Young Gastech: Providing tomorrow’s industry collaborations today

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Hieu Le, Naval Architect, London Offshore Consultants
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With continued growth in the global market and a surge in investment, the future looks bright for the gas, LNG and energy industry making it an opportune time for graduates to start their career in energy.

Young Gastech is a specialist conference at Gastech 2018 which is a free-to-attend programme aimed at final year university students, graduates and young energy professionals; providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals.

Ahead of Gastech 2018 in Barcelona, Gastech Insights spoke with Hieu Le, Young Gastech Essay Winner 2017 and Naval Architect at London Offshore Consultants to hear more about the start of his journey in the shipping and energy industry.

Gastech Insights: Why did you choose a career in energy?

Hieu Le: As a naval architect, we normally have two choices for careers: working with small crafts (such as yachts, sailboats) or large vessels (oil tankers, bulk carriers, containers etc). It just happened that I am naturally attracted by big ships so I spent a lot of time reading articles about them on "The Naval Architect" magazine. Then a summer internship with BP brought me closer to the industry when I worked for BP Shipping looking after their fleet. Finally, after attending industry events, I was totally convinced that this was the industry that I wanted to work in. It is the industry where innovations are thriving to provide energy to the economy for the cheapest price and lowest impact on the environment. 

Gastech Insights: In your opinion, how can the energy industry market itself better to the younger generation /graduates to encourage more people to join?

Hieu Le: There are always options within the energy industry, for example, there are jobs which are more secure in the downtime but potentially with less pay-roll, and then there are other jobs which may take a break in the downtime but would pay enough to allow a break before the industry picks up again. I believe career talks to high school students/graduates might be the best platform for young professionals to understand the opportunities and challenges in the energy industry. Once they understand how the industry works and feel prepared for the ups and downs, I'm sure they will be confident to join the team. 

Gastech Insights: You have recently started your career as a naval architect working at the marine and engineering consultancy firm, London Offshore Consultants. How are you finding your first few years in the industry?

Hieu Le: I joined the company in September 2013 and enjoyed the high time of oil price at 110 USD/barrel for just about half a year before the price dropped to the trough of 30 USD and then slowly bounced back. However, thanks to the fact that naval architects can work in both the shipping and energy industry, the downtime did not affect us as much. During these four years, I developed transferable technical skills that could be used in both the shipping and the energy industry, and at the same time participated in events such as Gastech which kept me updated with the industry. Now, as the oil prices are moving up, more and more projects are achieving FID (Final Investment Decisions) and I am excited and ready for the ‘come back’ of the industry. 

Gastech Insights: Why are specialist conferences like ‘Young Gastech’ important to young professionals looking to expand their network in their gas industry career?

Hieu Le: In my opinion, attending a conference could be considered an expensive business trip for high-level managers and therefore can be extremely difficult for young engineers to attend such events. Specialist conferences like "Young Gastech" is an amazing opportunity for young engineers and energy professionals to really experience these incredible industry events. Attending the event, meeting up with like-minded young people and listening to the industry leaders is really inspiring and provides you with an international network of young professionals in the industry. In 5 or 10 year’s time, these people could hold important positions in different companies and the networks that we build today could foster great collaboration in future. 

If you would like to hear more about the Young Gastech and submit your application by Friday 24th August, visit the Gastech site now! If you are interested in attending the event as a delegate, book you pass today!