Karen Ochie is a graduate student pursuing a Dual Degree in Petroleum Engineering at the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering, and Data Science and Analytics at the Gallogly College of Engineering, both in the University of Oklahoma. Her current research focuses on the Optimization of CO2 for Carbon Storage and Utilization in Oklahoma. She currently has three publications with the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has been a volunteer of the organization since 2014.
Prior to this, she was a planning engineer with ExxonMobil Nigeria where she was the first female intern in her department. She has professional experience in petroleum engineering, project management and planning engineering, and has a passion for volunteering and giving back to the community around her; both in her engineering space and otherwise. She is very passionate about STEM and is a 1 Million Women in STEM Ambassador. She volunteered as a departmental tutor during her undergrad from her third year through final year and was also the Technical Officer and General Secretary for the SPE Covenant University Chapter; culminating in her being awarded the Best Officer of the Year. She also represented her school at the SPE Nigeria Council Students Technical Symposium and Exhibition (STSE) Regional Qualifiers in a team of four students and qualified till the quarterfinals.
She previously served as the Assistant Career Guidance Chair for the SPE Lagos Section and is the current President for the University of Oklahoma SPE Student Chapter and the High School’s Day Chair for Society of Women Engineers University of Oklahoma Student Chapter. Given these feats, the SPE Nigerian Council awarded her with the Girl in STEM Leadership Award for Outstanding Performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in 2018, the SPE Lagos Section awarded her with the Young Professionals Service Award for Outstanding Performance in 2019 Board – for volunteering selflessly for the Lagos Section, and the SPE Port Harcourt Section 103 and SPE Ghana Section 197 also awarded her with The Pathfinder Award during their E-Summit in 2020.
She is also the founder and director of The Ije Awele Foundation; a cancer risk reduction foundation in line with UN-SDG 3. She also volunteers for several other impactful initiatives such as Mathematics for Life Foundation, European Association of Geologists and Engineers, Dr. Isioma Okobah Foundation Georgia, The SEED Initiatives, and she has volunteered to tutor young children at an orphanage and in church. She holds a bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering (First Class Honors) from Covenant University.