International Women in Engineering Day: Katie Mclean, Reservoir Engineer

This year for International Women in Engineering Day (23 June 2020), we want to showcase the amazing journey our engineers have taken. We truly have a diverse bunch of women engineers in Contact who come from all walks of life. The international theme is “Shape the World,” so we asked our engineers some questions about what got them into their field in the first place.

What is the photo of?

It is a photo of me as a baby, building with Lego – well actually Duplo (giant Lego for babies). Apparently I was never very interested in dolls even when I was older, and I have memories of technic Lego when I was around 10, and remember once when I was a teenager pulling apart a whole castle and putting it back together to relax. 

Katie Mclean


What inspired you to become an engineer?

My dad was a civil engineer and while I was not interested in that particular type of engineering, for that reason engineering was always on my radar as something that I would be able to do. I was good at maths and physics at school and chose to study engineering at uni. Dad was happy about this, though I never realised that he was proud (quiet engineer-type) until he took me to an Engineers Australia lunch one time several years into my university studies.  


What surprises you most about your job?

I also studied geology at uni and it surprises me how much overlap there is between my job (Reservoir Engineering) and geology. I always thought I would have to choose one career path or the other, but found one of the few jobs on the planet where I can do both! There is lot of high-level conceptual thinking and surprisingly little maths. 


What are you most proud of having achieved in your role?

Last year my PhD supervisor (Sadiq Zarrouk) and I published a reservoir engineering textbook: “Geothermal Well Test Analysis”, with heaps of information on geothermal wells and how to test them. I have two little girls and they tell people I am an author. My Dad has a copy too, to show his friends.

Katie Mclean

25 Jun 2020
1 minutes to read
By Katie Mclean
Reservoir Engineer