Topics: Saudi Arabia, Engineering, Licensure Pages: 9 (2732 words) Published: October 18, 2014
Dr. Jamil Jarallah Al-Bagawi
Professional Engineering Development Division
Saudi Aramco
P.O. Box 6131, Dhahran 31311

Without doubt, the greatest challenge that every company has to face today is the “development of its work force for the future” in an ever-changing business environment. We are all aware of the global technical talent shortage and demographic trends worldwide. These factors have made the accelerated development of high potential individuals a vital strategic imperative for Saudi Aramco. In response to the tightening technical talent market, the Specialist Development Program (SDP) was established.

The SDP is designed to effectively manage the development of the next generation of technical talent and improve the career prospects and job satisfaction of highly valued individuals, who will respond to the future challenges and demands of our oil and gas industry. The program is uniquely successful in equipping engineers and scientists with the skills needed to perform at a “world-class” level. Through a careful selection process, the Specialist Development Program will keep the “pipeline of talent” flowing.

In this paper, the Saudi Aramco SDP will be presented. Its structure, administration and status will be discussed. Finally, some success stories will be shared.

Talent, Specialist, Professional Development, Specialty

Proceedings of the 7th Saudi Engineering Conference (SEC7)

Specialist Development Program
The new research and technology developments have multiplied the traditional engineering and science disciplines many times over. For example, rotating equipment, one sub-discipline of mechanical engineering, has generated more defined specialty areas such as compressors, dynamic analysis, gas turbines and others. The accelerated technological innovations have created a critical need for professionals with specialized technical skills and an in-depth knowledge of their specialty. Years of experience and reputation in an area of specialty qualify certain engineers and scientists to carry the title “Specialist.” A specialist is defined by his uniqueness, usually by virtue of his singular expertise. The typical specialist has a professional degree in his field of expertise (in most cases a post-graduate degree is required), and over 10 to 15 years of experience. He is able to handle complex operations and solve field problems using a combination of technical ability, research, dedication and knowledge. As a source of technical expertise, he often serves as a liaison between advanced technological developments worldwide and industrial applications needed in Saudi Aramco. His expertise is available corporate-wide to solve field problems using a combination of technical ability, research, dedication and knowledge.

Moreover, the specialist is often known worldwide through his technical publications and participation in standard committees and professional societies. Saudi Aramco, a world leader in oil production, gas processing, refining and product distribution, recognizes the vital role specialists play in its operations and the increasing demand for a wide range of specialties to be available in-house.

The Specialist Development Program (SDP) was established in 1984 with two objectives: (1) Providing qualified Saudi engineers and scientists with an opportunity to become engineering/ scientific specialists, and (2) Providing the Company with high-level technical expertise in the specialties for which the Company has critical needs.

The program is sponsored by Engineering Services (Admin area in Saudi Aramco) and guided by a Specialist Development Board, chaired by the Engineering Services Vice President and consisting of managers from Engineering Services, Information Technology and Mechanical Services Shops Department. The SDP program is administered by the Professional Engineering Development Division...

References: Specialist Development Program Handbook, 2007 Edition, Saudi Aramco.
SDP Web site, Saudi Aramco.
Proceedings of the 7th Saudi Engineering Conference (SEC7)
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