Senior Engineering Geoscientist
- Department: Generation & Trading
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At Contact, we believe home is the most important place in the world. It's all part of our vision to leave Aotearoa better than we found it. We’re a power and broadband company, but we’re so much more than that. We are transforming the ways we mahi, and how Aotearoa is powered, leading the charge on renewable energy and digitising customer journeys in ways not yet seen here. A team of 1000+ from all walks of life who love what we do, look out for each other, and learn from one another every day, we’re stoked to be guided by our tikanga: we touch lives to make life better.
We are growing our Reservoir Strategy team within Contact to ensure that we continue to effectively and sustainably manage our geothermal systems. As a key member of the Reservoir Strategy team, this role will lead our efforts to monitor, manage and forecast potential near surface impacts of our reservoir management in the southern Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand, such as subsidence due to compaction processes and shallow hydrological changes.
The next few years represent a time of substantial change for our geothermal operations. The Tauhara Geothermal project (a 172 MW geothermal plant that is New Zealand’s most significant renewable investment and will incorporate the world’s largest geothermal steam turbine) will be commissioned later in 2023. This is only the first of a broader pipeline of geothermal projects to support ongoing generation from the Wairakei - Tauhara Geothermal System, such as expansions at the Te Huka and Te Mihi geothermal plants. So we want to be ahead of the game and proactively manage possible near-surface environmental effects.
It will be your job to lead the monitoring, evaluation and modelling of subsidence processes and shallow groundwater hydrology for our geothermal fields at Wairakei, Tauhara and Ohaaki. Gaining an improved understanding of why, how and where these processes occur is a crucial component of our reservoir management strategy. You’ll build robust relationships with external stakeholders and interact regularly with other teams within Contact to ensure that everyone is across our work in this space.
You’ll also contribute to our resource conceptual models and ensure that any observational data and subsidence/hydrogeological model results are integrated into our reservoir models (3-D geological models and numerical models) and will support our ongoing adaptive management of our geothermal systems.
This position reports to the Capability Lead for Reservoir Strategy, Bridget Ayling.
Ideally we’re looking for a senior engineering geoscientist with ten years’ experience and skills in numerical modelling, hydrogeology, geomechanics and environmental monitoring. We will definitely consider strong applicants with less experience than this. You will have a relevant tertiary qualification in engineering geology, hydrogeology, geoscience or a related field.
You’ll be a curious individual, willing to dig deeper to ask the right technical questions to help us understand near surface processes associated with our geothermal resource production, and to propose potential solutions and paths forward. You will have experience in using commercially available groundwater and other numerical modelling codes to test scientific hypotheses and shed insight into system dynamics and inform our resource management strategy. You’ll also likely have experience using data science, analysis and analytical tools such as Python, Excel and/or Matlab to support your analysis and investigations.
You’ll be joining a small but motivated team and will need to have excellent teamwork and communication skills since you’ll be interacting regularly with the broader geothermal reservoir group’s geologists, reservoir engineers, geochemists, geophysicists and reservoir modellers to ensure consistency between the reservoir models, field data and resource management strategy.
Having excellent relationship-building skills will be important since you’ll need to develop strong working relationships with external parties such as district and regional councils and our peer review panels. Given your strong people skills, you’re comfortable engaging with these audiences, especially when dealing with potentially sensitive topics such as subsidence impacts.
Contact is doing some pretty cool things right now. If you like the sound of what we’re offering, have a genuine interest in the energy sector and our ambition to decarbonise Aotearoa, we’d love to hear from you. 'Apply’ now! Please remember to include a cover letter with your application so we can get to know you better. Applications close on Monday, 17 April at 11:59 PM NZST but we'll be reviewing applications as they come in so get in quick!
There are multiple perks to being a permanent Contact kaimahi (employee). Along with great leadership, teammates, development, and growth and progression opportunities, you’ll enjoy flexible working, free health insurance cover, better-than-your-average leave, access to Contact Shares, a ‘Good to be Home’ annual payment toward your home set up & wellbeing, a trail-blazing parental leave, discounts on Contact Energy products, and more.
Research shows that while men apply to jobs where they meet 60% of the criteria, women and those in underrepresented groups tend to only apply if they tick every box. We're not about box ticking, so if you think you have what it takes but don't meet everything stated above, please still get in touch. We'd love to kōrero.