Kyle Turpin '17 Energy Capital Project Analyst

What are you doing with your geoscience and engineering educations?

I worked for an oil services company in grad school, which opened my eyes to the more unconventional aspects of the Oil and Gas industry. I was focusing my graduate degree on water resource engineering, so it was cool taking my interest in water resources and placing them in the context of energy production. After graduating, I went and worked at a company that specialized in unconventional O&G consulting - I worked on a plethora of projects sponsored by USAID and the EPA that were aimed at coal mine methane capture, carbon sequestration, and water conservation in energy production. I've since moved companies and am now focusing on the capital aspect of energy companies - that is, how they do capital projects and how they can do them better. I am hoping to eventually leverage this experience and my background in O&G services and unconventional production to join a renewables company and help direct their capital projects division to get the most bang for their buck.

Why did you transition away from oil and gas?

O&G was alluring for purely paycheck related reasons, but the nature of the work did not interest me since traditional engineering roles did not have much dynamism in terms of day-to-day activities. I think the aspect of geoscience careers I didn't quite understand when I was an undergrad was just how large an interface between energy production and environmental geology existed in the job world. When I was a senior, my thoughts were: "either I go into O&G and make a lot of money or I go into environmental and make less money but do really valuable work." Since graduating, I discovered there are a huge number of smaller companies that do work in the environmental realm in relation to energy production (carbon capture, energy storage, water usage reduction, oilfield land reclamation, augmentation of traditional production with renewables etc.). It's an exciting and dynamic field that I think might appeal to energy-oriented students who still want to work on environmental issues.

What do you like to do in your free time? What's your favorite hike in Rockbridge?

I've been reading a lot (a combination of quarantine and really bad winter weather in DC). Once it warms up, I'm excited to hit the trails in WV with some of my W&L camping friends who live in the district. My favorite hike was Spy Rock-- I think it has the best view of the Shenandoah within a reasonable drive of Lexington.