Position: Petroleum Engineer
Year Joined 2009
Can you contrast your personal development at Petex with university experience?
I joined Petex in 2009 as my first professional job after graduating. There was a very steep learning curve for at least six months after joining Petex. I not only had to review (and often relearn) the fundamental principles that I had studied at University but I also had to learn about an entirely new industry and the terminology which went with it. It was during this time that my passion for engineering was reawakened and I began to embrace the technical aspects of the role more and more. Frankly, the pace of learning and need to understand the fundamentals was more intense than on my degree however this was also much more enjoyable as there was always a context in which I learnt and direct relevance to an objective and problem to be understood and sometimes solved.
The work which I have been doing is both challenging and varied. Once my initial development had reached a defined level, I began to work as a member of the technical support team within the Edinburgh office. The nature of support means that the different topics and subjects which you deal with are driven by the questions which the clients ask. This means that within any one day you can go from answering questions on reservoir engineering to production engineering and then back to reservoir engineering. The impact of this variation is that from very early on in your career you avoid being isolated as a specialist in a specific field and get a far better idea of the big picture.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
An important part of my job involves teaching training courses which provide the attendees with an introduction to not only the functionalities of our software but also the underlying physics which drives the software. The understanding required to teach a subject is normally much greater than that which is required to apply it and therefore I was once again challenged to ensure that my understanding of each topic was deep enough to ensure that I could explain each concept (both simple and complex) to the students in ways which would be easily understood as well as answer any questions which may arise during the courses.
How do you find travel opportunities at Petex?
As the oil industry is a worldwide one, the training courses can be given almost anywhere in the world. Every time we travel it is normally for one week and on average we would do this once every 4-6 weeks. During the first 3 years at PETEX I have travelled to numerous different locations; from Aberdeen to Lagos; from Karachi to Houston; from Milan to Doha, and in each location I have enjoyed the culture and hospitality of the local communities.