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Who We Are

SHIFT is a consortium of academic institutions and industry leaders with a proven track record of developing innovative technology and building companies in the energy market.

The group has vast real world experience of working in the energy sector fortified with extensive research into alternative energy sources with a focus on geothermal electricity generation. Our own research and that of our extended networks has put us at the epicentre of geothermal R&D.

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Innes Auchterlonie


Innes has held senior roles within oil and gas operators (Hess, Talisman) as well as having extensive experience working with service companies. He has played a central role delivering projects as diverse as FPSO mooring replacements, asset life extension, and the revision of state regulations. Most recently Innes has formed and lead innovative technology driven companies, successfully bringing unique analysis techniques for better informed asset management to market, serving both oil and gas operators and financial institutions.
Innes has in-depth experience of project delivery and integrity management of oil & gas assets gained through his work on multiple installations across the North Sea, Canada, Gulf of Mexico, and West Africa.
In addition to a strong practical engineering background Innes also holds an MSc in Asset Integrity Management and an MBA in Oil and Gas Management

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Professor Jon Gluyas


Jon Gluyas is a geoscientist with 28 industrial and 10 years academic experience. He is currently Executive Director of Durham Energy Institute at Durham University UK and is the university lead on UK Industrial Strategy. He began his career with BP Exploration following a degree in Geology from Sheffield University and a PhD in geochemistry from Liverpool University. Jon moved to the independent sector in 1996 first with Monument Oil and gas and subsequently with Lasmo plc. He was variously Production Geoscience Manager and Exploration manager for Europe, working in London, Trinidad, Tehran and Oslo. In 2001 Jon co-founded Acorn Oil and Gas. The company became the first company to redevelop a completely abandoned North Sea Field. Acorn was sold in 2005 and Jon went on to found Fairfield Energy.

In academia Jon developed interests in research in geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage. Jon has published widely including a text book, several memoir and around 150 peer reviewed papers. He has served as the President of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and the Earth Science Teachers Association. He has also served as chairman of the British Geological Survey Board. Jon chaired the development board of what became the UK CCS Research Centre and he is a founder of national research body BritGeothermal.  He was recently appointed to the (Energy) Strategic Advisory Committee for the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

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Dr. Alison Auld


Alison is a Mechanical Engineer whose extensive knowledge of power generation and energy consumption has allowed her to work across industry, government and academia in practical delivery, advisory and research capacities. Her roles have included reducing energy consumption and GHG emissions across the Scottish malt whisky industry and Senior Engineer for the UK government. Her government post included exploring and evaluating innovation and providing technical support in the fields of unconventional oil and gas, geothermal energy, and industrial waste heat recovery. While serving in Whitehall Alison provided engineering and technical support to various teams within DECC and managed projects to provide evidence to inform future government policy decisions.
Alison’s significant body of research on energy related topics includes pioneering work on the generation of electricity from coproduced fluids from oil wells which has informed much of the current development in this area.

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Sandy Petrie


Since joining SHIFT, Kris Ward has consistently brought passion and dedication every single day. Their experience makes them a perfect fit as our Assistant Teacher.

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Nigel Lees


Nigel has over 30 years experience in the upstream oil & gas industry with additional exposure to nuclear, defence and construction activities. His career has spanned across all stages of asset life from EPC projects through operations, maintenance & modifications, integrity management and on to decommissioning and energy transition across a variety of organisations and service companies.
At heart he is a strategist, a strategic thinker with the ability to see the wider opportunity and a business developer with a track record of growing from concept to delivery and beyond. Most recently he held the position of Senior Vice President with Wood Plc having joined the organisation in 2013 with roles including leadership of Strategy & Growth, the organisations Decommissioning capability and latterly its Integrated Solutions business grouping which comprised Operations & Maintenance, centralised Engineering and Fabrication capabilities in addition to the continued leadership of the Decommissioning service line.

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Christopher Blake

BSc MEng

As a Naval Architect and experienced technology developer Christopher has advanced his skills on a broad range of practical energy industry projects while working for both international  operators and service companies both in an onshore and offshore capacity.
In particular relevance to the development geothermal power generation from existing oil and gas assets are his naval and structural expertise and time as a subsea engineer working for Chevron ETC. During this time he led a $5M JIP in development of improved pipeline insulation, working directly to move R&D projects through the phases of technology development.
In addition to having practical experience of fluids and thermodynamic problems in the oil and gas industry Christopher holds a masters in Naval architecture and a Bachelors in Biology.

Young Businessman

Neil Fowler

Assistant Teacher

Since joining SHIFT, River Watts has consistently brought passion and dedication every single day. Their experience makes them a perfect fit as our Assistant Teacher.

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