Position: Research Fellow Field: Sedimentary geology Organisation: University of Waikato
Under the influence of his science teacher dad, Steve’s interest in rocks and minerals developed from an early age. It was his early childhood experiences exploring the old gold mining workings in the Mount Te Aroha region of the Waikato that set into play his love of the outdoors and the physical landscape.
Secondary schooling in Hamilton provided him with the opportunity to study geography, and it was a South Island field trip whilst in his senior year at school that cemented an interest in geology.
After spending a gap year working as a civil engineering assistant, Steve then enrolled in an earth sciences degree at the University of Waikato. Following graduation, he then completed a master’s degree – the focus of which was the petrology of shelf and cold-seep limestones found in the North Island.
His developing skills as a petrologist won him a consultancy job with the University of Waikato to work on the fractured oil reservoir rock known as the Tikorangi Formation in the Taranaki Basin. This led to a PhD project, supervised by Professor Cam Nelson, investigating this block of limestone that sits 3 km below the on-land surface of the Taranaki Basin. Steve’s work has led to a much-improved understanding of this important reservoir rock.
Following on from the completion of his PhD, Steve took up a postdoctoral position at the University of Waikato. Apart from on-going research in conjunction with Professor Cam Nelson, this position included teaching undergraduate classes, supervising master’s and PhD students and overseeing the use of the petrographic microscopy room.
A great sense of achievement is gained when you provide your students with job references and see them out in the real world competing for and winning jobs in often prestigious companies across the globe.
Steve has particularly enjoyed team fieldwork, teaching across all levels, and especially mentoring and supporting both MSc and PhD research students.
Dr Steve Hood is now involved in private consultancy work to the oil industry.
This article is based on information current in 2012.