Rachel Kieft long

A Brisbane based Senior Development Geologist


Q: Can you explain what your role entails?

A: I am responsible for understanding the geology of the oil fields we have found and working with my team to develop the hydrocarbon resource in the most effective way possible.


Q: What sparked your interest to work in the resources sector?

A: I enjoyed Geology and was able to spend a week getting work experience in an oil company when I was at school. I spent the week interpreting seismic data across the North Sea and found it so interesting that I took it home and put it up on my wall!


Q: Was there someone/something that inspired you to pursue your current career?

A: My father was an engineer in the industry which certainly opened my eyes to this career path. Since then I have been fortunate enough to work with a lot of great people who have reinforced my desire to follow this career.


Q: Can you explain the pathway you took to your current job?

A: In the UK, I studied geography, biology and chemistry before heading to university to study Exploration Geology. I worked for a while and then went back to uni to do my PhD in Sedimentology and Stratigraphy. It’s not essential to do a PhD but I really enjoyed having the time to focus on a specific problem in a lot of detail and both the technical and soft skills I developed have helped me get to where I am today.


Q: What challenges do you face in your job?

A: I can get too focussed on fine details and sometimes need to remind myself to think about the bigger business decision and what is really relevant to answering it.


Q: What do you enjoy about your job?

A: I really enjoy integrating all of the available information to try and figure out what is going on in the subsurface. I am also fortunate that my job has sent me around the world with the opportunity to work in the US, Europe, Africa and Scandinavia before arriving in Australia.


Q: What has been your experience being a female employed in the resources sector?

A: Mostly positive – there has been the odd occasion where people assumed I couldn’t be the geologist because I was female, or one memorable occasion when I was asked to tidy the office before a meeting that I was giving the key technical presentation at. However, I have found that working hard, learning my subject and delivering to deadlines means people respect me and what I can contribute.


Q: If there was one key message that you would leave with students considering a career in the resources sector, what would it be?

A: It is a great industry with a lot of opportunities to work on exciting projects around the world and, whilst the world works towards developing alternative energy resources, it is an industry that’s critical to providing a base level of energy to meet our global needs.

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