Operations Manual for SPWLA Student Chapters


This manual is a guide to the operation of student chapters of The Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts (SPWLA).The purpose of the Society is to advance the science of petrophysics and formation evaluation, through well logging and other formation evaluation techniques and to the application of these techniques to the exploitation of gas, oil and other minerals; provide information services to scientists in the petroleum and mineral industries; serve as a voice of shared interests in our profession; play a major role in strengthening petrophysical education; and strive to increase the awareness of the role petrophysics has in the Oil and Gas Industry and the scientific community. A strong student program, both graduate and undergraduate is deemed vital to the growth and future of the Society. Additionally, student chapters also provide a means of contact with the petrophysical profession both inside and outside of academia. That contact, facilitated through the Student Chapter Program, is of benefit to the SPWLA, to the university and to students.


Members of the Student Chapter must be members of the SPWLA. In applying for membership, the applicant must list a sponsor/advisor, preferably a professor. According to the latest graduation year (BSc, MSc, or PhD) indicated on student application, the student member status on this year will automatically be advanced to associate membership. If the expected graduation date changes, the student member must notify SPWLA to extend student status.

Benefits of Membership

  •  SPWLA Petrophysics is internationally recognized as a leading publication for original contributions on theoretical and applied aspects of formation evaluation, including both open hole and cased hole well logging, core analysis and formation testing. Every student member receives Internet access in lieu of a paper copy.
  • Student Chapter members have the opportunity for meeting and networking with experienced petrophysicists through activities with local affiliated societies, through chapter and regional meetings.
  •  Active participation in the Student Chapter provides the student an opportunity to develop leadership and management skills. A sense of professionalism is developed by actively running an organization and networking with professionals.
  • Student Chapter members can participate in the student paper contest sponsored by the Local Host Chapter at the annual meeting. The cash awards are significant for both the student and the university.
  • Members receive discounts on SPWLA publications.
  • Grants: Grant awards are intended to aid a college or university student or faculty member in a specific and relevant way by supporting all or part of certain costs associated with special studies, research projects, thesis projects, laboratory experiments, or other approvable purposes. Examples of such support include but are not limited to the purchase of core samples, other forms of field data, purchase of copies of project-related references or reports, purchase of special-purpose material, supplies, components, or instruments for experimental purposes, purchase of computer time, etc., subject to the approval of the Scholarship and Grant Committee. An average of 8 grants is awarded annually with an average value of $2000. Applications are available from the SPWLA web-site: Foundation Overview.
  • Scholarships: Scholarship awards are intended to aid a college or university student by providing partial support of expenses incurred as a full-time student registered at and attending a recognized college or university. SPWLA Foundation scholarships are intended to benefit those students enrolled in a course of study that is directly related to or bearing a reasonable relationship to the science of oil, gas, or other mineral formation evaluation. Scholarships are awarded by the SPWLA Scholarship and Grant Committee. An average of 16 scholarships is awarded annually with an average value of $2100. Applications are available from the SPWLA web-site:Foundation Overview 
  • Discounts on short courses and SPWLA sponsored events.
  • Access to the Distinguished Speaker Program.
  • Student Outlook –Facebook pages covering the Student Chapter Program activities and updates.

Faculty Sponsor and/or Co-Sponsors

The continuity of a Student Chapter will be ensured by choosing a Faculty Advisor (or Coadvisors) who are committed to helping and maintaining a Student Chapter. The Chapter must choose a faculty advisor; the faculty advisor must be an Active member of SPWLA and will serve as the liaison between SPWLA and the Student Chapter. Additional duties of the Faculty Advisor are to be aware of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of SPWLA and assure the Chapter’s adherence to them; to assure that the Chapter prepares and delivers their reports to the SPWLA Business Office as per the schedule; and to be a repository for the Chapter’s records.

The success (or failure) of a Student Chapter is often related to the participation (or lack of) of the faculty advisor. Even the most energetic of Student Chapter Presidents’ need the support and encouragement of the faculty advisor. When selecting your sponsor(s) we suggest you talk with them beforehand such that they may be aware of, and be willing to accept the responsibility.

The Student Chapter is strongly encouraged (but not required) to seek out a Professional Sponsor or Mentor from the local community. This will help the chapter tie its purpose to the transition from academic life to a professional one. The Professional Sponsor can assist the chapter in organizing field trips, short courses, and making you talk with them beforehand such that they may be aware of, and be willing to accept the responsibility.

For a list of Local Chapters in North America and internationally, please visit Chapter Directory

Local SPWLA Chapters

The nearest local SPWLA chapter should be invited to sponsor the Student Chapter and, if it accepts, it should appoint a person to be the Local Chapter Sponsor for your Student Chapter. The Local Chapter Sponsor will serve as the liaison between the Society and the Student Chapter. The Chapter may consider asking the sponsoring society’s liaison to serve on the Chapter Executive Committee.

Students are encouraged to attend the meetings of the Sponsoring Chapter. In addition to their monthly meetings, they may provide you with speakers and/or field trip leaders.

Local chapters often sponsor short courses, seminars or field trips, which you may participate in, sometimes for greatly reduced rates. The local chapter may also provide an excellent forum for your Chapter members. Sponsor a one-day seminar of thesis research for the chapter or put together poster sessions for their monthly meetings.

Members of the Sponsoring Chapter may be interested in attending your technical programs or field trips. There may be some universities where the nearest affiliated society is too far away to provide support, in which case the student chapter will operate without a Local Chapter Sponsor. If there is no affiliated society to sponsor the student chapter, a local SPWLA member can be asked to be a Professional Affiliate to provide support which normally comes from the affiliated society’s Sponsor.

Student Chapter Operation

In keeping with the purposes of the SPWLA, a Student Chapter is encouraged to provide a strong technical program to its membership. We recommend having a monthly speaker at your monthly meetings. These can be faculty members, members from the Sponsoring Chapter, or might be requested from SPWLA’s Distinguished Speaker program. Information can be obtained from the SPWLA VP of Education or the SPWLA website.

SPWLA has a standing committee charged with oversight of Student Chapters. This committee can assist with offering technical short courses and/or field trips at the annual convention especially for students. For information on or assistance with any of these SPWLA services, contact the SPWLA Business Office.

Appoint someone to serve as a program chair and another student to serve as a field trip chair. Assign the duties for writing reports to the President or Secretary.


The bylaws require the student chapter to submit two reports, one mid-year and another at the end of the calendar year. These reports are vital to SPWLA in that they provide SPWLA with its only tangible data regarding the success of the program. The Chapter’s reports keep the Chapter eligible for many of the benefits to having an SPWLA Student Chapter and are what the Student Chapter Committee references in order to decide the Outstanding Student Chapters each year. It is preferable that the Chapters report be emailed to [email protected], as a Word or PDF attachment. A report is defined as a document containing:

  • A listing of the officers of the chapter (SPWLA member number, name and email addresses)
  • Faculty advisor and any co-advisors (SPWLA member number, name and email addresses)
  • A member list for the Chapter (SPWLA member number, name and email addresses)
  • A report on activities the chapter has engaged in since their last report was filed.
  • A brief financial summary of the Chapter’s usage of funds.