Team RECon Wins US Leg of BP's Ultimate Field Trip Competition

BP announced Thursday that Team RECon of the University of Michigan is the winners of its U.S. leg of the firm's 2014 Ultimate Field Trip competition – an initiative designed to promote the oil and gas industry to students taking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Team RECon, made up of Leo Devota, Spencer Paris and David Marsh, was selected following a two-day competition at BP's US headquarters in Houston, Texas. Team RECon competed against teams from seven leading U.S. universities in a competition that asked the competitors to identify an innovative solution for reducing energy consumption that could be implemented at scale across the country by 2025.

Team RECon proposed a system for capturing, purifying and using associated petroleum gases that are currently lost through flaring at some well sites.

"There is a great need for STEM-educated students in the oil and gas industry, and the BP Ultimate Field Trip competition is just one way we work with U.S. universities to provide an opportunity for students to explore the industry and discover what a potential career in the oil and gas industry may entail," said Khymberly Booth, director of U.S. university relations at BP.

The prize is a two-week field trip in June that will explore BP operations in Illinois and Alaska alongside winning teams from the UK, Angola, Canada and Trinidad & Tobago.

In March, Oxford University's team – called 'I Challenge You to a Joule' – won the UK version of the Ultimate Field Trip with a proposal for a system that would see energy from gas flares at oil and gas wells used for aluminum electrolysis.

A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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