The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State or PSU) is a state-related, land-grant, doctoral university with campuses and facilities throughout Pennsylvania. Founded in 1855, the university has a stated threefold mission of teaching, research, and public service. Its instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional and continuing education offered through resident instruction and online delivery. Its University Park campus, the flagship campus, lies within the Borough of State College and College Township. It has an enrolment of 85,000 undergraduate and 14,000 graduate students
Pennsylvania State has a long history of oil and gas. In fact, the first oil was struck on August 27, 1859 at Titusville, Pennsylvania. This discovery, in turn, lead to the first super giant oil field in Bradbury. The first official course in petroleum engineering was offered in 1907 at Penn State entitled “Prospecting and Well Drilling”. Over the last 110 years, Penn State has stayed at the top of the rankings national and international rankings, not just for oil and gas, but for engineering in general.
The John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) educates students to embrace the challenges of bringing these natural resources into our daily lives. The team of faculty, staff, and students strive for excellence in devising ways to ensure an affordable supply of energy and minerals, while protecting the environment and the health and safety of the workforce. From generating heat and electricity to transportation and recreation, all our activities depend on fuels and minerals extracted from the earth.
Penn State research facilities are state of the art and highly regarded. Facilities available to students include a multi-phase fluid flow system laboratory, and a drilling rig simulator.
The technique known as water-flooding was first developed at Penn State. Many other discoveries were made in the University.
The John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering offers a total of six bachelor’s degrees. Students enrolled in these programs experience problem-based learning and interactive classes with individual attention. Instruction in theory, applications, and project design is augmented by hands-on training in our diverse research facilities. In addition, students have access to a fully equipped 24-hour computer lab complete with the latest software packages.
The students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities that complement the classroom experience. No education is complete without on-the-job training and students in our EME programs are sure to find an abundance of summer internship openings that offer invaluable work experience in their field of choice. At the same time, membership in one of our professional society student chapters, offers students leadership skills training, provides a forum for students to discuss matters of interest within their industry’s community, and presents excellent networking opportunities with industry professionals at national and regional society events. On top of that, students are eligible to apply for many scholarship opportunities (which topped $250,000 last year) and, upon graduation, can look forward to receiving one of the highest starting salaries for baccalaureate degrees at Penn State.
The John and Willie Leone Family Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering houses one graduate program in Energy and Mineral Engineering, which offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Within this program, you can customize your course of study to facilitate your research interests. Necessarily, the range of active research areas are broad and fully reflected in the research interests of our program faculty.
Whether you choose to specialize in an area of petroleum and natural gas engineering, mining and mineral process engineering, environmental health and safety engineering, fuel science, or energy management and policy, you will receive a flexible yet comprehensive graduate education through a blend of individualized research projects and coursework in core areas of study.
Students of the graduate programs enjoy small personal classes taught by an experienced EME faculty who are internationally recognized for their research contributions. In addition, students have access to a variety of research laboratories and computational facilities within the department. Upon graduation, our students achieve a near 100% job placement rate as our alumni stand at the forefront of energy and environmental engineering with careers in industry, academia, and government.
Graduates of Penn State’s petroleum and natural gas engineering program have risen to top executive positions of oil companies in all branches of this field. An analysis of the educational backgrounds of executives in the energy sector shows that they have backgrounds in engineering, including petroleum engineering and geosciences. Employers include major oil and gas production companies, large and small independents and service companies and government agencies.
As a petroleum and natural gas engineer, you can expect to earn the highest starting salary among all of the engineers. Starting salaries are around $90,000, and median annual earnings for petroleum engineers are now well above $140,000.