and two from Occupational Safety and Health. The team members were: Eric Hull, Elizabeth Spear and Kelly Hertel, Rachel Ferris and Kim Kavran. The Tech team prepared for the competition for the past three months. Their advisor, Dr. Kumar Ganesan, Head of the Environmental Engineering Department, traveled with the team to Norway for the competition and to attend the three-day conference. Dr. Ganesan said, “Our Montana Tech Team was very quick in responding to questions with the correct answers. This helped them place first, but the other teams were very competitive. The Montana Tech team was the only team with all undergraduate students, all other teams had students from doctoral and master’s programs. It is to our student’s credit that they still took first place with a 10-point difference. Montana Tech students not only made Montana Tech proud, but the whole U.S. delegates who attended the conference were also very proud."

During the competition, each team was posed with questions in three topics: health and safety, security and social responsibility. Each topic will have multiple choice questions, true or false questions, and long answer questions. In the first round Montana Tech scored most points. In the second and third round they did equally well.

The team was given the opportunity to compete in Norway when they took the top spot at the first Student Challenge by the SPE Health, Safety, Security and Environmental challenge in Denver during March of 2015. The team was also advised by Dr. Ganesan in 2015.