"Careers are marathons, not sprint events" - Dr. Med Kamal

In the second of our new Career Insights series, we sit with Dr. Med Kamal to discuss his career and what advice he has for young and advancing professionals in the petroleum industry. This set of questions will be shared across all interviewees. If you have an idea for career insights interview questions – let us know!

1. What are a few career moments you are most proud of

When my team developed a new technology and, for the first time, applied to to field operations. When we saw the results confirming the value of our developments, I was extremely proud.

Examples of new technologies I saw come to life were when we first integrated multiple testing methods to characterize reservoir heterogeneity, which was critical for EOR success; when we first applied methods to properly evaluate coal bed methane deposits; and, when we first applied Numerical Well Testing to help reservoir simulation engineers history match their fields. Other moments that continue to make me proud are when younger engineers that I have mentored achieved valuable success through their technical and managerial work.

2. How do you push through challenging times in your career, or work/life balance?

By staying technically competent (even at the top of your technical field if you can do that) and recognizing the value of honoring scientific and engineering principals in developing solutions and managing projects. It is also valuable to have one’s priorities in the right order. No company project (or promotion) is more valuable than a family member’s need.

3. What habits contribute to your success?

Working hard and smart, recognizing the value of staying up-to-date on technology improvements, continuously learning from colleagues whether they have a lot more or much less of experience that yourself, and being active in professional organizations.

4. What's the best piece of advice you'd give to a young professional in this industry today?

Stay technically sharp and learn how the technology and industry are changing around you. Be flexible! Careers are marathons, not sprint events. And finally, never compromise your values and set your priorities straight.

Learn more about Dr. Medhat M. Kamal

Medhat (Med) M. Kamal is recently retired as Chevron Fellow and Dynamic Reservoir Characterization Team Leader and is currently the Chairman of the International Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Golden Gate Section. Dr. Kamal is also an Honorary Member of The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME) and has over 45 years of industry experience focused in well testing, reservoir description, and production and reservoir engineering.

Dr. Kamal is author of SPE Monograph 23 “Transient Well Testing”, and has published more than 35 technical papers in various SPE journals. He served as member and chairman of SPE Annual Meeting Well Testing, Text Book and Monograph Committees and as a technical editor, review chairman and executive editor of the SPE Journal of Petroleum Technology (JPT) and Reservoir Engineering and Evaluation Journal (SPEREE).

Kamal is a former distinguished lecturer for SPE and has won several regional and international awards including the Cedric K. Furgeson Medal, the Formation Evaluation Award, SPE Distinguished Service Award and the Texas Petroleum Engineer of the Year Award. He holds BS degree (with Honors) from Cairo University and MS and PhD degrees from Stanford University all in petroleum engineering.