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Students touring plant

In a field trip that showcased Marietta College’s commitment to real-world education, 10 ambitious Petroleum Engineering students recently gained exclusive access to cutting-edge drilling operations. This hands-on experience, featuring visits to a Pruitt facility and a Range Resources’ rig location, exemplifies why Marietta’s program ranks among the nation’s best.

During an immersive industry tour this spring, Marietta College’s Petroleum Engineering students saw the future of energy exploration come alive. As members of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) Student Chapter, these budding engineers witnessed firsthand the intricate processes that drive modern drilling operations.

The students were featured in Drillbits, the monthly eNewsletter for IADC.

Marietta College’s Petroleum Engineering program, renowned for its rigorous curriculum and industry connections, continues to set the gold standard for undergraduate education in this field. This recent expedition underscores the program’s dedication to bridging classroom theory with practical application.

The day began at Pruitt’s state-of-the-art facility in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, where students received comprehensive safety training — a cornerstone of industry practice. The highlight of this stop was an interactive demonstration of a Rotating Control Device, allowing students to operate equipment as they would in real-world scenarios.

Martyn Parker, vice president of Pruitt MPD Services, capped off the educational journey in Bentleyville with a virtual presentation on Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD). This comprehensive overview highlighted the evolution of MPD technology and its critical role in modern well engineering.

The tour then moved to Range Resources’ active rig site in Washington County, Pennsylvania. Here, students experienced the pulsating heart of drilling operations, from observing rig conditions to peeking behind the curtain in the driller’s cabin. This rare opportunity provided invaluable insights into the day-to-day realities of petroleum engineering.

“Experiences like this give students the exposure they need to succeed in our industry,” said Marietta Petroleum Engineering student Trevor McNeill ’25 (Fombell, Pennsylvania). “Students gain a larger perspective, allowing them to apply their classroom knowledge and build personal relationships along the way.”

For aspiring petroleum engineers looking to make their mark in this dynamic field, Marietta College offers more than just a degree — it offers a launchpad to a successful career in energy innovation.