by Assel Akimbekova, SEG UniPG chapter’s president.

The Pandemic years were challenging to keep active the SEG UniPG Students chapter and keep attracted to new coming students. It is important to keep active the chapter and evolve new students because the SEG provides an excellent platform to build a network and skillsets on both a professional and interpersonal level, which are critical for an early career scientist.  Being an active member of the local chapter opens the door to all opportunities provided by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. For these reasons in December 2020 new Officers of the chapter were elected and their main roles are to promote the chapter to new students, encourage students’ involvement, share critical information, assist and guide the chapter students, update social network pages with the main activities.

In 2021 after three consecutive years, the SEG UNIPG team was successfully selected for the SEG Evolve program. During participating in the SEG Evolve program, our students worked on the best investment opportunity project where they have learned how to work with real geological and geophysical data from oil fields during the development of the project. The students have worked hard for the past 10 months to finalize the project where they gained practical knowledge and unique experience, thanks to Mr Allen Bertagne, Mr Michel Forrest, Mr Jesus Ortiz Nevarez, Mr Mario Ricardo Ballinas, and other mentors, who continuously teach and support our students to achieve the target.

This year all lectures were converted to an online format and additional difficulties were related different time zones and to team members based in different countries, including Italy, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and India.  So our team worked 24 hours continuously.

Perugia team successfully graduated from the SEG Evolve program and, in October 2021, the final project was presented in front of investors during the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy (IMAGE). The meeting this year took place in Denver, Colorado (USA) but international students were not able to trip to the US and therefore presented virtually. As the result SEG UniPG Team was honored to receive 3 awards: “Multi-Disciplinary Integration”, “Best Teamwork” and “Best Carbon Capture Storage and Utilization Analysis”.

The SEG UniPG chapter’s officers. From left to right: Marcos Bernabe (Secretary), Anastassiya Shevelyova (Vice President), Assel Akimbekova (President) and Onat Yakisik (Treasurer).

Anastassiya Shevelyova, UniPG student from Kazakhstan, – “I have always been skeptical about working remotely until I took part in the EVOLVE 2021 project. As it turned out, working remotely has its advantages. First, there are no barriers in distance. Secondly, it is beneficial from an economic point of view. Thirdly, if your colleague lives on another continent, the efficiency and speed of work increase significantly. Another positive aspect of working remotely is the ability to work flexibly and your self-discipline improves. Participating in the EVOLVE project, I acquired large baggage of knowledge, learned how to work with geophysical data, and mastered the Petrel software”.

The SEG UniPG Evolve team. From left to right: Anastassiya Shevelyova, Pedro Delforge, Onat Yakisik, Abdelmjid Zeroual, Elvin Babayev, Frank Thomas, Alessandro Pascazio.

Onat Yakisik, UniPG student from Turkey – “SEG program, allowed me to do real work with a group of different backgrounds. In the end, my group and I presented the finished work to the real investors. For me, it was an entire workflow thanks to the SEG EVOLVE program I had the opportunity to work with Petrel, well logs properties like porosity, and calculation of volumetrics. This workflow made me realize how working in an oil company may look like. Because of the pandemic most of the time we were separated, we had to meet remotely but in the end we did our best to get used to this situation”.

In 2021 SEG UniPG Team received the following awards: “Multi-Disciplinary Integration”, “Best Teamwork” and “Best Carbon Capture Storage and Utilization Analysis”.

Pedro Delforge, UniPG student from Brasil, – “Evolve’s final presentation took place last month in the SEG Annual Meeting and feels like the program accomplished its purpose that names it. In 10 months, we have truly evolved. First technically, putting in practice the workflow of hydrocarbons’ exploration, but most importantly working as a team. Despite COVID having lifted a huge barrier of challenges to the program, dealing with different countries and time-zones, we were able to come up with a strong project. The most important lesson is that teamwork overcomes any difficulty”.

Frank Thomas, UniPG student from India, – “Evolve truly has been one of the best experiences during my master’s course here at UNIPG. I have been part of Evolve for 2 consecutive years, the first year (2020) as a team leader and geologist, and the second year as the Carbon Capture Storage and Utilization Analyst (CCUS). Overall, I had a great experience and valuable learning connecting with professionals from the industry, mentors, and professors. The experience was simply surreal.”

This focused program for developing leadership skills, professional leadership coaching, organizing team-building activity, and a Strategic Problem-Solving Sessions with the SEG Executive Committee. Only fifty student leaders, representative of SEG’s worldwide network of Student Chapters, were selected to attend during the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy (IMAGE).  During the symposium, the SEG UniPG chapter’s activity and cultural presentation were presented in front of the SEG/Chevron committee and other chapters from different parts of the World.

During the pandemic, SEG increased offers of online courses and distinguishing lectures taught by professionals and geophysicists. All these courses and talks proposed to the SEG members provide a stimulating and deeply inspirational educational experience SEG chapter’s students used this opportunity to become better.

In the upcoming future, our chapter is planning to continuously participate in the SEG activities as it brings a lot of fun helps building a professional network, meeting experts during distinguished lectures and development courses, and improves networking with other Italian SEG chapters. 


We thank the SEG organization for giving us this wonderful opportunity to create a geoscience community.  We also thank the SEG UniPG chapter advisor’s Dr Maurizio Ercoli and Prof. Giorgio Minelli for their continued support and commitment to making the SEG UniPG chapter successful.

Every year we continue to grow as a chapter throughout the introduction of our activities to new coming students. The SEG UniPG chapter connects motivated with positive spirit students who enjoy networking and developing their experience.