Career development

SPE Spotlight on Young Professionals: Tarang Lal


Members join SPE for all sorts of reasons, but  most often it is when students and engineers first experience SPE members in action and see the value they promote, a value which they themselves share. Tarang Lal, a production engineer working at Aera Energy in Bakersfield, California, is an example of this, both as someone who was inspired and inspires others.

Lal attended one of SPE’s Introductory Reservoir Engineering Courses in 2013, which featured a presentation by 2010 SPE President Behrooz Fattahi. He was quickly made aware of the various ways that SPE can help you engage and learn with other aspiring engineers, as well as the SPE resources such as OnePetro.

Lal joined as a member of the San Joaquin Valley Section and was nominated as the 2013–2014 young professional liaison. This involved hosting technical talks, a focus on leadership and financial planning, and involvement in social activities. This year Lal is working directly with Fattahi focusing on enhanced heavy oil recovery for the 2017 SPE Western Regional Meeting in Bakersfield.

In addition to hosting events Lal maintains a wider perspective and is an advocate for social responsibility.

“It is imperative to look at energy in terms of both pros and cons; looking at either in isolation can be short-sighted. Therefore, I want to continue building my technical skills, do my part in being a responsible engineer, and share my knowledge with the communities we touch.”

He puts this in practice through raising awareness by writing articles for TWA and his own weekly blog on LinkedIn called Tuesdays with Tarang, which covers a wide range of topics relating to the energy industry. Outside of SPE, he mentors at local schools, promoting STEM topics and goal-setting from an early age. He established a professional development workshop through student organizations at his alma mater, UCLA, and is an adjunct lecturer at the local Community College focused on building math skills and helping students attend a 4-year university degree. Lal has become an inspiration to others in the same way he was inspired.  

The purpose of “Spotlight on Young Professionals” is to share interesting voluntary contributions and technical achievements of young professionals with their peers. If you know someone who deserves to be put in the spotlight, tell us via our online form.