- Masters degree, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
- École Polytechnique de Yaoundé, 1993
Fields of Work
Field Engineer, Wireline reservoir evaluation
Areas of interest outside work
Reading, Music, Cinema, Football (Soccer)
"My motivation is to see good work recognized, and this drives me to give the best that I can, both in my work and my daily life."
I was born in 1971 in Douala, the largest city and main port of Cameroon. Cameroon is in west central Africa. Thanks to one of the wettest climates in the world, it has many swamps and dense tropical rain forests. It also has volcanic peaks, forests, grasslands, lakes, and many rivers. The French governed most of Cameroon until Independence in 1960. English and French are the official languages, and I use them both every day. Large reserves of oil offshore Cameroon, plus deposits of aluminum and iron ore onshore, have made it one of the richest nations in tropical Africa. Cameroon also has a thriving agricultural economy, including cattle, cocoa, coffee, bananas, peanuts, rubber, and cotton.
As a child I lived in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon. I went to the Messa primary school and École du Centre, one of the top primary schools in the country at that time. This is where I learned the importance of being competitive and always trying to be the best.
I joined Schlumberger in 1995, after a selection test among more than 100 engineers. Only four were chosen at the end. Schlumberger trained me to use Modular Formation Dynamics Testers (MDTs). These are advanced tools that are lowered by wires into boreholes to take measurements of rocks and samples of oil deep underground. I worked all over West and Central Africa, including Niger, Ghana, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Gabon, Ivory Coast and Angola.
I went to the General Leclerc secondary school in Yaounde, which is the oldest and most famous secondary school in Cameroon. Here I became interested in science and engineering through the scientific club of the school. I was amazed by how much can be explained just through the basic laws of physics. I worked hard and passed my Baccalaureate (secondary school diploma) in 1988 with one of the best results in the country. The same year I succeeded in passing the entrance exam to l’École Polytechnique du Cameroon, the most prestigious engineering school in central Africa.
By 1997 I was running MDT jobs by myself. In 2001 I moved to Chad. This was a very good move for my career because I became exposed to wide variety of Schlumberger specialist services. I was part of a project team developing more than 300 onshore oil wells for ExxonMobil in Chad. It was a very challenging project! Not only was it large in size, it was also the first time that oil would be produced in Chad, so no expertise was available within the country. My expert MDT knowledge and experience made me a key person as I coached other engineers who worked on this project. During this time I wrote the first operations manual for the Crystal Quartz Gauge (CQG) used in the MDT and other tools to measure temperature and pressure in a borehole. Schlumberger engineers around the world still use this manual. I also helped Schlumberger research scientists based in Japan with their studies of the CQG.
During the following years, I was promoted to the position of General Field Engineer. In January 2004 I moved to Aberdeen, Scotland, where I worked on projects in the North Sea and elsewhere. It was from here on August 6, 2004, that I started my exciting trip to the North Pole. Working by myself (with no technical help), I logged scientific test boreholes during the six-week Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX). I became not only the first person to log boreholes at the North Pole, but also the first ever Cameroonian to step foot there.
My wife Carole is slowly getting used to the weather in Aberdeen, and my daughter is settling into local schools. My daughter speaks English and French now. We speak only French at home, but she improves her English by watching cartoons on TV whenever she is not at the nursery or sleeping. I love music, especially reggae and African music. I also play football and read a lot, particularly scientific books.
Although we sometimes miss our friends and family back in Cameroon, we are all grateful for the experience of world travel provided by my being an engineer with Schlumberger.