The Duke of York attended the opening of the 75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) Conference and Exhibition at ExCel London on 10th June 2013. HRH, as part of the opening ceremony, gave a speech to over 700 global leaders and experts in geoscience, petroleum and energy. The Duke spoke of the importance of the industry and the work it carries out, and tasked attendees to ensure its continued success by questioning what further work they could all do to attract and train the next generation of professionals.
“At present many companies operating in the geoscience and engineering arena are concerned about skill shortages and the imminent retirement of the baby-boomer generation. In a recent survey in the industry a third of respondents said it was their biggest problem. In addition to skilling new people to the industry, there is also the need to deepen the capability of those who have joined the industry as it takes on bigger and bigger challenges.
“I can see that great work is currently being done in these areas. There is a vibrant student programme at this event, and throughout the year your organisations run programmes to encourage our young international scientific and engineering community.
“My question though is whether there is still more that can be done? Geoscience and petroleum engineering are both fascinating areas of work, offering exciting careers all around the world at the frontiers of knowledge and technology. Much is being done to encourage those who have chosen these subjects, but can we do anything more to bring the wonder of geology and energy into classrooms worldwide and energize a new generation with the enthusiasm that brought all of you into your work? I encourage each of you personally to think about what you can do to attract people into geoscience, engineering and technology and help build capability.”
HRH was also given the opportunity to tour the exhibition and spoke with a number of geoscience and petroleum companies who have strong British ties. The Duke was invited to conclude the opening of the exhibition by presenting the 2013 EAGE Awards with Len Srnka, President of EAGE.