MTSU Geosciences Students Will Benefit From $2.5 Million Software Donation


A more than $2.5 million in-kind donation by Petroleum Experts Limited will assist MTSU geosciences undergraduate students in becoming more proficient at geomapping and, in turn, enhance their job prospects.

It marks the second major, in-kind donation by the Edinburgh, Scotland-based company in two years. The donation, on the heels of Petex’s $2.18 million in-kind gift last year, means MTSU students are recipients of more than $4.7 million in software licenses that can help strengthen their resumes.

With both donations, Petex is granting access to the educational licenses of Move Suite, an industry-leading software whose applications current and future MTSU students will have access to on campus.

“I’ll encourage students to put knowledge of this software on their resumes,” said geosciences professor Mark Abolins. “Many potential employers will likely have a positive take on that kind of experience.”

MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee, who acknowledged Petex’s first donation during the Fall Faculty Meeting last August, said it is “once again a tremendous accomplishment for our geosciences department.”

“This is welcome news for our students,” McPhee added. “They should benefit greatly from this advanced software. Professor Abolins continues to find ways to help his students be successful and more than ready to enter the workforce when they graduate from MTSU.”

College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer called the donation “a game-changer.”

“The software donation from Petroleum Experts Limited will allow our students to work on cutting-edge software, which is utilized in their future career fields,” he said.

A geosciences faculty member for 20 years, Abolins emphasized the critical need for Petex’s Move Suite because “there’s a huge amount going on with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) in this department.”

The software that will be used mainly by undergraduate students and a few graduate students. The donation will help students understand the resources and the environment in the earth (shallow subsurface) just beneath our feet, said Abolins, who coordinated the agreement with Petex.

The donation will help students understand the resources and the environment in the earth (shallow subsurface) just beneath our feet, Abolins said.

For Middle Tennessee, ground water and caves are prevalent, but natural gas, oil and ore are found beyond Rutherford County, Abolins said.

Historically, undergraduates did not use the software, which was primed for graduate students or for those working in the private sector after earning their degree, Abolins said.

As part of the agreement, Petex specified the software “has to be used on campus,” Abolins said. “It is strictly for educational purposes.”

Vanderbilt University and a few dozen other universities worldwide have this software, he added.

MTSU’s Department of Geosciences includes 155 undergraduate majors, 12 graduate students, nine full-time faculty and two lecturers. Henrique Momm is the interim chair of the program. For more information, call 615-898-2726.

For more on Petex, visit

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs. Geosciences is one of 11 College of Basic and Applied Sciences departments.