Afren Management Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Engineering
The endowment shall be used to establish a graduate student fellowship for students who are pursuing their master’s degree or Ph.D. and who have spent the majority of their childhood or have completed their undergraduate degree in one of the following present-day regions in order of preference:
- The Niger Delta Region of Nigeria and in particular to students from the University of Uyo and University of Port Harcourt
- Other regions of Nigeria
- Ghana, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo
Preference should be given to students in Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering.
Mr. Shahid Ullah is President of Afren Resources USA, Inc., earned a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering in 1982. Afren is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company currently operating in twelve countries across Africa and the Middle East with a particular concentration in the Niger Delta.
Having benefited from a scholarship himself to study in the United States as a foreign student, it is particularly meaningful to Mr. Ullah that he is now able to help current foreign students avail themselves of the same world-class education he feels he received from the University of Texas. Having spent part of his own childhood in Nigeria and now a large part of his professional career developing and partnering with the Nigerian energy sector, it is especially gratifying for Mr. Ullah to help deserving young engineering students pursue their academic dreams. He can personally attest to the influence that his UT Engineering education has had on his professional career. He hopes that the establishment of this graduate fellowship will have an exponential effect on not only the recipients and their families, but on a larger scale of having a positive impact on global understanding, cultural interaction, and international cooperation, as well as a continued business relationship between the United States and Nigeria.
The University of Texas has been a vital force in the Ullah family for over thirty years. For all of his accomplishments in the petroleum industry, Mr. Ullah has been named a 2012 Engineer of Distinction from The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering in the same year that his son Zachary will be graduating from UT with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Plan II Honors. His wife, Sharon Cochran, is a UT graduate as well with a degree from the College of Natural Sciences. Following in the family tradition, their daughter Lorena will graduate from UT in 2014 with a degree in Education. His brother and sister are also graduates of UT, as well as his father-in-law, who graduated in 1950 with a Petroleum Engineering degree.
Afren’s hope is that the recipients of this fellowship will become committed professionals and innovative thinkers for an industry that will need dynamic leaders to find ever-changing solutions to meet the world’s growing energy needs.