00:04 My name is Stuart McDonald, I’ve been working here in Amsterdam for Shell now for two years,
00:11 I grew up in Libya, North Africa, moving back to the UK for my studies.
00:16 My background is in Chemistry and I did my undergraduate in chemistry at Loughborough University,
00:22 I did a placement year in AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company,
00:26 then I did my PhD for Frank Marken at Bath University in Physical Chemistry.
00:32 That was over a three-year period and now I find myself here in Amsterdam working for Shell.
00:39 My job title in Shell is ‘Project Leader of Enhanced Experimentation’ which is quite a broad term,
00:47 to have on a card, but essentially it means doing, allowing R and D,
00:53 research and development, to happen faster,
00:57 to allowing more R and D processes,
01:01 so, it uses a combined set of tools, so from robotics and automation,
01:07 high throughput experimentation, fast analytical methods,
01:14 computer modelling and data basing.
01:17 But the overall theme is to use these tools to allow researchers to
01:23 get useful results faster and the overall theme is allowing R and D to hit the market quicker
01:29 to allow people’s bright ideas to have an impact on the business faster.
01:35 Part of doing things faster is doing things in parallel,
01:41 to get more results, you need to build more reactors.
01:46 It’s much easier to build one hundred of these in comparison.
01:50 So one part of the job is looking at miniaturisation, how do you take larger-scale processes
01:56 and essentially the large-scale process of this is a chemical refinery.
02:00 So you’ve taken it down to this level, can you take it down still further
02:05 and have the same process occurring at a small scale.
02:10 Build many of them and therefore do many more tests and get more data for your process
02:16 and eventually what that means is your catalyst, or your chemical process will be developed faster.
02:22 It’s working with chemists, it’s working with engineers,
02:26 it’s working with geologists, electrical engineers, analytical chemists
02:33 and in a wide range of areas within Shell,
02:37 so at the moment there’s currently running about fifteen projects,
02:42 in fuels, in lubricants, in our oil sands operations,
02:48 in our geology operations, our exploration.
02:51 It also involves going to look at opportunities outside Shell,
02:55 so looking at companies, for example specialists in robotics and automation,
03:02 outside Shell, so visiting companies, seeing what they can do and bringing their technology inside Shell for our benefit.
03:09 So it’s kind of like technology-scouting and seeing if those concepts can work in the energy industry.
03:16 There have been projects in India, there have been projects in Canada,
03:21 in Houston in North America, in the UK, in Germany,
03:26 and also the companies that I work with are from different parts of the world as well.
03:31 I get exposure to a lot of different areas of technology in a lots of parts of the world,
03:36 it’s a real interesting, fascinating job because
03:40 you can be at 9 o’clock in the morning on the ‘phone with a computational chemist in India,
03:46 and then in the evening you’re on the ‘phone with a geologist in Houston.
03:50 So literally, Friday afternoon I’m sitting in a chemistry lab in Bath,
03:56 finishing off my PhD and then on Monday I’m sitting here in Amsterdam,
04:03 with the day-to-day running of Enhanced Experimentation
04:05 throughout Shell and it was just fantastic.