After Nicholas Turner earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Mississippi in 2010, the Austin, Texas, native began working for Baker Hughes, an oilfield service company. As a field engineer III in the company’s Southeast Area Technical Group, he provides technical support to all employees from Louisiana and Arkansas all the way to the East Coast.
“I work in Baker’s Upstream Chemicals product line, which means we do not deal with any part of drilling the well,” Turner said. “Once the well is drilled and production begins, we provide the chemicals that will maintain the integrity of the well as well as mitigate issues that come during the production phases.”
Turner’s responsibilities are equally divided between field work and office/laboratory work.
“Every day is different, and the problems we encounter are very challenging and rewarding when solved,” he said.
Having a mechanical engineering degree and working in the chemical field was intimidating, but Turner’s solid foundation from his Ole Miss core classes gave him the tools necessary to succeed.
“I am on track to graduate from the Engineering Development Program within Baker Hughes,” Turner said. “This is a challenging, three-year accelerated learning program which is both field- and class-based. Each year, there are field and class requirements which are concluded with a presentation upon completion. My last presentation will be in front of various vice presidents of the company.”
Turner’s increasing responsibilities earned over the past two years is probably his most rewarding experience, he said.
“I have been the technical lead on many high-profile projects, which have been acknowledged by various managers throughout Baker Hughes.”
Raised in Madison since he was 4, Turner grew up an Ole Miss fan, thanks to his father, who also attended UM.
“Some of my favorite memories are from the Grove, both on game days and non-game days,” Turner said. “The energy in the Grove on game days is something that everyone should experience.”
As a student, Turner received exemplary guidance and support from Marni Kendricks, assistant dean for undergraduate academics in the School of Engineering.
“She always went above and beyond to help, and it was easy to see how much she genuinely cared about the students,” Turner said. “Another outstanding faculty member is Dr. “Raj,” the ME department chair. From the beginning, he immediately reached out to the students and asked for our input and opinions on how to improve involvement and leadership between upper and lower classmen.
“He always supported out-of-the-box thinking and allowed me to use an original idea for my final project, which I appreciated very much. The memories I have of working on that final project are some I will never forget.”
Both Kendricks and Arunachalam Rajendran, the mechanical engineering chair, have equally fond remembrances of Turner.
“Nick Turner is my kind of story! A very hardworking student who invested well during his engineering education and is now enjoying the fruits of his labor,” Kendricks said. “We love students like Nick in engineering. A true pleasure to get to know and encourage for four years, then a source of great pride for the School of Engineering to be able to claim Nick as a successful young alum.”
“I knew that Nick would be an excellent engineer based on my discussions with him about an internship with GE,” Rajendran said. “I remember him discussing with me about his creative idea to improve fuel efficiency. I always admired Nick for his ability to apply fundamentals he learned in his class to real life applications.”
An outdoorsman, Turner’s favorite hobbies are hunting, fishing, mountain biking, golf and restoring golf carts. He and his wife, Michelle, have no children.