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How one UH student meets his goals as an energy leader, researcher and innovator

09/26/2017 | By Claire Andersen

Free time is hard to come by, and even more rare for university students. Most 20-something college students use their precious free time studying, spending time with friends or catching up on Netflix. But Julian Chenin is not your average college student. In addition to his regular class schedule, Chenin also participates in rare geological research, works several jobs and is a student leader of one of the largest student organizations on campus. 

This past June Chenin found himself far from Houston’s heat and humidity. For four weeks, Chenin participated in a study abroad program in the Svalbard archipelago, a small cluster of islands between Norway’s mainland and the North Pole. During his time there, Chenin focused on the distribution and thermal state of permafrost in the Arctic. In addition to the lectures and extensive field research, Chenin had the opportunity to make several once-in-a-lifetime hikes, where he showed off his cougar pride from the tops of glacial mountains. 

"It was really different because they really don’t focus on structural geology here. I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn the different practices out there and get a feel of what I might want to do later on in life," said Chenin. "It was a really enlightening experience to learn different perspectives, geological concepts and meet some amazing people as all, most of whom I still talk to." 

Since returning from his trip, Chenin has picked up right where he left off; pursuing excellence in the classroom and the work place. This semester Chenin is working as a geospatial analyst at Cap Resources, a small oil and gas consulting firm based in the Galleria. While there, he primarily works on mapping and interpreting hydrocarbon wells across the US. In addition to his work and studies, Chenin serves as a leader in the Energy Coalition (EC), one of the largest student organizations on campus.

Chenin has extensive experience with the Energy Coalition, having served as the vice chair for student organizations last spring. This year Chenin serves as vice chair and hopes to take the organization to “new, unprecedented heights.” 

"I see the potential and want to develop it and turn it into something amazing. Establish it as the true powerhouse at UH and the nation, because we’re very different from other groups," he said. "We bring so many people together who don't think their majors would have a place in the energy industry. I love that about EC, the amount of opportunities you can give to other students and help them get involved."

Chenin's passion for energy grows steadily along with his opportunities to learn more about the ins and outs of the industry. Chenin credits much of his growth and the numerous opportunities he has had during his college career to a handful of mentors, including his senior honors thesis adviser, a former boss and several other student leaders in the EC. 

"They helped me develop as a team leader. They've inspired me to question things and be aggressive, how to go against the norm," Chenin said. 

Chenin will graduate this upcoming May, after which he hopes to pursue a career where he can continue to “shake things up.”

“I want to work at a place where there’s always something new to learn, to have opportunities to learn more and develop more as a person and truly be a leader,” Chenin said.