A Day in the Life of a Petroleum Engineer

Meet Lindsey Williams, a Petroleum Engineer with Chevron. Find out how she got there, the types of projects she’s working on, and how you can #BeThatEngineer on SWE’s All Together Blog.
A Day in the Life of a Petroleum Engineer

I decided to study engineering because solving problems was always of interest to me. My father is a Civil Engineer and throughout my school career he always told me that I could be one, too. Over multiple summers in high school I attended STEM programs at different colleges. This exposure to engineering early on and his belief in my abilities gave me the confidence that I could complete such a difficult major.

I received a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Looking back, I was nervous at the start of my college career in engineering. However, school became much more enjoyable once I made friends in my classes. Studying with people who shared the same course load (and understood the stress) made engineering so much more manageable. All the different engineering courses are teaching you essential problem-solving skills to break complex problems down into steps. Being successful in my engineering classes allowed me to be hired for summer internships which led to my current job at Chevron.

Lindsey Williams, a Petroleum Engineer with ChevronIn my current role, I am a Reservoir Engineer working on a cross-functional team planning unconventional developments for Chevron in the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin is one of the most prolific oil and natural gas geologic basins in the United States. It is approximately 250 miles wide and 300 miles long, across West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. This is an exciting project because of the current spotlight on the Permian Basin in the oil and gas industry. There is still much to be learned in the unconventional world and I am excited to be a part of it!

I enjoy the people I work with. I have had the opportunity to work with geologists, facility engineers, drilling engineers, petrophysicists, accountants, lawyers, etc. These are all people who have different skillsets and perspectives that I am able to learn from.

The only challenge I have encountered as a woman in engineering was from my own insecurities. When I first started, I had a tendency to be reserved because I was new and I did not want to say anything that was wrong. I overcame my insecurities by finding a mentor that I could discuss my questions with and build up my knowledge base. Since then, I have found my own working style which incorporates listening, speaking up, and asking questions.

To anyone thinking about a future in engineering, here is some advice: Be a good listener and do not be afraid to speak up and ask questions. I can guarantee someone is thinking the exact question you may be too afraid to ask.

  • Nura Ahmad says:

    Well done good advise

  • Hemin Usiff says:

    Your life of a Petroleum Engineering motivate me to continue with my studying to complete it and try my best to find a job as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing your life experience.

  • Chris says:

    Same challenges for me but time and reorientation perspectives have been a strong tool. Thanks Lindsey.

  • Ijezei Barry says:

    I am happy for you and wish you the best.

  • magezi john says:

    Amazing journey

  • Sampetkunga Frankline says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I’ve learned a lot from you.

  • Will Whitley says:

    What a great story on you Lindsey. I always enjoyed working with you and thought you were a great engineer and have a very bright future ahead of you. Keep up the great work.