UCL Earth Sciences


UCL WiES Summer Careers Event.

30 June 2022

Career event with past alumnae: We had the opportunity to gain a valuable insight into their job, career paths and experiences. 

Women in Science Career event

Almost a year to the day since our first careers event, on the 7th June the UCL Women in Earth Science group were joined by the incredible Dr Emma Bowden (ADNOC Technical Centre), Gayle Hough (BP) and Dr. Katie McFall (UCL Earth Sciences) and had opportunity to gain a valuable insight into their job, career paths and experiences. 

Women in Science Career event

Dr Emma Bowden

Dr. Emma Bowden graduated from UCL in 2002 with a BSc, and a PhD in Geology on the ‘Effects of Loading Path on the Shock Metamorphism of Porous Quartz: An Experimental Study’. She has since had an international career with Schlumberger and now lives in Abu Dhabi, with her husband and son, and works as the Geomodelling Specialist for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company Technical Centre. 

During her career she has lived and worked across the world including Scotland, Eastern Europe, the UAE, and Ecuador. For most of her Schlumberger career she worked as a Geomodelling Consultant building 3D sub-surface reservoir models for predicting hydrocarbon reserves, and for oil and gas field development planning. She joined ADNOC Onshore in 2020 as a part of their Technical Centre team to train and mentor their technical staff, and to advise and develop technical Standard Operating Procedures and Standards for Geomodelling within ADNOC. 

Emma enjoyed her time at UCL and studied alongside people she is happy to be friends with 20 years later. She feels one of the most important lessons she learnt from her time there, was that is important to find a place of study or work where you feel you fit in, and you and your colleagues support one another.

Gayle Hough

Gayle Hough has a MSci in Geology from UCL and a MRes in Marine Geology and Geophysics from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, graduating from the latter in 2006. Her masters research was on understanding the processes and depositional characteristics of giant gravity flow deposits offshore northwest Africa, after which she had a desire to apply her training to practical problems outside of academia.

After spending a number of years as a geohazard consultant, working first for Halcrow, an engineering company, and then RPS Group, Gayle moved to BP where she is now a Senior Geohazard Specialist. This work involves looking at natural geological processes that may present a direct or indirect risk to offshore operations and people. This includes assessing the potential geohazard risks whilst planning a well in an O&G or CCUS project, or identifying potential shallow geohazards to foundation conditions, ahead of a windfarm installation. Geohazards is relevant to every offshore project that interacts with the seabed, so her work spreads right across the BP portfolio. This means every day and every project is different, getting involved in work from all around the world in a variety of settings.

Katie McFall

Dr. Katie McFall has an MSci and PhD from the University of Southampton and has since worked as a NERC Postdoctoral Researcher and Anglo American funded Postdoctoral researcher at Cardiff University before joining the UCL Earth Sciences department as a Lecturer in Economic Geology. She works closely with mining companies to help find sustainable supplies of metals for green technology.

Katie’s research seeks to understand the processes which concentrate elements such as cobalt, tellurium and lithium into ore deposits in order to allow more energy and cost-efficient exploration and extraction, and to help find sustainable supplies of metals critical to green technology. She does this by using a combination of field mapping, core logging, petrology, geochemistry and mineral micro-analysis.

She is particularly interested in the role of high temperature volatiles in metal transport from the mantle through to the upper crust, the behaviour of critical and precious metals in magmatic and hydrothermal systems and the interaction between volatiles and melts and how these processes affect the development of the earth system. Dr Katie McFall specialises in fluid and melt inclusion analysis – examining bubbles of fluid or melt which are trapped in rocks in order to understand how that rock formed, the composition and temperature of ancient fluids and whether they carried metals.