Petroleum Engineering MSc Student Profiles
Marwah Alsinan - Petroleum Engineering MSc, Imperial College London 2016- 2017
Before starting my MSc, I worked at Saudi Aramco for three years in low field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) research, Oil Reservoir Management and Gas Reservoir Simulation. I thought of going to a Master’s degree since I was more interested in conducting studies than overseeing operations and I was planning on returning to research after completing my training rotation. I chose Imperial College London for my degree, since it was an accelerated 1-year programme and I already had an undergraduate degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Penn State.
I was living in Saudi Arabia at that time so I had to move to London for the course. I enjoyed working with a smart and focused group of people in the Wytch Farm Field Development project. I think I was in one of the best groups and I learnt a lot from discussions and hearing the perspective of people from different backgrounds and countries.
The part that I was looking forward to the most in this Petroleum Engineering degree was the thesis since I was planning to work on research after graduation. Picking the topic was tricky since I wanted to work with something that has not progressed a lot. I ended up choosing "Non-Darcy Flow in Natural Fractures" with Professor Zimmerman. From working with ProfessorZimmerman, I learned the proper way of critiquing papers, validating observations and avoiding dead-ends which are important skills for researchers.
I am currently working as a Petroleum Engineer in Pore Scale Physics research. We are not directly involved with operations but are working on developing future reservoir engineering technologies that Saudi Aramco does not have yet. I am currently planning on continuing with my thesis topic using micro-CT scans and core flood experiments.
During my undergraduate education in the Department of. Petroleum Engineering at China University of Petroleum (CUP), I used to have a very clear career path: study hard, go for a Master’s degree, then apply for a PhD program to be a professor in the future.
When I was a senior at CUP, I got a scholarship to be an exchange student at Curtin University in Australia, where I met my professor, an alumnus from Imperial College London. His excellent academic and research skills inspired me to apply for Imperial, which offers the best MSc Petroleum Engineering in UK. Imperial’s reputation, its international recognition, the academic specialists, powerful alumni networks and location in the very centre of London made Imperial College my first and only choice.
There was a bonus to studying in the center of London: I had easy access to the museums around ICL and the opportunity to experience the cultures of true London. During the year, I also traveled to lots of places, for example I did my first half marathon in Edinburgh, and traveled together with my classmates to Brazil for our international field trip (LINK SPE). I met diverse international classmates, many talented people, and made lifelong friends.
The MSc Petroleum Engineering equipped me with the knowledge and everything I needed to be a good petroleum engineer. All the faculty in the Department of Earth Science and Engineering are very knowledgeable and you can see they are pushing the boundaries in their contribution to industry. More importantly, they are willing to spend time on you. I found the faculty to be very patient, supportive and kind.. I was also impressed by the Department’s very good connections with the oil and gas industry: many of our professors come from well-known companies in the petroleum industry, and most of our final projects were sponsored or supported by oil companies such as Shell, BP, Schlumberger, Total, etc.
I learnt a lot from this programme, more than just academic knowledge. It totally changed my understanding of a career path as a student majoring in engineering. I realised that what I had thought was a clear career path for me was actually the only career path I knew at that time. During my study at Imperial College London, I was saw other opportunities and possibilities in the world and tapped into my potential.
The course greatly improved my analytical and quantitative problem-solving skills. The Wytch Farm Project improved my ability to work collaboratively with my teammates, and the final project increased my ability to communicate complex ideas effectively – both verbally and in writing. The experience of being the social secretary of SPE Student Chapter enhanced my leadership. All those transferable skills prepared and led me to find what I really love, that is, to be a consultant, to be a problem solver.
Before I graduated from the Petroleum Engineering MSc, I was offered an internship with Dubai Business, run under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to study and learn how to do business in Dubai. Currently, I am working in Performance Development in Emirates Airline, an internal consulting department supporting the Emirates group to drive exceptional performance across its businesses. As a group Service we partner with the business to assist and enable our client departments to drive sustainable growth, deliver performance improvements and remain agile.
I feel lucky to have found what I loved to do early in my life. I believe that it is just a prelude for me to stand out as a consultant and female leader with infinite passion to make positive changes to the world.
Read more student profiles from graduates of the Petroleum Engineering MSc at Imperial College London.