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Naila Dowla - Undergraduate Researcher


Profile: Naila Dowla


Senior Naila Dowla’s efforts are already contributing to the critical push to meet global energy demands.

Her undergraduate research project, conducted under the guidance of Dr. Paul Mann, involves analyzing trends and characteristics of the world’s giant oil and gas fields, in order to interpolate what the future holds for field discoveries.

Naila, a geophysics major, began her exploration of giant oil and gas fields as a summer research assistant whose initial task was updating an out-of-date data set given to her by a professor. Once she’d gathered the data for project, her curiosity led her toward analyzing, interpreting and understanding the information she had collected.

“By understanding patterns and past trend characteristics, we can interpolate what the future holds in terms of field discoveries, locations, field sizes and more.” —Naila Dowla, Undergraduate Researcher

As a result of this work, she’s acquired a more complete understanding of the repercussions and implications of developments in the field of natural resources. Oil and gas finds can completely transform the landscape of a region, not only geologically and economically, but also geographically, politically, and culturally. “The amount of money, man power and research that goes into finding potential fields is remarkable,” Naila says. “It impacts so much! People really do tend to overlook what went into lighting their desk lamp, or running their air conditioner.”

The expansion and analysis of the data that Naila is collecting for her current project will provide the backbone of her senior honors thesis. After she earns her Bachelor’s Degree, Naila plans to attend graduate school, and then work in the oil and gas industry. Well on her way to becoming a thought leader in her field, her research has already begun to open doors onto future career prospects. She impressed recruiters with the poster she presented at a fall student career expo, and will be sharing her findings at a national petroleum conference in May of 2013.