Name: Lisa Hutchison
Job Title: Technology Analyst
Years of Experience: 2.5 years
Company: The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF)
What do you do, and why did you decide to pursue this career?
ITF is an organisation that helps to facilitate research and development of technology, and use of new technology in the Oil and Gas Industry. My role as a Technology Analyst involves identifying technology needs and the potential solutions to solve them. We ask our members (who include the likes of Shell, BP and Total) what technology problems they are currently facing and then ask researchers – including universities, service companies and smaller companies if they can help create new, or progress current technology to address said issues.
When I was at school the Oil and Gas industry wasn’t my first choice for employment, however, during my time at The University of Edinburgh I would come home to Aberdeen in the summer and work at Baker Hughes in one of their laboratories. During my time at Baker Hughes I learnt what a diverse and exciting career I could have. It also became apparent to me that there was an amazing amount room for me to develop and grow.
What is a Technology Analyst?
Because ITF is so individual in the world of Oil and Gas the role of the Technology Analyst is very specific. I am in a team of 8 (out of a company of just 17) and together we all have our specific area of interest – whether it be subsea, geology or production. My specific remit is wells and drilling and I am currently working with our members to write a report on what ITF can do to help address any issues/ technology gaps in that area.
What type of Skills is someone required to have to work in your position?
An individual would require a degree in science, engineering or information management – some experience in the industry is also useful. I was taken on straight out of University and have gained a massive amount of experience since then.
What do you do on a typical day?
I start at 7.30am and usually go through my emails from the night before. I deal with many companies in Australia, thus due to the time difference I don’t usually get their emails until the next day. After I’ve dealt with anything important I will go through any proposals on technologies that I have received and consult with my manager if I think they are good and how to proceed from there. Sometimes I will go out and visit universities, other companies or individuals interested in ITF. A lot of my day is spent at meetings – which I enjoy. ITF attends many exhibitions and hosts workshops, so occasionally I will attend those too. I then spend the rest of the day responding to requests for information, asking for responses on project proposals or dealing with legal/ contractual issues, hopefully finishing the day at 4.00pm.
What type of Person is best suited to your job?
Someone who is organised, able to think on their feet and has the ability to spot good technology. You would need to be able to work under pressure, meet deadlines and enjoy working in a team.
Do you have any advice for those looking to start a career in your job?
When you are first trying to get a job in the Oil and Gas Industry it can seem rather daunting and you might not know exactly what you want to do – I think it is important to remember that it can take time for you to realise what you’re good at and enjoy, and that there is an huge amount of room for growth and career development within the industry. Once you know the area you want to work in then make sure you work hard and are open to learning.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
I had a fear of doing presentations but was asked by my manager to present at one of our meetings and reluctantly said yes knowing that it would be a great experience for me– afterwards I was told how well it went! Another one was launching a project in record time – along with the help of my colleagues – the whole company was excited about it.
What is the typical entry route into your role?
Typically an individual would need to study at University and upon graduation they would do their research to see if the company is currently hiring for the role.
What subjects would you recommend students study at school for your career?
I studied all three sciences and english and maths. I have gained the most use out of maths, chemistry and physics.
What is good about working in the Energy sector?
The energy sector is constantly changing, and the opportunity to learn and contribute is huge. It is great to see new technology coming through and being aware that I have helped in some way while it’s evolved through the industry and how far we have come in such a short amount of time.
What does the future hold for person in your career?
I am currently back at University part time studying towards my Masters and I would not have been able to do this without the help of ITF. This masters will allow me to move into a more business related/ managerial role. At present however, I am more than happy to learn as I am doing and to gain as much knowledge as I can about the sector.
Do you get to travel globally in your role? If yes, tell us about where you have been on are going.
I have travelled to London, Norway and I am off to Abu Dhabi in April. I hope to visit Australia at some point this year too.
Any last advice for anyone wanting to pursue your career?
If you’re determined and a hard worker then you’ll go far in this industry. As a female it can sometimes be off-putting as the impression of the industry is very male-dominated – this is changing every day and at present there are more females than males employed within ITF!