SPE Live: Role of Young Professionals in the Energy Transition

Young professionals are entering the energy industry when it is in a state of transition. How will it affect their career path and progression? 

Join this panel of YPs to discuss the role of young professionals in the energy transition and how they can prepare to embrace the opportunities it will offer. The three speakers, Siddharth Jain, Manisha Bhardwaj and Siddharth Misra, are part of the 17 YPs recognized as TWA Energy Influencers 2021.

This SPE Live is categorized under the Management technical discipline.

Trent Jacobs (Moderator)

Digital Editor


Trent Jacobs has been a journalist and communications specialist for 15 years, most of which have been spent covering the upstream oil and gas industry. He reports from his hometown of Houston and highlights new trends from the SPE’s largest technical conferences in North America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Areas of special focus include emerging technologies, advancements in reservoir engineering, and the energy transition. Read his articles in the JPT: https://jpt.spe.org/author/trent-jacobs

Manisha Bhardwaj

Data Science Technical Advisor


Manisha Bhardwaj is a data science technical advisor at Halliburton. With more than 10 years of experience in data science and machine learning, she is recognized as a leader and advisor in her field. A trained mathematician, she provides technical expertise related to data science and analytics, develops research strategies to use the latest analytics innovations to turn data into a competitive advantage and makes recommendations for data-driven business decisions. Prior to joining Halliburton, Bhardwaj held technical and leadership roles at Monsanto (now Bayer Crop Sciences). She is a coauthor of several technical publications and patent applications and is an active peer reviewer for many leading journals by IEEE, Springer, and SPE. She has been invited to speak at various events and has served as a judge at many technical and machine learning competitions. 

An active member of SPE, Bhardwaj has held multiple volunteer roles at the SPE Gulf Coast Section (SPE-GCS) Data Analytics Study Group promoting data analytics in the energy industry. She is also the past chair for the group, organizing committee member for the 2019–2021 SPE-GCS Data Science Convention, and a program member of the section’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. She currently serves in the SPE-GCS board of directors for the 2021–2023 term. For her outstanding contributions to SPE, Bhardwaj was awarded the SPE Gulf Coast North America Regional Service Award in 2020 and SPE Gulf Coast North America Regional Young Professional Outstanding Member Service Award in 2021. 

Bhardwaj holds a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Delhi and master’s and PhD degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Houston (UH). She is the recipient of several prestigious scholarships, including the UH First Friends of NSM Fellowship, awarded to the best and brightest PhD students; the UH NSMAA Eckhard Pfeiffer-Alumni Scholarship; the Jack and D’Ann Burke International Scholarship; the Sanwa Bank Scholarship by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi; and the Mukarji Memorial and Ramesh Goel Memorial Prize for outstanding academic performance.

Siddharth Jain

Field Development Team Leader

Sharjah National Oil Corporation

Siddharth Jain leads the reservoir management, field development, and upstream digital transformation initiatives at Sharjah National Oil Corp. (SNOC). Exposure to a variety of upstream projects across the value chain enabled him to achieve rapid growth in his career over a short span of time. The youngest team leader in the company, he played an instrumental role in the latest discovery of a new gas field by SNOC in Sharjah after 37 years. Jain successfully led and delivered the field development plan for this discovery to have first gas produced within 1 year.

Jain played a key role in the successful turnaround of a mature field for underground gas storage. Leading the reservoir re-characterization for storage feasibility, he appraised the potential for well productivity and enhanced recovery in line with the Emirate’s energy strategy. He was also the single-point authority for SNOC’s project to find, archive, digitize, and integrate all exploration and production data in the Emirate dating from 1966. This helped establish the regional technical data archive unlocking new business opportunities and exploration prospects for the company.

 An SPE member for more than 12 years, Jain has published nine technical papers in OnePetro. He is the young professional chairperson of the SPE Northern Emirates Section. In this role, he collaborates with regional universities for research and training and helped add two new student chapters to be sponsored by the section. He has been a steering committee member, session chairperson, judge, and panelist in many industry forums. 

Jain holds a dual degree in petroleum engineering and an MBA in oil and gas management from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, and is pursuing an executive master’s degree in energy management from ESCP Business School. Outside of the industry, he is a certified scuba diver and volunteers as a rescue and extrication technician at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, for professional racing events including the Formula1 GP.

Siddharth Misra

Assistant Professor

Texas A&M University

Siddharth Misra is an associate professor in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University. He is a researcher and educator in the field of subsurface sensing and sensor interpretation, developing new theories and computational tools to better understand the interaction of sensor physics with physical processes and properties of subsurface earth resources. He has been a pioneer in data-driven workflows for subsurface characterization and engineering. 

Misra has contributed several inventions, publications, and methodologies to the fields of electromagnetic methods, fracture characterization, petrophysics, and machine learning. A common theme in his data-driven research efforts is to better analyze geophysical measurements and better visualize geophysical processes using advanced machine learning methods to improve exploration decisions. Misra is the lead author of Machine Learning for Subsurface Characterization and the upcoming Multifrequency Electromagnetic Data Interpretation for Subsurface Characterization; he holds eight technology patents. 

Misra joined a recent webinar series to train professionals and students in machine learning applications for SPE, Society of Exploration Geologists (SEG), and European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) members. He is a core team member of the Energy in Data conference jointly supported by SEG, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and SPE, and is also a Distinguished Lecturer for SEG. 

For his significant contributions to exploration geophysics and subsurface engineering, he has received several international awards: In 2018, he earned the Department of Energy Early Career Award and SPE’s Mid-Continent Formation Evaluation Award; in 2020, the SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award, the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts Young Technical Professional Award, the EAGE Arie Van Weelden Award, and SPE’s Gulf Coast Formation Evaluation Award. Misra holds a BTech degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a doctoral degree in petroleum and geosystems engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. 

Additional links and resources:

TWA Energy Influencers 2021


SPE Live: Role of Young Professionals in the Energy Transition
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