The American Association of Drilling Engineers and its Lafayette chapter have donated more than $76,500 to the equipment fund at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Petroleum Engineering Department, the association said.

The funds will support the college’s Benny Manual Mud Lab, which gives petroleum engineering students a hands-on, realistic approach to learning the profession.

The Lafayette chapter donated $38,934 to purchase equipment for the lab: laboratory mixers, hot plates, a permeability plugging tester, centrifuges and other equipment used in drilling.

The national chapter donated $37,638 to purchase gas porosimeters, which also are part of the mud lab.

“There is a huge difference between reading results from a textbook and actually using a permeability plugging tester in the lab and seeing how it works firsthand,” Derrick Daigle, a Lafayette chapter member, said in a news release Tuesday.

The Lafayette chapter holds its meetings at 11:30 a.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette.