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Three Petroleum Students Earn Industry Scholarships

SOCORRO, N.M. November 21, 2011 – Three New Mexico Tech students in the Petroleum Engineering Department were awarded scholarships from the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America, or RPSEA.

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Kenneth Malone, Eric Angelos and Kyle Pettigrew show off their scholarship checks from RPSEA and Strata Production Corp. of Roswell. At right is Dr. Tom Engler, chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department.


Kenneth Malone, Kyle Pettigrew and Eric Angelos won the awards for their academic achievement and their work experience in the oil industry. The scholarships are funded by Mark Murphy, the principal at Strata Production Corp. in Roswell. The corporation participates in the RPSEA scholarship program, designating their funds toward scholarships to petroleum engineering students at Tech.

Dr. Tom Engler, chair of the Petroleum Engineering Department, said Murphy and his company are generous supporters of New Mexico Tech and consistently prove their dedication to developing new talent and championing oil-and-gas research.

“Mark Murphy has supported New Mexico Tech and our petroleum program for many years,” Engler said. “We are grateful for their support and I am personally impressed with Mark’s willingness to foster the next generation of engineers.”

The RPSEA scholarships typically go to upperclass or graduate students who have proven that they intend to pursue a career in industry by taking summer jobs or internships. The scholarships also typically go to New Mexico natives in an effort to promote the home-grown quality of the engineering education at New Mexico Tech, Engler said. Malone is from Socorro; Pettigrew from Farmington; and Angelos from Roswell.

Malone graduated from Socorro High School in 2009, and began attending Tech in the fall of that same year. In the fall of 2010 Malone decided to pursue a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering. He worked part time at the Petroleum Recovery Research Center for over a year, and worked as a roustabout in Midland, Texas, during the 2011 summer. He mainly wants to specialize in drilling.

Pettigrew is a non-traditional student. He received a bachelor’s in Business Information Technology from Montana Tech in 2004, then moved back to Farmington and worked for a small well servicing company. Wanting to be more involved with the petroleum industry, he returned to school to pursue an engineering degree. Pettigrew is a junior and is also working on a minor in mechanical engineering. He is active in both Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, where he is club secretary this year. He is seeking an internship for the summer of 2012.

Angelos is a 2009 graduate of Gateway Christian School in Roswell. He began his studies in the fall of 2009 at New Mexico Tech, pursing a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering. Angelos is a member of the New Mexico Tech Honor Roll. He has been involved in numerous student activities including the Student Association, and intramural sports such as basketball and volleyball. He is active in professional organizations such as SPE and AADE. Angelos has summer work experience with Harvard Petroleum in Roswell and currently works as an assistant researcher at the PRRC on campus.

Murphy is a native of Roswell and a graduate of New Mexico Tech. He has served on many boards and committees of industry groups and served as advisor to three cabinet secretaries.

Founded in the late 1990s, the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America is a consortium of industry groups, companies and universities. New Mexico Tech is a charter member and Dr. Daniel Lopez, Tech president, served as the group’s chairman until 2007, when Murphy took over as RPSEA chairman for a two-year term.

The Partnership’s primary mission is to promote and fund research into deep-ocean drilling and unconventional recovery of natural gas and petroleum in the United States.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech