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About the Program
The Data Science Mentorship Program (DSMP) is a joint project between the SPE Calgary Young Professionals and the SPE Calgary Data Science & Engineering Analytics Special Interest Group. The program was first launched in Spring 2021 with 50 mentees and 15 mentors. With the sustained interest from past year participants, we are happy to announce the continuation of the program this year with some changes to the program structures, starting Fall 2023.
The program’s purpose is to provide practical and learning opportunities to students and professionals (mentees) who are interested in learning and applying data science to the Energy Industry, with guidance and support from industry experts (mentors). Participants of this program have been able to apply what they learned to their current positions, while some even took it further and successfully pivoted their careers. Regardless of where our mentors and mentees are in their career, we want to build a community together and share our passion for the energy industry and data science.
Mentors & Mentees
Data science professionals in the energy industry who are willing to volunteer their time, and share their experience and knowledge.
What's in it for you as a Mentor?
Build leadership capabilities through the development of mentoring/coaching skills
Improve domain knowledge from working with mentees who have the technical expertise and experience in the energy industry, but joined the program to gain data science skills
Expand your network and enhance reputation
Students and Professionals in Alberta who are passionate about learning data science skills regardless of their skill levels, and are willing to dedicate time and effort.
What's in it for you as a Mentee?
Gain practical, hands-on experience in providing data-driven solutions to real-world problems in the energy industry while working with leading data science experts
Build a personal repository of accomplished projects
Expand your network with mentors, current and past mentees (some of whom have successfully pivoted to another industry with the skills they acquired through the program)
A great professional development opportunity to improve your soft skills through participation in team projects, presentations, etc.
*Applications are open to both SPE members and non-members; however, placement preference will be given to SPE members.
Information for Mentors/Mentees:
In the past, mentors have been matched with mentees through our online intake forms, where we tried to gauge the mentees' abilities and interests and connect those to a mentor that we believed to be a good fit. Depending on the mentees' abilities, the mentors and mentees were working together to increase the mentees' data skills and to work on a project that they chose together.
While this plan worked well during Covid, we decided to make some changes this year to incorporate more structured training, especially to those who are new to data science and to include more facetime for networking.
The 2023 Data Science Mentorship Program will be broken down into 3 phases:
1) The first phase of the program now includes a 2-month boot camp at the beginning (September - October 2023). Our team of mentors will build a comprehensive set of training materials for the mentees to complete during this period. We would like to host weekly lecture-style learning sessions where each of the mentors will take turns going through a topic with our mentees, delivered through a combination of theory and hands-on exercises. At the end of the boot camp period, the mentors and mentees will have the ability to request matching and form teams with the facilitation of the organizing team to participate in the second phase of the program, in the form of a Hackathon (November 2023).
2) The second phase of the program now focuses on using what the mentees learned during the boot camp phase and applying it to a problem that the organizing committee decides on with the mentors. The Hackathon will last over one weekend in November 2023, where the mentors will act as the project managers, helping the mentees break down the problem and guiding their mentees to come up with solutions for the Hackathon. The weekend-long competition will culminate in a presentation to the board of external judges from the SPE Data Science Special Interest Group and awards will be given to teams with the most innovative solutions.
3) The third phase of the program will be the traditional mentorship program, where mentors and mentees will continue to work towards a capstone project during a 4-month period (January 2024 - April 2024). The matching process will be done similarly to the Hackathon, where mentors and mentees will request matching and the organizing team will facilitate. Mentees will be expected to work with their mentors to define the scope of their projects by the end of January 2024. In the past, the projects have included various topics inside and outside of the energy industries, such as forecasting electricity prices, oil production prediction, NASA jet engine lifespan prediction, emission calculator, etc. The goal of the third phase is to enable the mentors and mentees to work on projects that relate closely to their work/research and spend sufficient time on them.
Teams of mentors and mentees that have successfully committed to the program in the past have benefitted tremendously from it. Mentors can gain leadership skills in managing a team of mentees with different backgrounds. Some mentors with strong data skills but weak domain knowledge in areas like oil and gas have even found it useful to have mentees with 10+ years of domain experience, who can work collaboratively with them on projects.
Expectations for Mentors (target 15 Mentors):
Help plan for the boot camp: 1-2 hrs/week in Aug-Sept 2023 for planning sessions
Help with executing the boot camp: 1 hr/week in Sept-Oct 2023 for weekly learning sessions
Participate in the Hackathon: 1 weekend in Nov 2023
Participate in the self-directed mentorship program: 1-4 hrs/week in Jan-Apr 2024
Expectations for Mentees (target 50 Mentees):
Apply for the program
Pay the program registration fee of $50 CAD (towards in-person events, Hackathon prizes)
Participate in the boot camp (optional but highly encouraged for those new to data science) and complete the boot camp required learnings
Participate in the Hackathon
Participate in the self-directed mentorship program
Participate in regular meetings with their team and in-person meetings
Commit to self-directed learning as needed
FAQs & Registration
1. What kind of projects do the program participants work on? Will the organizers assign the project?
It is a flexible program. Last year, we had some mentors and mentees choosing their own projects, while others came to the organizers for ideas. Below is a list of all the projects the Spring 2021 groups worked on:
Exploring the Permian – Predicting production using a random forest regressor model focused on the Permian Basin.
Volve Field Case Study – Predicting Porosity Using Well Log Data from 24 wells; Time Series Forecasting of Production & Injection Rates.
Drilling Time Optimization – Developed a tool that ingests drilling data, maps/cleans the data, and then calculates client metrics in real time.
Steamflood Area Performance Improvement – Data visualization of large datasets to monitor various production metrics.
Scale Tendency Prediction – Predicting scaling tendency for Montney wells, based on formation water, TVD, and other parameters.
Impact of COVID-19 on Air Quality – Interactive Web Application for the visualization of changes in city air quality around the world.
Predicting Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) – Using Machine learning models to predict Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR), from well production data.
Mars Rover Pictures – Built a model for object recognition in images.
Forecasting Electricity Prices in Alberta – Multiple supervised ML models were used to forecast Alberta electricity prices using publicly available data. These results were showcased in an interactive web application.
Predicting Production in the BC Montney – Decision trees and other modelling approaches were used to predict production rates in the BC Montney using 34 features.
2. Is there a cap for the program? What is the mentor to mentee ratio?
Yes, our goal this year is to have around 50 mentees and 15 mentors. The mentor to mentee ratio varies, but we would like to have 1 mentor matched to 2-4 mentees.
During the Spring 2021 intake, 200 mentees applied for the program but only 50 were accepted to the program as it was the first year for the program. The mentor to mentee ratio then was 1 mentor to 3 mentees.
3. Is the program free?
A mentee registration fee of $50 is required upon acceptance into the program.
4. As a mentor, what is expected of me?
Mentors provide leadership, guidance and help to the mentees for all of their data science questions, as well as work together on a data science project. Mentors are free to provide their own data and project for their mentees or they work together to decide on the project. The time commitment we have suggested is 1-4 hours/week for the 6 month formal program time frame. The deliverable at the end of the program is a presentation of your results similar to this datathon grand prize winner: 2020 Datathon Grand Prize Submission - Mighty DUC Hunters - Youtube. Mentors also have the ability to choose how many mentees they would like to work with. The expectation is that the team of mentees work together to help each other while also working under the mentor’s guidance.
5. I would like to use a project from my employer, but they require confidentiality, is that okay?
While it is okay to have the mentees sign a confidentiality agreement, the mentees should be allowed to talk about the project and what they worked on. The mentees are expecting to learn more about data science and then likely showcase their new skills and experience. So, while mentees may not be able to share the data or results directly, they should have the ability to present or showcase their work.
For more information, contact email@example.com.
To register as either a mentee or a mentor of this program, please follow the links below and fill out the form.
Applications for mentees are now closed. Application deadline for mentors has been extended to June 25, 2023.