So, at the beginning of the semester, I decided to change my emphasis from biochemical to petroleum. I have am very interested in alternative fuels, but I felt as though the classes that I was going to take with my biochemical emphasis were not focused around fuel chemistry that much and were not centered around what I was really interested in. Even though I am not specifically interested in working with oil, I feel as though this emphasis will teach me a lot about fuels and the energy industry.
Because I changed my emphasis, I had to change my classes as well. I switched out of Molecular Biology and one of my general education classes, and switched into PTE 461 – Formation Evaluation and PTE 463 – Introduction to Transport Processes in Porous Media. These are the first two classes that chemical engineers with a petroleum emphasis take.
My PTE 463 class is divided into a 160 minute lecture once a week and a lab section that meets 4 times a semester. I have never had a three hour lecture before, and it is NOT easy. Sitting through so much content can be overwhelming. However, when I work on my homework, I am able to go over the content that was covered in lecture and break it down at a more learnable pace. The class is actually really interesting. Right now, we are analyzing how oil, water, and gas flow differently through reservoirs underground. I am hoping that this class will help prep me for viscous flow in the spring, which I heard is all about fluid flow.
My other petroleum is PTE 461 – Formation Evaluation. Like the other petroleum class, this class meets once a week for 160 minutes. This class uses information from PTE 463 (PTE 463 is a co-requesite for the class) to analyze reservoirs in a real-life context. We are spending a lot of time analyzing measurements taken from oil wells around the world and drawing conclusions about the characteristics of these oil reservoirs. This class is interesting because it really introduces us to the petroleum industry, and gives us an idea of what petroleum companies do. The only downside to this class is that there is a ton of content to get through, so each week’s homework takes a long time. However, we are learning a lot.
These petroleum classes are very interesting, even though difficult, and it is nice to take classes in topics that are more specific. I look forward to using this knowledge in my future.