New Building for the Department of Petroleum Engineering

The Department of Petroleum Engineering (DPE) had plenty reason to celebrate this October: The Petroleum Engineering study programme celebrated its 60th anniversary by moving into the newly renovated premises of the former Rabcewicz Building Complex

from left to right: OMV Senior Vice President for Exploration, Development & Production Dipl.-Ing. Chris Veit, Mayor Kurt Wallner, Head of Department Univ.-Prof. Dr. Gerhard Thonhauser, Vice Rector Martha Mühlburger, Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Peter Weiss (BIG), Rector Wilfried Eichlseder

In 2014 OMV and Montanuniversität Leoben partnered up to combine theoretical and practical know-how in joint projects. “This cooperation comprises of know-how exchange in scientific and technical projects, student grants and the sponsoring of teaching staff, infrastructure and courses, internships as well as mentoring by OMV managers as part of our sustainability strategy”, Senior Vice President for Exploration, Development & Production Dipl.-Ing. Chris Veit said.

Rector Wilfried Eichlseder and Leoben Mayor Kurt Wallner also proudly presented the new addition to Montanuniverstät’s campus. “This building provides our students with state-of-the art technical facilities and more space for high-quality training and education”, Rector Eichlseder said. “This fall for the first time ever, the percentage of internationals students enrolling in a Bachelors course has exceeded 20 percent, which confirms that we are on the right track.”

Department Chair Gerhard Thonhauser also gave a glimpse of what the future will hold for the field of petroleum engineering. “In the past, enhancing efficiency was not a priority in the oil and gas industry, unlike in the automotive industry. Sensor accuracy, real-time data processing and analyses for operating heavy machinery in order to increase efficiency and reliability were vastly ignored. We will have to rethink and then implement, as quickly as possible, the concept of the digital oilfield for higher efficiency and a safer work environment”, Mr. Thonhauser said.


Since the introduction of the Petroleum Engineering programme in 1955, the Department has been shaped by continuous growth, great spirit for innovation and pioneering work. The contents of teaching and research have continuously been adapted to meet and even exceed the industry’s needs and challenges, which also resulted in the formation of the current chairs Drilling and Completion Engineering, Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Recovery and Reservoir Engineering.

In 2003 the Department of Petroleum Engineering was founded, being the first organisational unit of its kind at Montanuniversität, with the intention to use resources more efficiently and creating academic and administrative synergies. With its new building as a centre of excellence for Petroleum Engineering, students and teaching staff of different disciplines have now found a common home to interact.

Facts & Figures

  • Head of Project:Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG)
  • Construction Period: 10 months
  • Total investment: 5.6 million euros gross acquisition costs (3.5 million euros by The Federal Minister of Science, Research and Economy und 2.1 million euros by OMV and Montanuniversität Leoben

Further information:

Erhard Skupa

Tel.: +43 3842 402 7220

Mobil: +43 664 80 898 7220

E-Mail: erhard.skupa(at)unileoben.ac.at