UAlberta petroleum engineering ranked fifth in the world

UAlberta petroleum engineering professor Andy Li, right, says a top-10 ranking helps the program attract the best graduate students and research partners.

(Edmonton) The University of Alberta has cracked the top 10 among 1,000 degree-granting institutions in the world in five subject areas, according to the Rankings by Subject 2017 released by the Center for World University Rankings.

The rankings, which only name schools in the top 10 in each subject area, listed the U of A third in paleontology, fifth in petroleum engineering, forestry, and geology, and sixth in transplantation.

“High quality of output and far-reaching impact of our research are what makes the petroleum engineering program in the Faculty of Engineering stand out,” said Andy Li, a petroleum engineering professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The program’s top-notch standing comes as no surprise to Li.

“For over 50 years, we have been the only university in Canada to offer an accredited Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering,” he said.

Although losing in size to large-scale specialized institutions in Asia and Middle East, the Faculty of Engineering makes up for it with quality work. 

“We have a limited number of professors working in the program, but we’re capable of delivering highly impactful research,” said Li.

Much of this quality research comes from the department’s area of expertise. “Heavy oil recovery is the area where we’re possibly ranked first or second in the world,” added Li.

Of what the program’s leading position means to him, Li said: “If we have a good reputation, we can attract more high-caliber graduate students, which means more research projects and, potentially, more funding.”

The results of the ranking follow on the heels of the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017, which placed the U of A in the top 100 in an unprecedented 25 subjects, including 10th in the world for sports-related subjects, 16th for nursing and 18th in mining engineering.

Earlier in the year, the U of A jumped an astonishing 79 places in the Times Higher Education’s World’s Most International Universities ranking. The U of A ranked 31st most international university, ahead of the University of Toronto (32), Harvard (33), Stanford (36) and Princeton (37). Other showings include a top five placement in the Maclean’s ranking of top Canadian universities and a 94th-place showing in the 2016-17 QS World University Rankings. The QS ranking, which puts a heavy emphasis on reputation, also placed the U of A in the top five nationally.