THE 25 Under 40 Energy Women Rising Stars is a list dedicated to celebrating the women who are redefining the possibilities in Africa’s diverse energy sector. Featured on the list for 2023 is Gbemisola Adeyemi Afolabi, Junior Geoscientist at AMNI International, and an individual who has emerged as a trailblazer in her industry. The African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) spoke with Afolabi about her work in the energy sector and vision for the future.
Please share a brief overview of your journey in the energy industry that led to your current role? What are some key achievements or milestones that you are particularly proud of?
I am currently a geologist at AMNI Petroleum Resources International. I started my journey in the Geosciences in 2015 when I realized that I want to be able to bring electricity to remote parts of Africa. In order to do that I needed to understand how the Earth works and the processes that lead to creating petroleum resources. After receiving my Bachelor of Science in Geology from Texas Tech University, I started working at AMNI. This year, I will be receiving my Master of Science in Energy Data Management from Rice University.
The energy industry is known for its complexities. What were some significant challenges you faced along the way, and how did you navigate through them to achieve your goals?
I would say that I am still navigating challenges in the energy industry. The job is never done, but I’ve learned that as long as I am always willing to learn innovative solutions the problem can always be solved.
What advice would you give to young females aspiring to excel in the energy sector? Are there any specific strategies or mindsets that helped you overcome obstacles and reach your current position?
I would tell young females to keep their head down and just keep going. Challenges will come, people will doubt that you can do it, but as long as you want to accomplish your goals, you can. I would also say that having a female mentor that you look up to is a big part in understanding the industry and learning how to navigate the everyday life of the energy sector. If you want to pursue a higher degree than your bachelor’s, find a company that is willing to support you through that while working. Most importantly, remember that through God, all things are possible.
A career in energy can be demanding. Could you describe a typical day in your life?
Since I am currently working and attending school for my master’s, my day is fairly busy. I go to work from 8 am to 5 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday, after sitting in traffic for an hour, and then I attend school in between or in the evenings. While I am at work, I attend meetings and work on subsurface projects. I typically get home around 9 PM and proceed to study or finish up my assignments.
Looking ahead, what changes or advancements do you hope to see in the energy sector, and how do you envision your role in shaping that future?
I hope that the energy sector becomes more digital. I believe that projects can be done much faster and more efficiently. Data can be transferred from one program to another. Using AI to determine when equipment will go bad, or to track a well’s performance can help reduce errors and keep platform workers safer. I hope to be able to create a software that streamlines the different areas of the energy sector, bringing engineers and geologists under the same platform without the worry of whether data can be transferred from one program to another.
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