I am currently approaching the 2 month mark of my summer internship at Theon, working as a Junior Mechanical Engineer. As an undergraduate student, I was intrigued (and slightly overwhelmed) by the reality of working as an Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry when I first joined the team. From the first day, I was fortunate enough to be working on a Pre-FEED for a multi-billion dollar oil and gas development for a major energy company. Over the month I went from not even knowing that gas could be “wet” to: performing critical rotating equipment and driver selection studies; producing detailed equipment lists; drawing Utility Flow Diagrams; assisting with RAM studies and attending a HAZID review. Our team successfully completed the project through blood, sweat and condensate.
I have had the chance to work with Senior Engineers from various disciplines, such as Mechanical, Process, Safety, Electrical and Instrumentation, Structural, and Materials and Corrosion. These colleagues are experts in the industry and in their respective disciplines, however, happened to also be men. The older engineers were men, the younger engineers were men, the most experienced were men and the least experienced were also (surprisingly) men. It would certainly be great to see more women (old, young, experienced, inexperienced) in the industry working on such projects. I believe all industries can benefit from diversity.
Oil and Gas in particular is a heavily male-dominated field. In recent years, more and more women are being recruited into the industry – coincidentally as the world starts recovering from the oil crash. This is vital for STEM workplaces as diversity in engineering and leadership roles leads to increased creativity, innovation and problem solving. The collaboration of engineers from diverse backgrounds and experiences is essential for any work-place.
I believe women should be involved in the recovery of the oil and gas industry, whether it be designing complex systems, managing projects, attending or carrying out HAZOPs / HAZIDs or overseeing the financial aspects. Work-places will definitely benefit from women working alongside men, as well as having the same salary – or preferably much more for a change!
As I enter the final year of my master’s degree, I look forward to reading the industry news and seeing an increase of women on the front page. Once I graduate, I will continue to strive for positive representation, and I hope to act as an ambassador for women entering STEM related industries. If Medusa could turn humans into stone, just imagine what she could have done with oil!
I look forward to speaking to you in the next post!
Junior Mechanical Engineer