Oil and gas company developing energy solutions

Student Story|Emily Armstrong, EECS '17

Emily Armstrong, EECS '17

Over the course of the summer I was involved in projects at Shell's two locations in Hamburg. As part of the Trading and Supply team in the Business Center, I helped develop a web-based solution for Deal Makers to create and store contract information. I was the main technical lead on this project, and got great experience in being a leader in industry. At Shell’s Technology center, I tested and reported on new simulations software for battery modelling. I also developed a database and web interface for data from Shell’s EcoGenie experiment.

Working at Shell was very different from any other work experience I’ve had. It was both my first experience in a foreign country and my first time working in industry rather than in a research setting. In general, the environment was more formal and there were a lot more meetings than I was used to. It was important to keep all members of a project up-to-date, instead of working more independently and combining solutions at the end. People also seemed to be more focused at work, and less inclined to have casual conversations during work hours.The summer also helped me build confidence as technical leader. Having an experience so different in nearly every way from my previous work experience will be extremely valuable in guiding my choices in finding a workplace after MIT.

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Student Story|Carissa Skye, Physics '19

Carissa Skye, Physics '19

At the Pentahof, Shell is looking for ways to bring their company into the modern era of sales, where big data analysis plays an important role in finding and exploiting patterns in the marketplace. I helped weed out the field by researching different algorithms and running simulations to learn what we could expect of their efficiency and accuracy.

At the Technology Center, I was working with a lab focused on solar power and other alternative energy sources. I helped them develop a standard data analysis scheme, so they don’t have to reinvent their reports each time they run an experiment.

As a physics major, I haven’t spent much time learning the ins and outs of efficient algorithms and program design! But as massive, programming-driven experiments like the CERN particle accelerator move to the forefront of physics research, it’s difficult for physics education to keep up. The skills I learned in Hamburg – working with and analyzing large data sets – will be invaluable to me in the future.

And so will the confidence I gained! I was amazed – I really hadn’t expected to become so comfortable, alone in a strange city. I even learned to successfully navigate both public transport and the infamous German bureaucracy.

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