Inside Aera

 

Aera in the Community, Who We Are May 13, 2021

Inspiring the next generation of engineers

Aera Drilling Manager Brent Ilott addresses graduating engineering students from Cal State Bakersfield at Order of the Engineer ceremony

Brent Ilott, drilling manager at Aera Energy, served as the keynote speaker at the 2019 Order of the Engineer ceremony at California State University, Bakersfield.

Brent Ilott, drilling manager at Aera Energy, served as the keynote speaker at the 2019 Order of the Engineer ceremony at California State University, Bakersfield.

Brent Ilott vividly remembers the walk he took with his uncle Lowell Jackson, the night before he took his oath to be inducted into the Order of the Engineer 18 years ago. His uncle shared the details of his own experience as a graduating engineering student taking part in the ceremony, the significance of a ring, and the promise of the oath – to uphold devotion to the standards and dignity of the engineering profession.

So, in 2019 when California State University, Bakersfield hosted its first Order of the Engineer ceremony, and invited Ilott to be the keynote speaker, he jumped at the opportunity. He felt honored to participate along with several other Aera engineers in placing rings on the fingers of more than 70 engineering students at the inaugural event and witness the moment when they took their oaths to the profession.

“This is a way to pay it forward to engineers that are starting off their career the way that other engineers did for me,” said Ilott, now a drilling manager at Aera Energy, and vice president of operations, Belridge, effective July 1.

Due to the pandemic, both the 2020 and 2021 Order of the Engineer ceremonies at CSUB went virtual and featured Ilott as the keynote speaker. Impactful because of its meaning, it’s an event that coordinators say just hasn’t had the same effect in the virtual environment.

Prior to taking an oath to the profession, graduating engineering students from CSUB have stainless steel rings put on their fingers as shown at the 2019 ceremony.

Prior to taking an oath to the profession, graduating engineering students from CSUB have stainless steel rings put on their fingers as shown at the 2019 ceremony.

“After putting on a ring, students turn and face the audience while they give the oath – promising their families they are going to be ethical in their professions,” said Dr. Andrea Medina, director of grants and outreach for the School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering at California State University, Bakersfield. “It’s an incredibly emotional and powerful moment, and we truly miss that when we’re not there in person.”

Ilott will be invited back to present the keynote speech for the 2022 ceremony, which coordinators say will be held in person.

“Here in Bakersfield, most of the kids who grow up here stay here in this community. Aera and Brent have shown how committed they are to our students and seeing them be successful. We appreciate how hands on they continue to be,” Medina said.

Ilott says he tries to make every speech a little different, but they all come from the heart and are always presented with his uncle Lowell in mind.

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DID YOU KNOW? Aera Energy is a three-time recipient of the Forbes America’s Midsize Employer List, placing ninth in the 2022 ranking and securing its spot in the top ten midsize companies to work for in the United States.

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