Charlotte Pestell, Manager, Project Management and Engineering, Compass Compression Solutions, is a graduate of Energy Workforce’s Executive Leadership Program. She recently shared her insights on the energy services and technology sector.
ENERGY WORKFORCE: What is your role with the company? What does a typical day look like?
Charlotte Pestell: I am responsible for oversight of the engineering and project management functions. Essentially, I am responsible for project execution for our Houston facility working with the cross-functional teams.
EW: Why did you join the oil and gas industry? Was there an individual who influenced your decision? Was there an event or piece of technology that got you excited?
CP: I actually got into oil and gas by accident through an engineering apprenticeship program recommended at a careers fair. It turned out it was a great fit for my personality and skillsets, and I particularly enjoyed working in the factory and visiting job sites to develop my product and process knowledge. PLC and communication systems were what I enjoyed the most.
EW: What individual has been most instrumental in helping with your career? What did their mentorship look like and how did it guide your path?
CP: There was a project engineering manager at one of my early places of employment that I worked with on a wafer fab project that went to Borneo. He was the lead for our project team that went to site to perform installation, commissioning and startup. He was hugely instrumental in my development both as an engineer, a project manager and a human.
EW: What has surprised you most about the industry?
CP: Just how far-reaching it is. As a kid and at the time I entered the industry, I would associate oil and gas with chimneys, factories, chemical plants, etc., never really connecting it to the everyday domestic products we all have at home.
EW: What’s a technology or innovation you’ve seen in the energy services and technology sector that impressed you?
CP: Digital predictive maintenance tools that trend the regular characteristics of a piece of equipment to determine when the performance data is trending outside of acceptable parameters, and then send it to remote devices for off-site evaluation to reduce downtime and operational costs.
EW: What advice would you give someone just getting started in the oil and gas industry?
CP: Do as much as you can. Take every opportunity that presents itself. Visit site and/or factory locations whenever possible.
EW: What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
CP: That the industry isn’t a bad guy in the movie. Is there some work to do to ensure that it continues to evolve to maintain social relevance in a changing landscape? Sure. And there are many talented people (Energy Workforce & Technology Council contributors for example) working hard every day to do just that.
EW: What do you do for fun?
CP: I love to run – I started in 2021 right before the pandemic and used what would have been my morning commute to train. I now run half marathons and will train for a 30K at the end of 2022.
EW: What’s your idea of a perfect vacation?
CP: We went to Hawaii this year and that was perfect! A mix of hiking, boating, snorkeling and relaxing on the beach or by the pool.
EW: What’s a fun fact that people would never guess about you?
CP: I used to sing in pubs in evenings and on weekends when I was in my late teens in the UK. I’m a terrible singer; I have no idea how/why I pulled this off!