SPE Spotlight on Young Professionals: Neha Porwal

“One of the great assets of young minds is that they are always bubbling with new ideas, and what young professionals can provide is a proper channel to help students pursue those ideas. – Neha Porwal, SPE YP Volunteer”

The jump from student to professional can be daunting, often taking longer than initially thought, going a different path from originally imagined. While SPE is a vital resource to help new graduates network with industry leaders, these opportunities only happen because of dedicated young professionals (YPs) who reach out to students during this crucial phase. Neha Porwal is one of such YP.

Porwal entered the oil and gas industry as a petroleum engineering student at Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune in India. After being a trainee engineer in Mumbai, she joined Weatherford as an application enginner and operations coordinator. She continued her education with an MSc in drilling and well engineering  from Robert Gorden University in the UK.

The Distinguished Lectures and SPE conferences Porwal attended in India and UK showed her firsthand how industry mentors impart knowledge to YPs and made her want to play the same role and support the next generation of engineers. To achieve this, she became active in section initiatives such as the School Careeer Guidence Committee, which encourages science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics among school students; the Unplugged 360 program, which helps YPs develop soft skills; and the Abdereen Section’s Emerging Engineers Forum.

“YPs act as a significant connection between the industry and students… . They are familiar with industry expectations and the areas for improvement for students. YPs play a vital role in their [students'] smooth transition to an industry professional,” said Porwal. This relationship plays a key part in attracting the next generation to the oil and gas industry by sharing the facts.

Porwal also supports the role women play in the industry and is keen to show that there are great opportunities to be found for women not only in petroleum engineering, but in all STEM fields.

Having moved back to India after her studies, Porwal hopes to bring global innovations to India and help local exploration and production companies thrive. She continues to support her community through participation in local Energy4Me events, being a Tech Mentor, and developing SPE programs as an active officer of the SPE Mumbai Section.

With people like Porwal working toward driving the change and supporting the next generation, the industry looks to have a promising future.  

The purpose of “Spotlight on Young Professionals” is to share interesting voluntary contributions and technical achievements of young professionals with their peers. If you know someone who deserves to be put in the spotlight, tell us via our online form.


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