A career in Geophysics: Technology, Travel and Interesting People (Page 1 of 4) Brian Wickins, 27 Oct 2014

If you want to succeed in a science or technology-based career it's a good idea to make sure you know your stuff. Those were the words of advice issued by Phil Cook, Regional Geoscience Manager for DownUnder Geosolutions, during an interview with PNRonline. He has spent his working life making sure he knows his, in addition to keeping on top of, or at least being aware of, the trends and developments.

“It’s a technically complex business and the technology is continuously evolving,” explained Phil. “And aside from the geeky side of things, never forget that it’s a people business too, so forming relationships will also be important.”

Although many people know the industry they want to work in from an early age, others only know what they like doing and, focussing on doing that to the best of their ability, leads them to a particular 'unplanned' career path.

The 'unplanned' was the path for Phil.

Born in England and emigrating with his family to Australia when he was 8 years old, Phil had a passion for mathematics. From Rossmoyne High School in Perth he went on to get a BSc in Mathematics at UWA which opened the door to the petroleum industry.

“Frankly, I stumbled in to the seismic industry as I was looking for somewhere where I could use my maths degree and replied to an advertisement for a Seismic Observer. I was always keen to watch, so thought that was the job for me..!”

He doesn't describe becoming a geophysicist as “a defining moment” in his life but he was quick to realise the excitement of working on land seismic crews in the early 80s.

“This convinced me that this was a career for me. It had the combination of a challenging technical job, travel opportunities and interesting people.”

He'd already stated that the oil and gas industry is a 'people' business, so when asked who had helped him in his early career, he had no hesitation: “Warwick Greville offered a lot of support to me early on in my processing career.”

Obviously Warwick's support was well founded and helped Phil establish a long and enjoyable career in the Australian seismic industry.

It's an industry that usually comes with a series of overseas postings to regions in all four corners of the world. But not for Phil. Not only did he manage to build a successful career, he did it without moving outside of Australia.

“When I was younger our family ties were so strong here in Perth that moving away was always going to be difficult.”


Working as an observer with Horizon, 30+ years ago.

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