Erin Madro

Development Engineer - Weyburn EOR, Cenovus Energy Inc.

Describe a typical day

After spending a year in the field, I was finally converted into a morning person and now love to kick off the day with an early workout or yoga session! After getting settled in with a coffee at my desk, I spend the first few minutes figuring out what my biggest priorities and goals are for the day.  As a development engineer responsible for a third of the Weyburn unit, I spend a lot of time on reservoir surveillance and performance reviews of my areas. I work closely with production engineers and operations to solve problems and optimize the way we utilize carbon dioxide injection for enhanced oil recovery (EOR). I usually have several optimization projects on the go as well as planning new areas for EOR rollouts. I am also working on a side project to complete a life-cycle environmental analysis on Weyburn.

Perks of your job and things you like about your current company.

I love that my job presents unlimited potential to progress and improve our business. In my role, I am continually looking for opportunities to optimize the areas I am responsible for, and it is exciting to see the results of the changes we implement.

I am proud to work for a company that is tackling environmental challenges head-on.  Cenovus is striving to achieve zero emissions – a huge undertaking facing many challenges in the road ahead. The environmental component of what we do is deeply important to me and I am passionate to work for a company that is committed to leading the way in eliminating carbon emissions from oil, working in collaboration with academia, government, entrepreneurs and other companies in the industry to turn this idea into a reality.

Proudest accomplishments both in and outside of work.

I have been very fortunate for my experiences with Cenovus and am proud to have been part of seven different teams across the business over the last eight years. I held co-op positions in sustainable development, process engineering and new technology development while working towards my degree and then moved into subsurface and development roles as a full time engineer. These experiences have given me a more holistic view of the industry and the work we do at Cenovus.

Outside of work, I am proud of my adventurous spirit and desire to push myself to experience life to its fullest potential. My latest adventures have included scuba diving in the Florida Keys and surfing in Costa Rica. Next up: backcountry skiing!

Thoughts on the future of the industry as it relates to your field.

The world has never been more integrated and interconnected as it is today. While problems are prevalent and always will be, we should acknowledge that humanity as a whole has made incredible progress - in healthcare, food and energy production, education, communication systems and technology. More people are getting access to clean water, proper sanitation and medication. While there are no shortages of challenges and times are turbulent, we are also closer as a global society than ever before and I believe that progress will continue. The energy industry is undeniably part of the climate change problem, but also has an incredible opportunity to be part of the solution. I believe that there is an important future for oil and gas, playing a role in improving the quality of life for people around the world and bringing the developing world up to the standards that we take for granted. We need to be courageous, innovative and realistic when it comes to the energy mix, including nuclear and renewables, and we need to continue to take action in support of a sustainable and equal-opportunity world.

Current community involvement efforts.

Over the last three years, I have been a director for W@CVE (Women at Cenovus), a grassroots initiative to support personal and professional development for women within the company. I am co-responsible for coordinating networking events on a quarterly basis with the intent of bringing people from across the organization together and helping to foster a positive-thinking community for growth and diversity. I am also involved in planning the company’s Innovation Summit in May, a two-day conference for Cenovus staff to share their innovations and collaborate on ideas. I am co-developing think-tank workshops that will be held throughout the conference. I also participate in a program called In the Lead, in partnership with the Calgary Youth Justice Society, mentoring young leaders to help them develop their strengths and recognize their potential.

Why YWE?

I want to surround myself with positive initiatives to help women fulfill their greatest potential and I believe YWE to be just the place for that!

What are you reading?

I am almost finished Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist by Dr. Patrick Moore, which brings perspective to tackling some of our environmental challenges in a science-based approach. Next up: Abundance, The Future is Better than You Think, by Peter Diamandis.