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By Andrew Haffner
The UND Petroleum Engineering Department has a tight industry focus, which means instructors push students to get hands-on experience in the field.
Normally that would mean a trip west to the Bakken oilfields. But after a series of major investments in the department’s home in the university’s Collaborative Energy Complex, a piece of the oilfield can come to students right in Grand Forks.
Department leaders opened up their space in the complex Thursday for an open house to show off a series of facility upgrades installed over the past summer. Chief among the items on display were two high-tech learning areas designed to emulate the western oil fields in Grand Forks—a full drilling and well control simulator in one room and, a few doors down, the Hess Virtual Reality Lab, an immersive space for students to run through 3-D virtual scenarios.