Until recently, I worked for Wintershall Dea, who, by the way, also sponsor an IDEA League scholarship every year. For my first two years there, I travelled around the world, working in oil and gas exploration and getting trained as a seismic interpreter. What excited me about the job was that you analyse something which you don’t see. You use geophysical methods to get an understanding of the first five, six kilometres underground, and to analyse structures that you can’t see, but that you have to trust your data on. It’s amazing and really interesting that we can do that. I really liked my job – I went to offshore rigs where we were drilling wells, it was really exciting – but the oil crisis kicked in and corona was next, so after 7,5 years I left.
Now I’m in natcat – natural catastrophe – modelling. Insurance companies like to quantify what natural catastrophes can do to their portfolio. The car industry, for example, is interested in hail. How much damage can it do in certain locations? Natural catastrophes can be quite dramatic, but I’m really fascinated by them. Mother nature is crazy. I’m really involved in climate change now, which is funny seeing where my career was previously. In our modelling process we incorporate data from climate models so that we can model, for example, if hail, tornadoes, and other natural catastrophes will occur more frequently in the future because of the impact of climate change. You can’t say that there will be an earthquake in Japan next week. But you can say, okay, what can happen in the next ten years? And then we put a number on that. I’m the expert on gravitational risks like landslides and subsidence and geological risks like earthquakes. I am working in a multidisciplinary team consisting of geophysicist, geologists and meteorologist. The work is totally different, but you can do very different jobs with the same degree. That’s pretty cool.