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Three new Chief Scientists appointed

Reflecting Shell’s continuing commitment to technology and innovation, three new Chief Scientists have today been named.
vianney koelman, john karanikas,dirk smit

On November 9, Shell appointed three new Chief Scientists, bringing the group membership to nine.

  • John Karanikas - Chief Subsurface Engineer in Unconventional Oil in IRD will be Chief Scientist for Reservoir Engineering
  • Vianney Koelman - Project Leader In-Well Monitoring in IRD will be Chief Scientist for Petrophysics
  • Dirk Smit - VP Exploration Technologies in Innovation, Research & Development will be Chief Scientist for Geophysics

After Transition 2009, the Chief Scientist concept was reviewed in order to bring them closer to the objectives of the new P&T organisation and Shell’s new Technology Strategy.

A key change has been to fully embed the positions in the technology organisation, to ensure that the Chief Scientists are better positioned to deliver on business activities and objectives, committing 25% of their time to Chief Scientist activities.

Internationally recognised

Gerald Schotman

Each of Shell’s chief scientists are internationally recognised experts in their field and play an important role in driving technical and scientific skills within the company and in leveraging Shell’s full innovation potential to maintain a leadership position in technology.

Gerald Schotman, EVP IRD and Chief Technology Officer, said: “Chief Scientists will continue to be selected on the basis of their outstanding technical capability relevant to Shell, both in the depth and breadth of their respective field, having achieved both internal and external recognition for their contributions.

“A Chief Scientist functions as an ambassador of Shell Technology, promoting thought leadership in their specific areas of technology. They also continue to play an important role as role model and mentor for technical and scientific staff, as well as provide consultancy services on specific projects and technologies.”

The new Chief Scientists join the existing group members below:

The new Chief Scientists join the existing group members below:

Chemistry, Catalysis Carl Mesters
Chemical Engineering Joe Powell
Separations Jose Bravo
Materials Sergio Kapusta
Geology Bruce Levell
Well Engineering, Production Technology Charlie Williams


Gerald concludes: “With today’s announcement we are initially back to nine Chief Scientists but with plans for further expansion in the future. Please join me in congratulating Dirk, John and Vianney to their new roles - wishing them great success in their important new fields of activity.”