University of Southern California Center for Interactive Smart Oilfield Technologies The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering

CiSoft Academy 2008


July 28, 2008 — Bakersfield, California was the host of the third annual CiSoft Academy held July 23rd thru July 24th. Fifty Chevron interns from prime universities all over the United States were selectively invited to this workshop to learn about the collaboration between CiSoft members from USC and Chevron's i-field specialists and their united progressions through technology.

Although the interns were aware that the academy would be a full two days of lectures, problem solving, and presentations, they were hardly expecting to be thrown into the mix extra early this year at the welcome dinner early on Tuesday evening. Following dinner, the interns were quickly divided into 7 groups and given assignments. The seven assignments were directly related to the lectures to be given the next day by CiSoft’s professors, in which the interns would give their best crack at a solution, and then a CiSoft professor would provide the best way to actually solve the problem using their expertise.


As the afternoon was coming to an end and relaxation looked ever so near, the interns were immediately given their competition questions to work on. Each team, guided by a knowledgeable mentor, worked on a topic relating to a specific challenge facing i-field and CiSoft. The questions, much like the interns, varied within the several backgrounds that make up CiSoft including, Petroleum Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Integrated Media Systems. The interns prepared straight through the night, not even stopping for dinner, barely pausing to sleep, and were ready to present a 15 minute solution on Thursday morning.

Dr. Jerry Mendel, Kenan Oran, and John Houghton served as expert judges throughout the competition, grading each team on a scrupulous scale. When all score sheets were tallied, the top 3 teams were recognized at the awards ceremony on Thursday afternoon by San Joaquin Valley Business Unit Vice President, Bruce Johnson. Triumphant in first place was Team 5, victorious in second place was Team 3, succeeding in third place was Team 6, and honorable mention was attained by the hilarious and memorable Team 2.

The 2008 CiSoft Academy was a rewarding experience due to the enthusiasm put forth by co-executive directors, Mike Hauser and Dr. Iraj Ershaghi. This year’s interns have earned knowledge and strategic skills that will assist them in their future professional development and will open the doors for them to be an integral part of a new breed of engineers who can significantly increase production for hydro carbon resources and substantially improve proficiency of oilfield operations.

Special thanks go to David Boroughs, Matt Rockett, Keni Ortiz, Ana Simonata, Sigi Rosales, Christina Dangel, Luke Boongird, and Sumit Pal for their insightful mentoring and sleepless nights. Also praiseworthy were the efforts made by Andrea Patino, Katherine Layus, and Juli Legat for their thoughtful coordination that contributed to the success of the academy.

Click here to see pictures from CiSoft Academy 2008.