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….. from the Life of the Chapter
written by
Miss Anita Jobbik,
1998 President.

The Beginnings…
Just before the establishment of the Chapter the Founding Fathers (most of them graduating in 1992) organized a trip to the U.S. In May 1992, eight students and two faculty members took part in a two-week tour visiting famous universities and oil-industry firms. The photo below shows them on the ferry to Liberty Island in NYC. Standing are from left to right: Tibor Gozdan, Attila Ivanyi, Mihaly Gajda, Ivan Katona, seated are: Zoltan Szalai, Laszlo Tolnai, Zoltan Lendvai, Ervin Gombkoto. Not shown on the photo are faculty members Dr. G. Takacs and Dr. B. Mating.


The trip involved visits to one of the best US petroleum engineering schools and to famous oil patch firms. Students also did some sightseeing in the huge cities of the New World. Some important highlights of the trip are listed below.
New York City: Empire State Building, Central Park, Metropolitan Museum, Dakota House, Liberty Island
Dallas: visit to the Headquarters of the SPE.
Kilgore: East Texas Oil Field and East Texas Oil Museum.
Lufkin: visit to Lufkin Industries, the world’s biggest manufacturer of oil well pumping units. Mr. Joe P. Byrd, inventor of the Mark II pumping unit, was the Hungarian group’s guide during the visit to the manufacturing plants.
Houston: NASA Johnson Space Center.
College Station: visit to the Petroleum Engineering Department of the Texas A&M University.
Beaumont: the world-famous Spindletop Field, the cradle of Texas oil power.
San Antonio: at the Sea World amusement park the group met Shamu the Killer Whale. No-one got killed.
Los Angeles: Hollywood, Beverly Hills.
A Trip to Leoben
A much shorter trip was made in 1993 when nine members traveled to Leoben where our students were given a warm and kind reception by their Austrian fellows who – under President Werner Donke’s command – did their best to ensure a memorable time. As it turned out during a late-night exercise in the cellar of the local hostel, Hungarian students had a lot to learn about partying the traditional way. The sealed bottle of beer above the lighted candle finally exploded but no-one got hurt, possibly due to the group’s previous studies in oil well blowout prevention. After recovering, students visited the Institute of Reservoir Engineering directed by Dr. Zoltán Heinemann who is an alumnus of the Alma Mater Miskolciensis.
The Best Trip So Far…
In 1995, I was a senior student and with nine other Student Chapter members we organized the best trip to the US I ever had. It was late April 1995. The tour started in Dallas, Texas where we spent three wonderful days. As a tradition, we visited the Headquarters of our Society.


It took some time till we found the sucker-rod pumping unit in front of the Hard Rock Café, downtown Dallas, where the above photo was taken. [Standing are: Zoltan Namesanszki, Balazs Ordogh, Arpad Osz (President), Tamas Szakal (Treasurer), Zoltan Zana, Peter Marosi, dr. Tibor Bodi (Faculty Member); kneeling are: Tamas Kecskes, Gyula Ovari, Csaba Nagy (Secretary), Anita Jobbik.] While some students carefully studied the kinematic behavior of the unit, others got first-hand information on the disadvantages of valet parking two aging rental vans. Anyway, most of us found this environment much more pleasing than that in the oil patch. One day we visited the Sixth Floor Museum and the memorial of J. F. Kennedy. A more pleasant trip was made to the nearby Southfork Ranch where people grown up on the soap opera "Dallas" could see the difference between show biz and reality.
In College Station we spent a day at the Petroleum Engineering Department of Texas A&M University. Local Student Chapter members catered for us and we had a pizza party. Maybe this gave us the impetus to hold similar parties at home. We were introduced to department head Dr. James Russel and to Dr. Peter Valko, a faculty member from Hungary. The next day we traveled to Houston and visited the Shell Exploration and Production facilities. We spent a whole day at the NASA Johnson Space Center where the Mission Control Room was everybody’s favorite. The next wonder was the Moody Gardens on Galveston Island. It is a big glass-covered pyramid with lots of tropical plants and animals in a beautiful setting. In the afternoon we swam in the Gulf of Mexico but could not get close enough to the offshore platforms. After surviving without any shark attacks, this evening we had a seafood dinner at a seashore restaurant where many of us had their first oysters.
Those of us disliking seafood had bad luck because our next stop was the state of Louisiana which is abundant with never-before-seen-by-us sea creatures both boiled and raw. We had our share and liked it (no kidding) at the traditional "Crawfish Boil" held every year at the Petroleum Engineering Department of the Louisiana State University. Dr. Zaki Bassiouni, an expert and head of the department, introduced us to the theory and practice of eating those little things. So we learned how the technique of "suckin’ da head and pinchin’ da tail" works.
Delicious Boiled Crawfish Ready to be Eaten
The photo below was taken after the meal and shows most of the group. Those not present are still fighting with the crawfish. From left to right: Gyula Ovari, Anita Jobbik, dr. Tibor Bodi (Faculty Member), Tamas Szakal (Chapter Treasurer), Dr. Zaki Bassiouni (LSU), Balazs Ordogh, Dr. Gabor Takacs (Faculty Sponsor), Peter Marosi, Csaba Nagy (Chapter Secretary), Zoltan Zana.


Still in wonderful Louisiana, we spent two memorable days in the "Crescent City" where we "care forgot" as the other name of New Orleans (the City that Care Forgot) implies. For many of us, walking on Bourbon Street after a "seven course meal", a po-boy with a six pack of Dixie, was like walking in heaven. (If po-boy and Dixie are strange codes to you, don’t read any further.)
Back in Texas we went to the place where all began: the Spindletop Field. The oil field had long disappeared but we could find a replica of a boomtown, Gladys City. The Lucas Monument was nearby commemorating that historical oil gusher. Driving across the piney woods resembling our Hungarian forests we stopped at the farm of some friendly Texans of Hungarian ancestry. Finally arrived to Lufkin, seat of Lufkin Industries. Good old friend Mr. Joe Byrd greeted us with warm hospitality and a hot dinner. In return, he was presented with a traditional beer tankard of the University of Miskolc graduates and was officially baptized as a "Heavenly Bright Glorious Veteran". His second Birth Certificate is shown here.
Our last four days were spent in New York City. We tried to see all the sights: Central Park, Ellis Island, Liberty Island, Empire State Building, Dakota House, Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Modern Arts, Guggenheim Museum.
A Recent US Trip
In May 1997 the Chapter managed again to find time (and some money, too) for a third trip to the US where – keeping our traditions – the group visited several universities and oil-industry-firms.
The tour started in New York City where they wanted to see everything during the four days spent there. The photo below shows all ten students in the Central Park, NYC; from left to right, upper row: Zsolt Molnar, Attila Szaniszlo (President), Peter Baranyai (Treasurer), Zsolt Takacs (Vice President), Tibor Vadasz, dr. Laszlo Tihanyi (Director); lower row: Tibor Katona, Ildiko Herenyik, Zoltan Kakas, Tamas Mogyorosi, Imre Takacs.


From NYC the group flew to Dallas, Texas, where two vans were rented and for the rest of the trip the two faculty members did the driving. During the four days in Dallas they could not miss visiting the Headquarters of the Society of Petroleum Engineers in Richardson. As the snapshot below testifies, they finally found the place (quite a feat, I tell you) and were greeted by friendly SPE personnel. Now it’s your turn to recognize the individuals. (Clue: no-one is missing but the Faculty Sponsor.)
No trip to Dallas would be complete without going to the Southfork Ranch so our members followed suit. One afternoon, after seeing the breathtaking view from the top of the Texas Commerce Tower, students took their pictures in the (still not opened) Dallas Petroleum Club and promised themselves to reach such levels in their future career.
The long and winding roads of Texas took the group to Austin where instead of visiting the State Capitol the time was spent waiting for the other van to arrive. To save time, the next stop was San Antonio, a wonderful city of European measures. The Alamo was easily found and gave a historical background for understanding Texas which, as the saying goes, "Is a Whole Other Country".
In Houston the group was busy with professional visits to the industry but ample time was also given for finding the many sights of this metropolis. For landlubbers like Hungarians (the country lost its only seaport after WW1) swimming in the Gulf at Galveston was a must. Seafood was tasted as well. At San Jacinto, many dreamed of the "Yellow Rose of Texas" but no-one lost any battle. They bade farewell to Texas after the compulsory visit to the Spindletop Field near Beaumont.
Next came Louisiana where at the Louisiana State University campus in Baton Rouge Dr. Zaki Bassiouni, head of the Petroleum Engineering Department, kept our students busy. At this time, final arrangements were made for sending Hungarian students to LSU. As a result, two students (Zsolt Takacs and Tibor Vadasz) started their studies in August 1997 at the Petroleum Engineering Department. The only girl in the graduating class (Ildiko Herenyik) was also sent January 1998. All three people were members of the group and could thus get familiar with their future conditions.
Driving the two vans fully loaded with six people each (a highly unfamiliar sight on US highways, as you know) was finished in New Orleans, from where the group flew back home. Before leaving, a thorough survey of the streets of the Big Easy was diligently done. The students did not forget to taste gumbo, (alli)gator meat, and other delicacies, as well as Hurricane, the favorite poison of the locals.

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