PhD Spotlight: Natalie Debenham

Australian School of Petroleum PhD student Natalie Debenham has been honoured at the inaugural Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AECG 2018) in Sydney for winning the best student paper prize in the Energy theme. Her paper, which is entitled ‘The influence of reverse-reactivated normal faults on porosity and permeability in sandstones: a case study at Castle Cove, Otway Basin’, received significant praise from the convenors after she presented that she was asked to give her talk twice.

Also a mentee with the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), Natalie has been able to increase her understanding of the industry sector and develop skills translating to a successful career.

Natalie Debenham - AEGC Awards

Natalie Debenham – AEGC Awards

“The skills that I am developing during this program will be highly transferable to my future career,” she said.

“As a result, I believe that I will be better prepared to compete for a range of professional opportunities following my PhD.”

During her research career, Natalie has achieved a number of impressive awards and scholarships, including the Tate Memorial Research Award at the University of Adelaide in 2014, The Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship in 2015, as well as the Eric Rudd and Tony Noon memorial scholarships from the University of Adelaide and APPEA respectively in 2016, among others.

She said the wealth of knowledge she was able to receive from her mentor has helped her towards the achievements and awards she has received so far.

“Mentoring and being mentored is a very positive experience, and I have full appreciation of the time, support, and advice mentors give,” Natalie said.

“Building contacts is crucial for success in any career, and my mentor has helped me further develop my networking skills to improve my employability.”

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