UT PGE Hosts 3rd Annual Energy AI Hackathon

January 24, 2023
Hildebrand Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering Associate Professors John Foster and Michael Pyrcz co-hosted the third annual Energy AI Hackathon Jan. 20–22. About 100 students competed on teams representing schools and departments across The University of Texas at Austin, including the Cockrell School of Engineering, the College of Natural Sciences, the Jackson School of Geosciences and the McCombs School of Business. At least one undergraduate and one UT PGE student were on each team.
Hackathon students work together around their computers.
Teams spent the weekend solving a challenging multivariate energy problem designed by UT PGE Hackathon architects Elnara Rustamzade (PhD PE 2024) and Ruoyu Wang (MSPE 2023). After a Friday evening refresher workshop on data analytics and machine learning from Dr. Pyrcz and Dr. Foster, students spent Saturday and Sunday using open source Python and R to code their proposed solutions. Expert mentors from BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pioneer and SparkCognition guided teams as they worked, and on Sunday afternoon a panel of data science experts from Amazon, Baker Hughes, BP, ComboCurve and Pioneer judged each team’s solution based on the following criteria: 
  • Making accurate predictions using machine learning predictions (75%)
  • Presenting their results (20%)
  • Producing readable code (5%)
Through the Energy AI Hackathon, students broaden their academic experience, gain skills that will set them apart in the workforce, and have the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and industry experts, says Pyrcz. “As digital technologies continue to transform society and industry, we prioritize educating our students to better prepare them to add value and have great careers,” he says. “We in subsurface engineering and geoscience are the original data scientists — it makes sense that we support this effort on the Forty Acres to give Longhorns powerful data science skills. What starts here!”  
This year’s winning Hackathon teams earned a total of $9,000 in prize money:
First Place — Drillpy
  • Mohammad Abdullah (PGE)
  • Ethan Litchauer (ECE)
  • Abraham Montes (PGE)
  • Çınar Turhan (PGE)
Second Place — Hackelope
  • Richard Larson (EER)
  • Karthik Menon (EER)
  • Daniel Pang (PGE)
  • Benjamin Stormer (MechE)
Third Place — Team TJ
  • Jenna Jacob (ECE)
  • Jack Strawson (PGE)
  • Kaylan Tchamdjou (CS)
  • Syed Talha Tirmizi (PGE)
Fourth Place — Desi Drillers
  • Sahas Chinni (MIS)
  • Tristan Rajnath (PGE)
  • Tej Reddy (MIS)
Thank you to our 2023 Energy AI Hackathon sponsors:
Pioneer Natural Resources
Baker Hughes
See photos from the 2023 Hackathon.