81st EAGE Conference & Exhibition 2019
Embrace Change - Creativity for the Future
Meet the Participants: Lucas Pimienta
In the build up to the EAGE Annual 2019 , we are proud to introduce you to a selection of the participants who will be joining us for the 81st EAGE Conference and Exhibition (3-6 June) in London. Lucas Pimienta is a rock physicist currently working as a post-doctoral fellow working on physics of rocks with applications for geothermal energy developments at the Laboratory of Experimental Rock Mechanics of the EPFL. Lucas was the 2018 recipient of the Young Professionals Award.
Q. Tell us a little about yourself?
I am a rock physicist, currently working as a post-doctoral fellow on the physics of rocks with applications for geothermal energies developments. My research interests span the physics and chemistry of rocks. My approach is to isolate with laboratory experiments the parameters having an effect on given physical properties of rocks, and then test and develop theoretical models accordingly. I have an interest in the geo-engineering applications, with particular emphasis on geothermal energy or CO2 geological storage; and my main tools have been apparatuses that allow applying great stresses and temperatures to rock samples.
Q. Where are you from and where were you educated?
I originate from a small town near the Pyrenees, southwest of France. After studying fundamental physics and chemistry in Toulouse, I then headed to Strasbourg. In 2011, I obtained both a M.Sc. and Eng.D. in geophysics at EOST (Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre), Strasbourg. During my studies, I had the chance to spend a year in Bergen (UiB and Statoil, Norway) as an Erasmus student and in Perth (CSIRO-ESRE, Australia) for both my M.Sc. and Eng.D. thesis.
In 2012, I moved to the ENS (Ecole Normale Supérieure) of Paris to pursue a Ph.D. in rock physics, which I obtained in 2015. I am currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Laboratory of Experimental Rock Mechanics (LEMR) of the EPFL, Lausanne.
Q. When did you first get involved with EAGE and why?
Back in 2009, with the help of the “Geophyse” association of EOST, my class and I were allowed to attend my first EAGE Annual, as a student. In 2010, as a student again, I was also allowed to attend (Total, La Defence) the SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course on “Geomechanical applications of seismic and borehole acoustic waves” taught by Dr. Colin Sayers in Paris.
The association provided financial support for the students to attend the conference and interact with the leading geophysics companies in the world, while also allowing us to learn more about interesting short courses.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank “Geophyse” for introducing us to EAGE and helping in our development.
Starting 2014, as a Ph.D. student, I then began attending the EAGE Annual on a more regular basis and as a rock physic scientist.
Q. Tell us a little about your last EAGE event? Which elements stood out for you?
As almost every year now since 2014, I attended the 80th EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition in Copenhagen. As usual, I split my time between the technical scientific sessions and walking around the exhibition to observe some of the latest developments and learned about the issues facing the industry today. By mixing academia and industry, the EAGE Annual gives me the unique opportunity to catch up with scientists and old classmates.
For the first time I attended the Session for Young Professionals. I was particularly attracted to a presentation on soft skills. Now, I plan to attend the session on a more regular basis.
Copenhagen was – and will remain – truly special to me as I had the honour to be recognised for my work as a young professional. It gave me the opportunity to meet the association committee, amazing scientists, professionals and individuals. This recognition was a great honour and I plan to use it as a fuel for my research, which is sometimes needed!
Q. What does the EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition offer you professionally, personally or academically?
As an academic at the junction between fundamental and applied sciences, EAGE conferences – and sponsored workshops - are probably the most relevant events for me to attend. I expect to meet scientists from my field, involved in rock physics and applied geophysics. On a scientific level, by discussing with and listening to professionals from the industry, I get to learn about issues faced by those on the field that I would not have encountered otherwise.
On a personal level, I do find the conference very refreshing: Many existing conferences in my field are academia-only. Although exciting scientifically, only one kind of community meets there, and discussions are very focused. At EAGE conferences, things are very different. Academia meets industry; the approaches and points of view – either scientific or personal – get more diverse. This is refreshing.
Q. What do you see as the added benefit of the EAGE Annual?
Apart from the scientific aspects, the EAGE Annual allows professional to observe and learn from working systems very different from academia. Research and/or development are directly problem-driven rather than conceptually postulated, and communication skills are also very different. Finally, starting from the EAGE Annual 2018, I learnt the major importance of developing soft skills. Such skills are sometimes overlooked, or at least not specifically developed, in academia. It would however be a major asset for collaborations, teaching or mentoring.
Technology-wise, amazing technical developments can also be witnessed on the Exhibition Floor, some of which are also of major interest for academia. If not for this conference, I expect that I would not have learnt of the many technical developments that could readily be applied in university research. Although I did not yet have the chance to make use of such assets, I hope to do so in the near future.
In addition to mixing academia and industry, financial support also allows for students to attend the conference. From the presentations of specific research or development topics by the different companies in their booths, students can observe directly the interests and strategies of the industry. In comparison to other events, it is one of the rare ones where students have equal chance of finding internships in either academia or industry.
Q. What will you be doing at the EAGE Annual 2019 in London?
I expect to be doing mostly the same as I have until now: participating in the technical sessions, listening to some presentations at different booths on the Exhibition Floor, networking with professionals when the chance arises, and catching up with old-time friends from industry. Starting from now, I have the new objective to attend the Session for Young Professionals with the hope of learning more about soft skills.
Q. What advice would you give to first time attendees?
To the students, take the time to listen to company presentations on the Exhibition Floor. Although those do not cover the whole range of developments by the company, they can give insights into the direction it is going and can – at the very least – allow you to close the gap between students and professionals.
To young academics, although the technical sessions are indeed intense, take the time to walk around the exhibition and learn from the industry. It can be very useful to learn alternative scientific approaches and on some presentation skills developed by those working for companies, as opposed to the academy. I recommend attending the Young Professionals Special Session.
To all, I look forward to meeting you in the rock physics sessions!