Industry Awards Set to Inspire Next Generation

Posted by Jenny Adams


STEM initiatives, training and educational events aimed at inspiring the next generation will once again be supported and highlighted by the Offshore Achievement Awards (OAAs). Operated by The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section, the biggest and longest-established oil, gas and renewables industry awards has now opened for entries.  Today sees the launch of the OAA's 2019 programme, the 33rd year of the Awards which follow on from a year of record entry levels in 2018.

Supported by principal sponsor TAQA, the OAAs aim to recognise excellence in a range of categories; from Innovation to Collaboration, Export Achievement to Outstanding Skills Development and beyond.    Reflecting SPE Aberdeen's mission to inspire the next generation, the spotlight will also be focused on the Young Professionals category, which recognises individuals under 35 who are making their mark in the industry.

Discussing what winning an OAA means to her, 2018 Young Professional winner Laura Steedman, 24, Mechanical Engineer, BP commented: “It was an incredible honour to have received such prestigious recognition. The OAA has opened doors to an excellent network of talented and experienced industry professionals.

“I would encourage young professionals from any sector of the offshore industry to apply to OAA as it will demonstrate your ambition and raise your profile. The application process is a useful self-evaluation exercise to understand what you have achieved, your aspirations and your personal development plan to reach those goals.”

As a not-for-profit organisation, SPE Aberdeen reinvests surplus income from the awards back into a full programme of STEM events and training, as well as higher education scholarships and bursaries. 

Ian Phillips, chairman of the SPE Aberdeen Section and the OAA organising committee, said: “It is a privilege for SPE Aberdeen to be able to provide a platform for sharing success stories within the oil and gas and renewable sectors.  The event goes from strength to strength and this year, in our eighth year as custodian of the awards, we were delighted to be joined at the awards dinner by an astronaut and engineer/scientist involved in the ‘NASA in Aberdeen – Inspiring the Next Generation' project, which is jointly organised by SPE, Energy Institute, Society of Underwater Technology, TechFest and Aberdeen Science Centre.

“This gives the audience an insight into the processes and technologies used across both industries, which can help us inspire interest from the next generation. This reflects a key part of SPE's mission and is arguably more important now than ever.”

Donald Taylor, managing director at TAQA added: “TAQA is proud to once again be principal sponsor of the 2019 Offshore Achievement Awards.  Inspiring the next generation is an important part of our own company ethos and we believe that it is critically important to celebrate the success of our industry by providing a spotlight for the people and businesses achieving great things. 

“The teams and individuals at TAQA who have previously won awards at the OAAs got a real boost from being recognised for their hard work, and I would urge any companies and individuals with a great story to tell to consider entering.”

Entries are open from now until Friday 16 November. Submissions are welcome from UK-based companies operating offshore in both the oil and gas and renewables sectors, with categories, criteria and application forms available at

The 2019 categories are:

  • Emerging Technology (sponsored by Offshore Europe Partnership)
  • Innovator
  • HSE Innovation
  • Collaboration (sponsored by Nexen)
  • Export Achievement (sponsored by EIC)
  • Outstanding Skills Development
  • Young Professional
  • Above & Beyond
  • Great Company – SME
  • Great Company – Large
  • Significant Contribution Award

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