Today’s up-and-coming leaders are helping to shape tomorrow’s energy future. Whether it’s new thinking, fresh attitudes or technical solutions, showcasing their work and vision is of tremendous value to the entire energy industry.
Daily Oil Bulletin’s Rising Stars Class of 2019 is a showcase event of the excellent work done by young emerging energy leaders.
Today, we profile Kirstie Boyle, Interface Fluidics.
After completing an MBA in Global Energy Management and Sustainable Development, Kirstie Boyle joined a boutique management consulting firm specialized in commercializing new technologies. One of her clients was looking at repurposing a biomedical technology for rapidly screening and quantifying relative fluid performance using reservoir analogues.
Her market research suggested that the industry needed this technology. “Do it!” she recalls telling them. “Quit your jobs. Start the company!”
Oil was $27/bbl at the time (2016), but the founder went ahead and launched Interface Fluidics. A year later, they asked Boyle to join them.
"I was employee number five and it's been so exciting and rewarding to see the rapid growth of the company," she says.
As head of revenue generation, marketing and sales for Interface, Boyle has increased sales by 330 per cent in just the last 18 months. The company has 30 employees and closed a US$4.5 million financing at the end of August for further expansion.
This September Boyle was promoted to VP of Business Development.
“It’s been said before, but I really believe we are a technology industry that just happens to produce a natural resource. Interface is a great Canadian success story. As an industry, we need to share more of those stories,” she says.
Boyle’s success is partly due to her ability to translate complex technical concepts into benefits and solutions for specific audiences. She has also been doing her part in telling the story of Interface’s success to as wide an audience as she can find. It seems that the people who are listening tend to be outside of Canada, because more than 75 per cent the company’s projects are abroad.
“On the world stage, Canadians have a really good reputation. We’re known for exporting innovation, but we’re not necessarily first adopters. So typically, you have to leave Canada and then come back to get adoption of a technology,” she says.
Boyle, who also holds a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, strongly advocates for an education in sciences. Her giveback, as the youngest Board of Director with the Telus Spark Science Centre, reflects this passion.
“It’s important to let kids know that science isn’t scary. Science is actually fun and incredibly useful,” she says, recalling the days when her father used to take her to the local science centre in Vancouver, where she grew up.
Boyle is also keen to see more women take leadership positions in the industry. She has served on the board of Chic Geek, which supports women in technology. She is the chapter head of the Canadian Women in Hydraulic Fracturing for the Society of Professional Engineers (SPE) and serves on an SPE special-interest group for reservoir optimization/reservoir engineering.
“I’m not an engineer but so much of what I do is in that space,” she notes.
For four years, Boyle organized Care’s Walk in Her Shoes campaign to raise awareness for girls and women in poverty.
“A large barrier to overcoming poverty is the sheer amount walking [women in development countries] have to do get clean water. This campaign provides women and girls the resources to help them pull themselves out of poverty through education and opportunity.”