EGI Alumni Shares Journey from Student to Professional


Ryan Hillier, Petrophysicist, Apache Corporation

Former EGI student researcher Ryan Hillier has recently joined Apache Corporation in San Antonio, Texas where he works as a Petrophysicist focusing on exploration projects as well as exploitation operations. Ryan credits his time at EGI as a student researcher as playing a key role in shaping his academic career and professional trajectory.

While pursuing his undergraduate degree from the University of Utah in Geoscience, Ryan joined EGI in 2011 as a student researcher with the Carbon Sequestration Group. As a student researcher for this group, Ryan participated in a variety of field-based projects, including CO2 flux measurements in Salt Lake City and surrounding areas; fieldwork in and near Green River, UT, Grand Junction, CO, Montrose, CO, and Telluride, CO; and as a field assistant in Canyonlands National Park, UT. The challenging and invigorating work he encountered through these positions encouraged Ryan to pursue further studies in Sedimentology and Petrophysics.

Upon completing his work with the Carbon Sequestration Group, Ryan joined EGI’s South American Shale Gas & Shale Oil, Phase 1 project as a student researcher. Ryan’s contributions to the SAS Phase 1 project were significant and continue to be held in high regard among his former colleagues at EGI. Director Raymond Levey notes that Ryan has been widely regarded as one of EGI’s top student interns at the Institute over the last 20 years and set the bar high for student researchers who have followed.

“My experiences at the EGI were pivotal in shaping my role as a scientist and helped guide my life to where it is now. I encourage students to take advantage of a world-class Institute that facilitates great learning opportunities for students while accommodating academic work schedules.”

–Ryan Hillier

As part of SAS Phase 1, Ryan calculated Total Organic Carbon content (TOC) using wireline well-logs. These skills proved to be instrumental for Ryan during subsequent internships with Apache Corporation and the pursuit of his Master’s degree. In addition to the technical skills he developed while participating in the SAS Phase 1 project, he learned the invaluable art of developing professional and academic contacts. Through various poster presentations and Corporate Associate meetings, Ryan presented his work to industry professionals from companies of all sizes. Ryan keeps in contact with many of these mentors on a routine basis.

Upon completing his undergraduate education, Ryan went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Earth Science from Montana State University. His thesis is titled: “Formation evaluation of Leonardian strata within the northern Spraberry Trend, West Texas.”

EGI is proud of Ryan’s accomplishments and honored to have been a part of his career-launching experiences. Ryan wrote to Director Levey at the start of 2016 updating his colleagues and friends at EGI on his current activities, noting that he considers himself extremely lucky to have been a part of EGI as a student and is excited to continue his relationship with the Institute as a Corporate Associate member.