The SPE Canadian Educational Foundation Needs Your Help!

The foundation provides financial support for educational initiatives in the Canadian oil and gas sector, ranging from scholarships to science fairs, including organizations like Women in Scholarship, Engineering, Science and Technology (WISEST) and the U of C Petroleum and Energy Society (PES).

Despite the challenges facing the Canadian oil and gas industry as it struggles through one of the most severe downturns in our history, the Society of Petroleum Engineers remains determined to support aspiring engineers and technologists who have set their sights on a career in Canada’s energy sector. The newly reorganized SPE Canadian Educational Foundation continues to support students working towards careers in the oil and gas industry.

The foundation is the end result of a significant effort to coordinate the educational support initiatives of a number of different entities spanning over a decade. Centralizing these activities has led to more efficient fund raising and a more accessible scholarship program for every SPE section and university across Canada. Since 2010, over $350,000 has been awarded in scholarships alone, with additional funds earmarked for other specific industry education initiatives each and every year. Awards are granted to students working towards degrees. They are technologists, undergraduates, master’s students and even PhDs. Each applicant is judged on the quality of their academic work, their intent to embark on a career in the energy industry in Canada and their active involvement in SPE.

The trust fund that formed the basis for the foundation’s funding has provided an excellent buffer through this downturn as most corporations, once the main source of scholarship revenue, were forced to cancel their annual donation programs. This, however, will not be sustainable unless both industry and individual support is revived along with our climbing rig count. With over 4000 members in Canada, even a $5 individual donation can make a difference. This is also a significant opportunity for many individuals who have held long and successful careers in our industry to extend their support to the future generations of industry experts. In 2016 the foundation was proud to announce the first major legacy contribution, made by Calgary’s Benediktson family to celebrate Stephan Benediktson’s retirement after a long and successful career as a geologist and oil industry executive. They generously donated $100,000 to the foundation to be used annually for the new Benediktson Scholarship.

The support of educational initiatives is crucial for the future of our industry. Individuals and companies are encouraged to contact the foundation for more information on the benefits of donating. Your Legacy is Our Future.

For more information or to donate, please email