Early Career Profile Network

Early Career Profiles:
Recent bachelors-level graduates in the mathematical sciences


  • Name: Casey Miller
  • Undergraduate school: Northeastern State University
  • Position: Engineering Technician
  • Company: Vintage Petroleum, Inc.
  • Industry Sector: Manufacturing

What he does:

  •  Casey Miller is an Engineering Technician for Vintage Petroleum, Inc.  He has held this position for about one year.  His job involves maintaining and reviewing daily production data to track operating costs for domestic production in the company.  He compiles information to provide details of lease operating expenses.  He also accounts for the costs which may result from natural occurrences such as the mudslides that affected his district in Ventura County, CA in early 2005, resulting in $8.5 million worth of repairs.  Casey can also pin point recurring problems or costs by maintaining data pertaining to well failure.  Some of his job also requires him to compile a ‘Plug and Abandon Summary’ for the properties within his district, which is vital when evaluating the company’s net value.  He also reviews and approves oil and gas allocations to individual wells.

Math on the job:

  •  Casey says that in general, Analysis and Arithmetic are needed to do his job.  Numerical Analysis, basic mathematical principles, and the logical foundations found throughout all collegiate math courses are needed as well on a daily basis.  An interesting example of a project he worked on was the comparison of theoretical production (values generated by ‘well tests’) with actual production data in order to calculate the error factors involved in the testing process.  “This,” he says, “should allow us to address testing discrepancies in the field that will affect the company’s allocation of production to individual wells.” 

Casey's background:

  •  Casey graduated Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College with an A.S. in Pre- Engineering.  He then went on to pursue a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Engineering Physics, which he completed at Northeastern State University.  He says that while the company required entry-level positions to be filled with someone with a degree, they were specifically looking for someone with a math degree because of the natural fit and past success of math graduates for the company.  Casey feels the ability to grasp the unique and technical concepts that compose the petroleum industry is a much needed skill for his job and credits his mathematical background to sharpening such logic and reasoning.

Advice for students:

  •  The advice he would like to give to high school or college students considering mathematics is: “Math is needed in every business or technically oriented field.  Focus on the possible application of the math concepts to which you are exposed.”