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"From a technical point of view, in the first few years I continued to work on similar topics to those I worked on for my thesis"
University of Edinburgh
I was studying for a PhD in Geophysics at the University of Edinburgh. Schlumberger was the industrial partner on the project and I had the opportunity to spend time working with researchers at Schlumberger Cambridge Research and WesternGeco (Geophysics branch of SLB) in Cairo. I had also completed an internship with WesternGeco in Oslo prior to starting my Postgraduate studies. I knew from those experiences how much research was valued within the organisation, and I was quite clear in my mind that Schlumberger was the sort of company I would like to work for. When the opportunity to apply for a research post came up I jumped at the chance.
I joined in 2009 as a Research Scientist in Cambridge, UK.
I was enrolled in the ADVANCE, which is a three year training programme for new hires in the Research, Engineering, Manufacturing, and Sustaining parts of the organisation. This ran alongside my day-to-day duties as a research scientist, and essentially gets all the new hires up to speed with everything Schlumberger does, and what is expected of us as Schlumberger employees.
From a technical point of view, in the first few years I continued to work on similar topics to those I worked on for my thesis. The goal being to develop a practical solution to a particularly difficult problem in land seismic exploration. The process involved taking a piece of research and developing it to the point where it could be transferred to one of the business segments. I learned a lot going through that process and it was very rewarding.
Each day in the research centre seems to be different, as there is a lot of variety in the type of work that we do. Today I might be running some modeling or doing some data processing, tomorrow I could be playing with some computer code, or even popping outside to do a seismic experiment. Working for a large company like SLB also means that I am “plugged in” to a large network of scientist and engineers. This in turn means that there is interest in my research from different parts of the organisation. I think that having that level of interaction as a researcher is really important - especially getting feedback from the people that might one day be making commercial use of something I developed or contributed to.
In the next 5 years I would like to still be in a role within research - despite only being new to the company my current role has given me a relatively high level of visibility and responsibility and that is something I have enjoyed. Schlumberger also has an excellent Technical Career programme, and over the next 5 years I hope to progress further in that programme.