According to ScienceDirect, Geomechanics studies the mechanical behavior of geological materials. Adding the engineering aspect means describing the response of the geological environment to the actions of mining. We bring an African woman specialising in this kind of work;
Hi Annick! I am very excited to learn about your line of work. Thank you for volunteering to educate us
Thank you so much for the opportunity to share my humble experience, Winnie!
Please tell us a little bit about who you are
My name is Dr. Annick Adjei from Ivory Coast, but currently staying in Ontario, Canada. I am a Geomechanics Engineer for Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company. My current role involves a mix of business development and engineering consulting related to the optimization of drilling operations for operating companies. I work with clients from North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc.), the Middle East (UAE, Kuwait, KSA, Oman, etc.) as well as Turkey, India, and Pakistan.
Briefly walk us through your journey into Geomechanics Engineering
I was born and grew up in the Ivory Coast. I am a former student of Lycée Sainte Marie, an all-girl school of excellence in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. At some point, I migrated to France where I completed high school and my undergraduate degree at Ecole Centrale, a French Engineering school. Then, I was accepted for a double-degree program with Penn State University in the US. I obtained an MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Penn State and at the same time an MSc in General Engineering from Ecole Centrale. Then, I completed a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from the same school. Recently, I also completed an MBA in Oil and Gas Management at Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, UK.
Wow, you must be very passionate about engineering! What are some of the challenges you have faced in this field?
Several challenges! Oil and Gas is a very male-dominated industry, so challenges were even from the classroom. In the program, we sometimes had 1 or 2 girls and 10 to 15 guys. The same ratio was pretty much reproduced in the industry. It is extremely important to make sure your voice is heard and is acknowledged, which is not always easy when you are the only woman in the room.
How are you able to push forward with such constraints around you?
The first thing that inspires me is my faith in God. This has been my strength and my anchor.
I am typically not someone who backs down before a challenge. In life, the only way is up or forward. So, I fight and I don’t give up easily. Once you stop evolving, once you stop growing, it means you are slowly dying. Because everything that has life grows and moves.
Another thing that inspires me is knowing my worth. I know how hard I had worked to be where I am today. I know I am as qualified as everyone else and I make good use of every opportunity to showcase it.
Let’s talk about some of your prestigious moments and achievements
I don’t consider that I have accomplished much. There is still a lot for me to do.
How do you enjoy spending your out-of-work time?
I am a wife and a mother. My faith plays a very important role for me and I am supporting my husband, who is a leader of a Christian ministry in Accra – Ghana, in service to the Lord Jesus.
What’s your favorite quote?
“If you can’t fly then run if you can’t run then walk if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward” ~ Martin Luther King.
What’s your word of encouragement for a young girl in STEM?
I would like to encourage every young girl who is passionate about the STEM field. Don’t let anyone downplay your abilities. Always believe in yourself, strive for the best and reach for the sky! It might not always be easy, but perseverance, hard work, and seriousness always pay.
It is such an honour to write about you, Annick! May the good Lord continue widening your territories.