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Get to Know: Dean McClure

November 20, 2018
 Dean McClure mugshot
Dean McClure was the petroleum engineering nominee for WES Student of the Year. (Photo courtesy Dean McClure)

Each year, departments in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Wyoming nominate their top graduating senior for the Wyoming Engineering Society Student Engineer of the Year honor. The WES Scholarships and Awards Committee will review written nomination forms and interview each candidate to select the Student Engineer of the Year.

Name: Dean McClure
Hometown: Recluse, Wyo.
Major: Petroleum Engineering

Why did you choose UW for your education? There were several factors that went into my choice of university, including excellence of the program, future development of the program, location and price. The Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Wyoming seemed more robust and had a curriculum concentrated more toward engineering than the local competitors. In addition, with the recent pushes by UW to expand the university, I felt that the College of Engineering and Applied Science would continue to gain prestige. Considering that I am a fourth-generation Wyoming rancher, a local location at a great price point was also a motivating factor in my choice of universities.

Why did you want to study engineering? As a small rancher, you must get outside employment to make ends meet. My family has always worked in the oil and gas fields located north of Gillette, Wyo. My enjoyment for solving puzzles led me to pursue a career in engineering and my work history dictated that petroleum would be most relevant to me. Hence, I decided to get a bachelor’s in petroleum engineering.

What sets UW engineering apart? The petroleum department is relatively young, yet it continues to gather a great group of faculty. This is no small feat, considering the heavy competition for good people in the petroleum industry. In addition, the speed of growth here at the college is impressive. The High Bay Research Facility has just opened and already the Engineering Education Research Building is set to open for classes next fall.

What are your post-graduation plans? I plan to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation. However, the energy industry is notorious for up and down trends. If the opportunity presents itself during the next down trend, I will pursue a master’s degree in petroleum engineering.

What are some of your thoughts on being the department nominee for such a prestigious honor? I am honored and a little bit surprised that I have made such an impression on the faculty that they would even nominate me for such a reward, much less choose me to represent the department over so many greatly qualified students. I am told that the different professors enjoy the fact that I am actively engaged and ask good questions during class. However, I am surprised that they nominated for that reason, because I do this in the pursuit of knowledge rather than to get accolades. I only hope that I get selected to receive the reward for our department in recognition of their support of me.

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