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2023-2024 SPE PB Scholarship Information


The Permian Basin Section of Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE-PB) supports college students pursuing careers in the petroleum industry. SPE-PB offers scholarships to encourage the pursuit of Petroleum Engineering and related engineering degrees. SPE-PB awarded $66,000 to 27 students for the 2021-2022 school year, and $79,000 to 25 students for the 2022-2023 school year.  The Permian Basin SPE Section will award seven Distinguished Scholarships each year (described below), as well as regular scholarships.  The regular scholarships were $3,000 for the 2022-2023 school year.  The number and dollar amount of regular scholarships will vary from year to year.

The seven Distinguished Scholarships will be awarded to the top seven applicants.  These Scholarships were established to honor seven outstanding contributors to SPE International who are/were affiliated with the Permian Basin Section.  These Scholarships are:

  • Presidential Scholarships:  Which honor the three past SPEI presidents that reside in Midland, Ed Runyan (SPEI President 1975), Arlen Edgar deceased (SPEI President 1981), and T. Scott Hickman (SPEI President 1997)

  • Memorial Scholarships that were established to honor the memory of two extraordinary volunteers and advocates of the Permian Basin Section, The Richard Prentice Memorial Scholarship and the Hoxie Smith Memorial Scholarship.

  • Named Scholarships established to honor the volunteer contributions of two Permian Basin Section SPE members, the Stephen Melzer Scholarship and the Libby Einhorn Scholarship


Please review the descriptions below about the extraordinary Petroleum Engineers the Permian Basin Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers honors each year with the award of the five Distinguished Scholarship Awards.

  • Presidential Scholarships are to honor the three past SPE International Presidents that have been members of the Permian Basin SPE Section:  Arlen Edgar, Scott Hickman, and Ed Runyan.  The Presidential Scholarship will be awarded to the candidate that displays the qualities that exemplify a leader.  The recipient of the Presidents Scholarship should aspire to become a leader, and be able to demonstrate past, present or future leadership opportunities or skills.  SPE is a volunteer organization, and therefore relies upon its volunteer members, so the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship should also be able to demonstrate an appreciation for volunteerism with past or present volunteer activities. 

  • The Richard Prentice Memorial Scholarship is in honor of an extraordinary member of the Permian Basin SPE Section.  Richard (Dick) Prentice tirelessly served the Permian Basin SPE Section as well as his family, community and industry.  Dick was a man of impeccable integrity and the epitome of responsible.  Dick exemplified an ethical, highly competent, hardworking engineer.  Dick had the heart of a volunteer, and in addition to serving on the SPE Permian Basin Board of Directors, Dick served on multiple other non-profit boards, helping to improve and better the community where he worked and lived.   The Richard Prentice Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to the candidate that has conducted him or herself in an exemplary manner and can demonstrate a sense of responsibility to both education and community

  • The Hoxie Smith Memorial Scholarship is in honor of an extraordinary member of the Permian Basin SPE Section.  Hoxie Smith was a wonderful ambassador and advocate for the energy industry, and for life-long learning.  Hoxie was an inspiration to all he met, he was gracious, optimistic, and devoted to all his chosen causes.  The Permian Basin SPE Section was the proud recipient of Hoxie’s devotion.  The Hoxie Smith Memorial scholarship will be awarded to the candidate that can demonstrate dedication to a cause, and a commitment to continued learning and education. 

  • The Stephen Melzer Scholarship recognizes Melzer for his vision and generosity to the Permian Basin Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  Melzer founded the annual CO2 Conference held in Midland every December, and donates a portion of the proceeds each year to fund SPE scholarships.  The Stephen Melzer scholarship will be awarded to the candidate that can demonstrate teamwork, communication skills, humility, generosity, and a passion for education. 

  • The Libby Einhorn Scholarship recognizes Einhorn for her service of over 20 years to SPE through various positions on the Permian Basin Section as well as the Society of Petroleum Engineers International.  The Libby Einhorn Scholarship will be awarded to the candidate that can best demonstrate service to their section as well as their leadership within the community they serve.


The seven Distinguished Scholarship Awards are currently funded at $5000 each. All scholarships are for one year and the award amount may vary from year to year based upon demand and section funding.


Funding of scholarships is at the discretion of the SPE-PB Board of Directors. Funds for our scholarships are raised primarily through the Section’s Golf Tournament, Plays & Clays clay shoot, the CO2 Conference and with additional support from our study groups. We are very appreciative for the generosity of the section members and Permian Basin companies that support our events and make our scholarship program possible.  


Please note, in order to recognize and honor the sources of our scholarship funds, preference for receiving a scholarship will be given to students whose hometowns are in the Permian Basin, to those students who have an SPE member as a parent, grandparent or guardian, and to Students who are members of the SPE Student Chapters at Texas Tech University and the University of Texas-Permian Basin (UTPB).  Preference will also be given to current SPE-PB scholarship recipients.

Application and Eligibility

We will be accepting applications for the 2023-2024 school year beginning in December 2022.

The deadline for applications for the Permian Basin SPE Scholarship for the 2023-2024 school year will be March 31, 2023.  

Application and personal reference forms will be available December 2022 on the website under the ‘More’ dropdown in downloadable form, in addition to this document.

In order to maintain scholarship eligibility, each student must:

  1. Maintain enrollment in an accredited undergraduate engineering program

  2. Maintain a course load of at least 12 credit hours per semester for undergraduate students, and 9 credit hours for graduate students

  3. Maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average

  4. Have the stated intention of pursuing a career in the petroleum industry

  5. Financial need will be considered in addition to or in lieu of these requirements

  6. Preference will be given to undergraduates, but graduate students will also be considered


Students who are currently receiving a SPE-PB Scholarship and are re-applying will be required to provide all the required information.  Consider seeking the new references from Professors and/or Supervisors from summer work.

Please submit a complete application, with 3 references and official transcript, on time, in order to be considered for our scholarship. All components of the complete application must be emailed to the Permian Basin SPE Scholarship Chairman at with “SPE-PB Scholarship Application” as the subject.  All documents must be received no later than 11:59 pm March 31, 2023. Transcripts must be official and submitted by the school;  however, references must be emailed from the person referring the applicant.  The scholarship committee begins reviewing the applications in early April. Recipients will be notified before the SPE Permian Basin Awards Banquet..  Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted (No Exceptions).

If you need additional information on the section scholarships or other SPE scholarships, please contact the Permian Basin Section scholarship committee members Jay Young at, or Libby Einhorn at

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