Colorado School of Mines - Petroleum Institute Collaboration
Colorado School of Mines is a principal university affiliate with the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The relationship extends back to the year 2000, when Mines authored the original proposal to assist the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) with the formation of a degree-granting university focused on engineering and applied science relevant to the UAE’s oil and gas industry.
With an initial grant from ADNOC, Mines formulated the Academic Master Plan for the PI, and in June 2001 entered into a long-term partnership agreement with the PI to develop undergraduate degree programs in petroleum engineering, petroleum geosciences, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. Initially, a foundation year was also established to prepare incoming students for instruction in English, as well as basic fluency in information technology and the scientific method. While curricula and academic standards were established to mimic programs at Mines, the PI was set up to offer its own baccalaureate degrees.
Mines worked closely with the ADNOC civil projects group and an international master planning consultancy to construct initial campus facilities in Sas Al Nakhl in Abu Dhabi. Mines also worked with the ADNOC human resources unit to recruit the initial pipeline of students and appoint an initial cadre of faculty. Many activities were headquartered at the Center for the Development of the Petroleum Institute on the Mines campus.
The first students to attend the PI began classes in the Foundation Year in September, 2001.
The PI’s Governing Board was established by Emiri decree in 2001 and includes representation of ADNOC and partner IOC’s BP, JODCO, Shell and Total, as well as Colorado School of Mines. Dr. Nigel Middleton has represented Colorado School of Mines on the PI Governing Board since its inception.
In recent years, and as the PI has matured, Mines’ affiliation with the PI has migrated into cooperative research on an array of projects affecting upstream exploration and production and pedagogy in engineering education.
Over the years, faculty at Colorado School of Mines have supervised PhD students, who now have faculty appointments at the PI. A list of these alumni is found here.