Principal Data Scientist

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North America


US - Texas - Houston

Work type

Full Time

Job category

Geology, Geotechnical, Strategy & Development, Technology/IT

Date published

23 June 2020

Date closing

07 July 2020 at 00:00 GMT

About BHP

At BHP we support our people to grow, learn, develop their skills and reach their potential. With a global portfolio of operations, we offer a diverse and inclusive environment with extraordinary career opportunities.  Our strategy is to focus on creating a safe work environment where our employees feel strongly connected to our values and objectives, and where the capability of our people is key to our success. Come and be a part of this success.

About the role

BHP decision-makers require a proprietary global endowment tool to represent the embodiment of geoscientific knowledge and understanding that allows alignment with the company strategy to find, own, and operate large, long-life, low-cost assets.    This is strategically critical in identifying new search spaces and quantifying discovery potential capable of delivering quality copper orebodies and petroleum accumulations of interest to BHP globally.  

This role is responsible for executing data science tasks designed to make better use of BHP’s vast amounts of data and develop insights that have business value. This role requires a unique skillset with the ability to merge the rapid developments of computer science and machine learning with the rich depth of disparate and complex data sets such as global geospatial data, vendor and proprietary databases, and legacy unstructured data. We are seeking an out-of-the-box thinker, unafraid to try new things and eager to learn new approaches. This is individual contributor role in which you will be developing algorithms to integrate and analyse data sets as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  In this role, you will be the most senior data scientist on your immediate team and will guide the work of the more junior data scientists.

This role is a grade 12 role.
  • Conformance with the BHP Charter Values, the BHP Group Level Documents, Code of Conduct and relevant internal and external regulatory requirements.
  • Lead a team of data scientists and subject matter experts to develop analytic algorithms and insights from complex, disparate and sometimes sparse data sets using the latest data science methodologies
  • Lead, mentor and develop other members of a data science team
  • Collaborate with Petroleum Innovation Team and Lead, as well as the business to understand problem statements and formulate a plan for how data science can be applied
  • Serve as an advisor on petroleum industry data science trends, competitor activity, emerging technology solutions, opportunities for competitive advantage and for ecosystem partnerships
  • Contributes to the compilation of datasets, critical evaluation of data quality, and delivery to data science platform
  • Contributes to the construction of 4-dimensional geological models at global scale that fully integrates multiple datasets
  • Provides expert data science skills in feature engineering and coding of key components of relevant geologic systems
  • Ability to work with a multi-disciplinary team (data scientists and geoscientists) to solution geospatial problems
  • Timely, accurate, and impactful reporting of outcomes

About You

  • Master’s degree (Ph.D. preferred) in physics, applied physics, engineering, mathematics, applied mathematics, computer science or chemistry from an accredited university.
  • 10+ years’ experience in applying statistics & data science techniques to deliver insightful and useful conclusions from large, complex, disparate data sets.
  • Considered an authority in their field, evidenced by publications in scientific or technical journals
  • Experience as a lead data scientist and mentor, with a history of managing teams of data scientists
  • Excellent interpersonal, influencing and organization skills required to manage data science teams and interface with key stakeholders
  • Experience working in petroleum and/or mining industries is strongly preferred, but other industry experience will be considered.
  • Machine learning engineer with excellent problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrated critical thinking and thirst to learn new areas.
  • Interdisciplinary mind, i.e. demonstrated ability to map experiences across different domains.
  • Demonstrated experience working with geospatial data highly valued
  • Experience in three or more of the following areas will be a plus: natural language processing, computer vision, time series analysis, deep learning, neural networks, and geospatial data modelling.
  • Demonstrated expertise in mathematical modeling and in the development and application of descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics to deliver insights from structured, unstructured and semi-structured data sets.
  • Demonstrated skills in the use of one or more analytics software tool or languages (e.g. Python, R, Matlab, Tensorflow, Pytorch, Theano, CNTK, etc.)
  • Demonstrated skills in data collection, cleansing, visualization, data quality assessment, and the use of analytics to build minimum viable data (MVD)
  • Experience in productionizing machine learning models and have good understanding of ML model life cycle.
  • Good understanding of distributed computing and efficient algorithm design.
  • Experience in working with and analysing complex geospatial data sets, and knowledgeable in Geospatial analytic tools such as ArcGIS, ArcPRO, ArcPy, etc.
  • Experience in working with multi-disciplinary teams, and able to think laterally on data analytics and geologic challenges.
  • Familiarity with Machine Learning as applied to global data sets
  • Recognizes inconsistencies in data or interpretation; resolves or recommends action to resolve
  • Communicates and clearly summarizes technical results and impact of analyses

Supporting a diverse workforce

At BHP, we recognise that we are strengthened by diversity. We are committed to providing a work environment in which everyone is included, treated fairly and with respect. We are an Equal Opportunity employer and we encourage applications from women and Indigenous people.

We know there are many aspects of our employees’ lives that are important, and work is only one of these, so we offer benefits to enable your work to fit with your life.  These benefits include flexible working options, a generous paid parental leave policy, other extended leave entitlements and parent rooms.  


The safety of BHP’s people and our candidates is our number one priority. Due to the unfolding circumstances of COVID-19 and the Government regulations in place to deal with the pandemic,   your working location and/or roster as advertised in this advert may be temporarily subject to change whilst the government regulations are in place. This is to ensure the health safety of our workforce, and to implement effective social distancing measures.  These changes if applicable will be discussed at screening and interview stage. 



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