Quality Assurance Manager

Location: Abingdon
Degree: Doctorate, Physics; Masters, Petroleum Engineering
Start Date: 2007
"I really enjoy working with like-minded people and the opportunity to take on a variety of roles."
Mark Shotton

Can you briefly describe your career to date?

I joined Schlumberger Abingdon Technology Centre as a software developer in 2007. My background was in biophysics and I knew little or nothing about the oil industry. Since then, I have taken on a number of different roles in the development of reservoir engineering software, and I’m now the Centre Quality Assurance Manager, leading a team of over thirty Petro-Technical Experts and Quality Assurance professionals.

What attracted you to Schlumberger and why did you decide to join us?

I knew of Schlumberger from a recruitment fair that I had attended back in 1994. It was 13 years later that I came to look around Abingdon Technology Centre, and I was hooked straight away on the software applications being developed to simulate the fluid dynamics of the oilfield. So I decided to make up for lost time and join!

Why did you become a reservoir engineer?

I'm not a reservoir engineer; my background is in physics. However, Schlumberger have supported me in studying for an MSc in Petroleum Engineering, which I was awarded in 2015.

Can you describe a typical day for you?

It sounds clichéd, but there isn’t really a typical day.

How do you describe what you do to your family? (e.g. none technical description)

We make software to model the flow of oil and gas through rocks that may be thousands of feet underground. Based on this numerical model, a reservoir engineer can make decisions about how best to produce the field, e.g. where to drill the wells. I manage a team who are the first users of our reservoir engineering software. We test the workflows before our clients do.

What do you enjoy most about working for Schlumberger?

I really enjoy working with like-minded people and the opportunity to take on a variety of roles.

What is the working environment like?

It’s very pleasant; if the air conditioning breaks in the summer, we get free ice creams.

What support is available to you at Schlumberger?

I was supported to study my MSc in Petroleum Engineering at Heriot-Watt University through the Schlumberger Educational Assistance Programme.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career at Schlumberger?

I would say that there are opportunities to take your career wherever you want to in Schlumberger. Don't wait for 13 years!