Here’s a question for all of you budding engineers: Is your young ‘Millennials’ generation ready to take the reins of the oil and gas industry from your parents’ Baby Boomer generations?

This was the subject of a lively debate held during one of the sessions of the UAE Energy Forum 2017 held at NYU Abu Dhabi.

The motion put forward to a big audience of students and oil and gas executives was that Millennials are NOT yet ready to take over the industry from Baby Boomers, many of whom are now approaching retirement.

The two-person team supporting the motion was made up of Moadh Bukhash, Senior Manager, Group Communications, ENOC, and Sophia Kalantzakos, Global Distinguished Professor at NYU. They told the audience that Millennials have the skills to become new leaders of the industry, but don’t have the willingness to work in an ‘old-fashioned’ sector that has a poor reputation for technological innovation and environmental sustainability.

The team trying to convince the audience that Millennials are in fact ready to be the industry’s new big players and lead it into a new era were Mariam Al Hendi, Mechanical Engineer, GASCO, and James McCallum, Senior Advisor, Lloyd’s Register. They said that Millennials’ reputation for innovation and challenging the status quo were exactly what the industry needs to embrace sustainable energy sources and drive technological breakthroughs.

 “The oil and gas industry is what helped to build my country to what it is now,” said Mariam. “Millennials like me seek challenges and are drivers of change, which is vital in ensuring the industry grows to support the generation after us.”

The audience had a chance to pose question before making their vote. Some argued that Millennials don’t have the patience to learn the ropes before taking on senior jobs. “They want to be managers as soon as possible,” said one Baby Boomer. Others said the ‘negatives’ of Millennials - of being impatient and challenging norms - could in fact be huge positives for an industry requiring modernization.

But at the end of the debate, it was Moadh and Sophia who were declared winners by 55 per cent of the audience vote to 45 per cent.

Do you think you’re ready to be part of the new generation bringing about change in the oil and gas industry? Then check out opportunities at Mubadala Petroleum at



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