Published in the Telegraph on the 25th September: ‘BP’s chief scientist describes the field trip that changed her life, and how STEM students can make themselves stand out.’ Paul Bray spoke to Dr Angela Strank (BP’s head of downstream technology and chief scientist) about how she became a geologist.
‘I became a geologist by accident. I originally applied to study chemistry at university but we had to take a subsidiary subject and I chose geology. One field trip and I was hooked on this subject that explains how the Earth actually works.
I knew I had to differentiate myself, so I did a PhD in micropalaeontology – studying the tiny fossils used to date and categorise rock types and build up a picture of the subsurface. It was a very specialised and sought-after skill-set, and it was my entry ticket to the industry.
You really stood out as a woman in those days, especially offshore. On my first trip I had to sleep in the medical centre because there was no female accommodation. But people were very welcoming and soon we just worked together as a team.’