WVU receives software grant worth $17.8M
Jan 08, 2013 (The Dominion Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Greater access to study what lies beneath the earth's surface -- and aspects of hydrolic fracturing -- are just some benefits of a $17.8 million in-kind software grant WVU announced Monday.
Schlumberger, a Texas-based oilfield services company, has donated the software. The gift will be used for students and faculty members in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources' Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, and the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences Department of Geology and Geography.
Monday's donation follows a 2007 gift from Schlumberger, which was valued at $21.7 million.
The gift is part of WVU's $750 million "A State of Minds" capital campaign.
College of Engineering Glen H. Hiner Dean Gene Cilento said the software will make life easier for the college in a few ways.
The software is already in the department, but before the donation there were only a couple of licenses, Cilento said. Students had to share use of the software, limiting the scope of projects.
But with the new gift, the college now has 30 licenses.
"More students can use it at any one time," Cilento said.
Geophysics Professor Tom Wilson said Schlumberger "has been very generous over the years."
In his department the software is used to provide researchers an idea of rock formations below the surface without having to go underground, he said.
Wilson described the new gifts as a "plug-in" addition to the current software. He said one new program will allow them to look at data regarding hydrologic fracturing. Researchers will be able to see exactly where the fractures happen in a rock formation, or even predict where they are likely to occur.
The software also can help students by allowing them hands-on practice using technology they will find in the field, Cilento said.
Schlumberger's software is used by many large corporations, Cilento said, so students at WVU can add the experience to their resume when trying to land a job.
Cilento said the department uses the software to make a model and simulate what will happen if oil or gas is extracted from an area.
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