Celebrating the contribution of our engineers and scientists during National Science Week

Scientists and engineers have a vital role in helping ExxonMobil Australia supply the energy we all rely on.


Celebrating the contribution of our engineers and scientists during National Science Week

A significant proportion of the ExxonMobil Australia workforce is made up of a variety of engineers from different fields, including chemical, mechanical and environmental engineering.

Our engineers work hard to help us maintain our supply of energy to our customers while ensuring we comply with regulations and continuously improve the efficiency of our operations.

Meanwhile our geoscientists are tasked with using their specialised skills to analyse a variety of detailed data to help locate the next big discoveries in the energy world. ExxonMobil Australia is home to many exploration geoscientists looking for our future energy sources across Asia Pacific, including Australia and Papua New Guinea.

During National Science Week, we are taking the opportunity to highlight the important contribution of our scientists and engineers to support our supply of energy to Australia and the world. Below are profiles of three members of our local geoscience team, Simone de Morton, Desmond Leech and Mazlina Md Yusoff.

ExxonMobil Geoscientist, Simone de Morton, with team mates Desmond, Anthony, Desire and Mazlina.

Simone de Morton, Geoscientist

What does your role as a Geoscientist at ExxonMobil involve?
I’m currently working in the exploration team investigating the potential of a wide variety of exploration opportunities both onshore and offshore in Papua New Guinea. This role gives me the opportunity to be involved in lots of different activities every day including seismic mapping, subsurface interpretation and potential fields modelling. All of this helps us to evaluate potential drilling targets.

What did you study?
I studied a Bachelor of Science majoring in Geology at the University of Melbourne and went on to complete a PhD in Geology at the University of Melbourne. My PhD research focused on the tectonic and stratigraphic development of the Dublin Basin in Ireland.

What is one of the best things about your job?
One of the highlights of working with the Papua New Guinea exploration team has been having the opportunity to help run a short course on Petroleum Geology for students attending the University of Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby. They are a really switched on group of students from right across PNG and the Solomon Islands. It was great to have the opportunity to learn about where they come from and see how enthusiastic they were about their future careers as geoscientist in Papua New Guinea.

Geoscience Technical Team Lead, Desmond, out in the field in Papua New Guinea.

Desmond Leech, Geoscience Technical Team Lead

What does your role as the Geoscientist Technical Team Lead involve?
As the Papua New Guinea Technical Team Lead, I lead a team of geoscientists who assess exploration opportunities in Papua New Guinea. The team is made up of both seasoned and developing explorers, who have a diverse range of experiences across ExxonMobil’s operations around the world. Together we assess the exploration potential of our onshore and offshore prospects in Papua New Guinea by analysing rock samples, maps and cross sections derived from geological and geophysical data. My job is to use all the data to advise our drilling team of targets for potential exploration. 

What did you study and where and what is your qualification?
I studied Natural Science in Trinity College Dublin and obtained by BA (mod) in Geology. I continued my studies, and undertook a PhD in Kingston University, London specialising in structural geology.

What do you find rewarding about your job?
As a geologist working in the energy industry, I find it especially rewarding to utilise and integrate multiple data sources to develop and test geological models.  This is particularly challenging and rewarding in complex Papua New Guinea. Furthermore, I love that I still get to use, develop and apply techniques I learned during my university days. But more than that, we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in class and field courses meaning our learning of the subsurface and geological processes never stops!

Senior Geoscientist, Maz, is a geo-modeller specialist responsible for integrating information from a variety of sources to produce geologic cellular models to predict potential production from oil and gas reservoirs.

Mazlina Md Yusoff, Senior Geoscientist

What does your role as a Senior Geoscientist at ExxonMobil involve?
I am a geo-modeller specialist, which means I integrate information from a variety of sources such as seismic data, wells, core samples and outcrop data to produce geologic cellular models. These models are used to predict potential field production that is important in planning further exploration or development of oil and gas reservoirs.

What did you study and where and what is your qualification?
I studied Geology at University of Tulsa in Oklahoma.

What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
I am lucky that I get to support a number of projects in a variety of locations including Papua New Guinea and Vietnam from right here in Melbourne. One of the key highlights of my career so far is contributing to the development of key projects such as Ca Voi Xanh in Vietnam and Pnyang in Papua New Guinea. I was privileged to work with great teams of geoscientists and engineers to assess the subsurface resources in these locations. This work is important because it supports the commercial negotiations that often underpin the development of future energy resources.