Skip to main content

Rachel Kieft

Rachel Kieft

I studied geography, biology and chemistry before heading to Cardiff University to study Exploration Geology.

My degree gave me a great grounding in the different aspects of the geosciences which I have built on through my successive roles in the industry. Throughout the course, I developed my observation, analysis and interpretative skills which have supported me through my career to date.

I had a wonderful time studying at Cardiff. It’s such a welcoming city and with so many extracurricular opportunities to enjoy. I love the beautiful buildings and remember a morning spent with my tutorial group inspecting the fossils in the building stone. The field trips were also a highlight. South Wales has some beautiful outcrops to explore and the time spent at Dolaucothi gold mine during my placement was invaluable.

Career progression

After graduating I joined an exploration consultancy and gained a breadth of experience working on a variety of different projects. From there, I went to Imperial College to complete a PhD sponsored by Statoil, which focused on 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.

Travelling the world

Next step was BP, first in the specialist technical team and then working as an asset geologist in North Africa. From Africa to Australia, and a brief spell working on a coal seam gas project, before moving back to conventional field development at Senex Energy. I have recently moved to lead the exploration team and my role is focussed on delivering exploration opportunities to support corporate growth.

I really enjoy integrating all 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.

The resource sector has a lot of opportunities to work on exciting projects around the globe. Whilst the world works towards developing alternative energy resources, it is an industry that is critical to providing a base level of energy to meet our global needs.