Why this Pakistani girl is a role model for budding women

Petroleum engineers literally power the world and as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field, Mariam Shakeel testifies that petroleum engineering can be a viable career path for women.

His native Pakistan is home to vast reserves of oil and gas, which sparked his interest in pursuing a career in petroleum engineering to better serve his country and the industry. She is currently working to strengthen her knowledge and expertise in oil recovery. Shakeel knew there was no better place to do it than in oil-rich Kazakhstan.

After five years of professional experience as an engineer under her belt, the Pakistani decided to pursue her master’s degree at the School of Mining and Geosciences of Nazarbayev University (NU SMG). The experience was so great that she decided to pursue her doctorate at the same university. Shakeel hopes his research will aid efforts to recover additional oil from depleted fields.

We caught up with the 30-year-old to learn more about her studies in petroleum engineering, her PhD journey in Kazakhstan, and her plans after graduation. I am from Lahore, Pakistan. In 2014, I graduated with Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan and received gold medals for my achievements. I first worked as a production engineer in a service company, then I progressed to a position as a reservoir engineer in another energy and petroleum (E&P) company. In these roles, I was responsible for various tasks including reservoir simulation, production monitoring and optimization, reserve estimation and well testing.

After gaining five years of industry experience, I intended to pursue a graduate program to hone my skills and knowledge in my areas of interest, and was admitted to NU in 2019. I have completed my masters. Petroleum Engineering with Honors and Distinction from NU SMG in Kazakhstan in 2021. Currently, I am an active PhD student and working as a research assistant in the Department of Petroleum Engineering at NU. I was always aware of energy crises when I grew up in Pakistan. Pakistan has huge reserves of oil and gas, which we can extract using advanced technology and optimized facilities. With these goals in mind, I decided to pursue a career in petroleum engineering to better serve my country and the petroleum industry.

I believe that getting an education in a country other than your own is education itself. Living in an environment with top-notch research facilities and people with similar goals and aspirations can be an exciting experience in university life. It can be of great value in his professional career. The pursuit of knowledge never stops. This is particularly the case for scientific research and technological development. Learning new technologies in countries with highly developed technological infrastructures can ensure that the quest for information will never stop. The country of Kazakhstan has an abundance of oil and gas deposits. My decision to attend Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan’s most prestigious educational institution, was primarily based on the practical implications of my education. NU emphasizes “applying theory” not “theory”. Students are encouraged to develop their practical expertise. I have been at NU for over two years and have been satisfied with the way the faculty members teach and guide us, the lab facilities, and the timely help and guidance received from the faculty. I enjoy my time at NU SMG, the school’s serene environment, the excellent on-campus health facilities, and the fact that I was able to connect with loving and helpful Kazakh friends who share many cultural similarities with Pakistan.

I chose to pursue my doctoral studies at NU SMG because of its highly qualified international faculty, its research environment with state-of-the-art laboratories, its peaceful living environment both on campus and at Nur-Sultan and the opportunity to gain field experience in oil and gas sites in Kazakhstan for real data analysis. The university collaborates with the oil and gas industry, which is advantageous for working with real-time data. My favorite course is Advanced Enhanced Oil Recovery because it directly relates to my research and I learned a lot about innovative and emerging oil recovery techniques. and process optimization procedures. This course took my understanding of oil recovery processes to the next level.

With the presentation of innovative techniques and practical applications, I received full support from the teachers in every way possible. Low-salt water injection is one of the recent techniques to improve oil recovery in sandstones. Impairment of wettability, electrical expansion of the double layer, migration of fines, flow deviations, system pH changes, osmosis process and mineral dissolution are the most common mechanisms involved in the injection of low salinity water into the sandstone. The best sources for identifying and interpreting the dominant mechanisms involved are core flood experiments and simulation models.

Living in Kazakhstan and continuing my studies here has been an amazing experience. September 2019 found me in Kazakhstan. The first two or three months were difficult because I was transitioning and moving from my home country to a new environment, experimenting with new culinary alternatives and dealing with a harsh winter that was nevertheless manageable. I overcame these problems by establishing contact with the locals and adapting to a new environment. As a result, I learned to appreciate the cuisine of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan has beautiful landscapes and scenery, and summer here is my favorite time of year. I have been to wonderful places near Nur-Sultan such as Burabay, Shchuchinsk and Kokshetau in the summer of last year and really enjoyed the scenery and beauty all around. I also traveled to Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan, known for its stunning landscapes. I took advantage of my proximity to the mountains to explore the surroundings, including the canyon, Shymbulak, Kok Tobe and Kolsay lakes.

The actual cultures of Pakistan and Kazakhstan have some similarities, so I didn’t experience any culture shock coming here. For example, there are women’s clothes, scarves, and similar dishes like pilavı, samsa, naan, sherpa, chai, etc. We also have similar words in Urdu and Kazakh languages.

If international female students wish to pursue STEM studies, I urge them to first define their goals and work hard to achieve them in the best way possible. STEM education equips students with skills that make them more employable and prepare them to meet today’s labor demands. It includes a wide range of experiences and abilities. Each STEM component contributes significantly to a comprehensive education. Science provides students with in-depth knowledge of the world around them.

To achieve their future ambitions, I strongly encourage female students around the world to come to NU and join the global research community. I want to say that Nazarbayev University paved the way for me to achieve my goals. As an international student, I received much more than I expected. I express my gratitude to the administration of SMG and NU for providing such wonderful opportunities and facilities to international students.

I am working hard to achieve distinction in my PhD with impact factor research papers. After that, I intend to pursue a post-doctoral position to further my research skills. I also want to work as a professor or researcher at NU or anywhere in the world to serve academia or industry and gain international experience. After gaining international experience, I would be able to best serve my country and work on my projects.

Source: This news is originally published by studyinternational

Rebecca R. Santistevan