The goal of the Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society (AFES), the local branch of the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts, is primarily educational with the aim of promoting formation evaluation in Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe, and to provide support to the many education facilities, from universities to schools, located in Scotland. In order to achieve this, it holds regular lectures and seminars and is a partner of the DEVEX Conference committee. It has over 500 members and a committee of 18 volunteers.
The AFES committee is made up of a lot of people who are very generous with their time, supporting the running of the society in a variety of roles from President to Treasurer, website manager, seminar and lecture organisers. As committee members we attend lectures and seminars, regular monthly committee meetings and help with the planning of various events and in the funding sponsorship decisions. We have both been members of the DEVEX Young Professional Committee to promote and encourage young people within the oil and gas industry. We are currently organising the first Annual AFES Hogroast – if you plan to be in Aberdeen June 2014 check our website for details (www.afes.org.uk).
We have wonderful sponsors, including operators and service companies. Through their support, and through the efforts of the committee running various seminars and our DEVEX partnership, we are able to maintain our status as a free society, while still being able to provide funding.
Niamh is also a member of AFES’ subcommittee for funding, helping with student sponsorship allocations. The majority of funding goes to MSc and PhD students involved in formation evaluation at Robert Gordon, Aberdeen and Heriot Watt universities. We actively encourage students who receive AFES funding to present their work to the evaluation community through presentations and poster contributions at the regular AFES seminars and evening lectures. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to get feedback from the large network of experts, while getting to know them in a relaxed, open environment, and is brilliant for those experts to see how petrophysics and formation evaluation is progressing in academia. AFES also gives support by providing funding for equipment, recently having donated money for a new optical microscope at the University of Aberdeen, and donating money towards Geobus, a free educational outreach project for schools developed and run by the University of St Andrews.
In addition to student sponsorship, we support the ARCHIE Foundation, a local charity that raises money for Aberdeen’s Children’s Hospital. One of the AFES year’s highlights, the annual Christmas Quiz night, has helped to provide over £16,000 for this fantastic cause.
Being a member of the AFES committee has been a wonderful experience for both of us, as it provides the opportunity to interact with other petrophysicists and formation evaluation experts in Aberdeen. It is a fantastic place to build professional network connections and make lots of friends in the process. We would certainly recommend being a member of this or a similar committee to anyone who is interested.