Introduction to Marine Site Characterization Course

Earl Doyle
Shell Retired, Independent Consultant

Earl H. Doyle received his B.S.C.E. and M.S. Ocean Engineering degrees from the University of Rhode Island and retired from Shell Oil Company in Houston after more than 30 years of employment. At Shell he was responsible for the company’s deepwater geotechnical and foundation design activities. This included the integration of high-resolution geophysical data to a geological model from which development assessments were made. During his first 17 years, he was involved in geotechnical engineering research at Shell Development Company. While there, he was responsible for the development of the Remote Vane and the EDO deep tow system and its extensive use on the U.S. East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. For his last 13 years, Doyle led the geohazard, geotechnical and foundation design efforts for several important structures, including the Xijiang structures offshore China, several shallow water Gulf of Mexico platforms and the Auger, Mars, Ram/Powell and Ursa Tension Leg Platforms (TLP’s). He has authored or co-authored more than 40 publications in the geotechnical and geoscience field. Doyle presently is a consultant in the area of geotechnical engineering and integrated geoscience studies and specializes in the design of pile foundations for TLP’s where he has designed pile foundations for more than half of the world’s installed TLP’s.

Shawn Williamson
Permitting Supervisor for Gulf of Mexico Exploration, BHP

Shawn Williamson is the Permitting Supervisor for Gulf of Mexico Exploration at BHP Billiton Petroleum in Houston, Texas.  He previously worked as a Geohazards Interpreter with BHP Billiton.  Prior to joining BHP Billiton in 2003, Shawn was a Geosciences Team Manager with Fugro GeoServices. He has over 20 years of petroleum industry experience and has performed shallow hazards assessments for offshore wells and field developments in the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, Venezuela, Brazil, Nigeria, Gabon, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Myanmar, and South China Sea.  While at BHP Billiton, he has participated in well planning teams for over 60 subsalt wells in the Gulf of Mexico.  He was responsible for planning, acquisition, and integration of the geophysical and geotechnical site investigation program for the Shenzi Field. Shawn is an active member of the Society of Underwater Technology serving as member of the Executive Board and member of the Houston Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee.  He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Operators’ Geohazards Forum. Shawn holds a B.S. degree in Geology from Millsaps College and a M.S. degree in Geology from Texas A&M University.  He is a licensed Professional Geologist in the State of Texas.

Daniel McConnell
Offshore G&G&G projects, Fugro

Dan has near twenty years of experience in marine geology and geophysics- mostly for industry projects. He specializes in high resolution surveys, geochemical, and geotechnical data in support of offshore engineering and drilling operations. He has also contributed to the recognition of gas hydrate phenomena in seismic data. Gas hydrates (clathrates of natural gas and water) are currently being investigated as a potential unconventional hydrocarbon resource. In 2003, Dan started AOA Geophysics’ Houston-based geohazard consulting group. Dan and his team assisted the US Department of Energy to prospect for gas hydrate deposits in sands in the Gulf of Mexico culminating the landmark Leg II expedition in the Gulf of Mexico in 2009. He and other principals sold AOA Geophysics to Fugro in 2011. Dan is currently responsible for facilitating Offshore G&G&G projects for Fugro including gas hydrate hazard and resource projects, seabed mining, and smart geochemical surveys. Additionally, some of his hobbies are cycling, camping, BBQ, live music, and the arts.

Andrew Haigh
Geophysical Manager, Ocean Geo Solutions Inc.
Andrew received his BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Geology and Materials Science from University of Sunderland (UK) in 1992. Andrew worked as a Global Field Marine Geophysicist and then Offshore Survey Party Chief for 6 years, before becoming assistant Geophysical Manager for Gardline Surveys Ltd operations in the UK. In 2000 Andrew accepted a position as Geophysical Manager with the goal to establish a geohazard interpretation consultancy service in Houston, Texas, which grew to presently employ over 25 professionals. His experiences include extensive offshore marine geohazard projects of many types, from all oceans, and most countries with an active energy industry. Andrew also leads a team of professionals in an educational outreach effort to schools and colleges across Houston and beyond with the aim of bringing industry experienced professionals into classrooms to disseminate knowledge to students and future industry professionals.

Daniel Lanier
Owner and President, GEMS
Mr. Lanier started his career in 2000 as a staff geologist with MARSCO, Inc., and joined Geoscience Earth and Marine Services (GEMS) in August 2001.  During his time at MARSCO and GEMS, Daniel was involved in the field, laboratory, engineering, and geological phases of offshore geotechnical site investigations and geophysical data interpretations.  Mr. Lanier has extensive expertise interpreting side-scan sonar, swath multibeam bathymetry, multibeam backscatter, sub-bottom profiler, and 2D/3D seismic datasets.  He specializes in integrating geophysical and geotechnical data for the purpose of planning offshore field developments, pipelines, and geologic hazard avoidance/mitigation.  During the years, Mr. Lanier also worked as the offshore project leader designing, developing, and managing both high-resolution geophysical and geotechnical surveys. Daniel purchased GEMS in November 2017.

Jan Van Smirren
Oceanographer, Ocean Sierra LLC

Since graduating with a B.Sc. in Geology and Oceanography (1981) and M.Sc. in Oceanography (1982), Jan has gained over 35 years of experience in commercial oceanography, most recently as Managing Director of BMT Energy.  Prior to this he was Metocean Global Business Line Manager at Fugro where he was responsible for overseeing all meteorological, oceanographic and environmental activities.  Jan’s experience includes director level appointments in Holland, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States, with planning, management,  business development and operational responsibilities.  His oceanographic experience has seen him undertake studies in the North and South Atlantic, South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Pacific Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.  This has included both field measurement and monitoring system campaigns and the detailed analysis and interpretation of data.

Robert Little
Senior Advisor for Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Geohazards, Chevron
Rob received his B.S. (Summa Cum Laude) and M.S. degrees in Civil Geotechnical Engineering from Texas A&M.  He worked as project engineer, project manager, senior consultant, and engineering manager for geotechnical consultancies before joining Chevron in 2010.  His primary areas of expertise are in development of offshore site investigation programs, design of offshore foundations and application of geotechnical engineering knowledge and methods in the evaluation of geologic hazards.  He has led offshore site investigations worldwide and has a broad experience in foundation design in a wide range of soil conditions.  Some of the more challenging design problems he has tackled include finite element modeling of subsidence and seabed displacements resulting from offshore production and mining, wave-induced seabed instability and mudflow effects on facilities in delta sediments, quantification of the risk of earthquake-induced slope failures and subsequent debris flow and turbidity current effects on infrastructure, and the effects on subsea facilities and well stability that can result from the dissociation of naturally occurring gas hydrates in the shallow seabed. Rob currently chairs API RG7 - ISO Panel 4, helping establish international standards for offshore foundation design of fixed and floating structures.

Dan Spikula
Senior Geotechnical Engineer, BP America Inc.

Dan Spikula is a Senior geotechnical engineer at BP America, Inc. The research he has performed is focused on soil behavior as an engineering material, integrated site investigation and interpretation of ground conditions, and slope stability, shallow foundations, deep foundations and pipelines. 

Dr. Zenon Medina-Cetina
Associate Professor, Civil, Petroleum, Ocean Engineering, and Geography at Texas A&M University

Dr. Medina-Cetina is Associate Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering, Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering, and Ocean Engineering at Texas A&M University, where he leads the Stochastic Geomechanics Laboratory @SGLtamu (2008 - Present). He is a Civil Engineer from the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan UADY Mexico (Soil Dynamics, 1994), and a Master of Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico UNAM (Geostatistics, 1996). Dr. Medina-Cetina obtained a Masters of Science and a Philosophy Doctorate at The Johns Hopkins University (Stochastic Mechanics, 2001- 2006). He held a dual appointment at the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute NGI in Oslo Norway (2006 - 2008), in the International Centre for Geohazards ICG and in the Computational Geomechanics Division CGD. His research and consulting interests in Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics include System's Mapping of Risk, Reliability and Sensibility Analysis; Probabilistic Site Characterization; and Uncertainty Quantification of Multi-Physics Geomechanical Processes. He was elected twice Chair of the SUT's Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics committee (OSIG), where under his leadership set OSIG's Vision and Mission, while working together with the most recognized leaders in Geology, Geophysics, Geotechnical Engineering, Geomatics, Metocean, and Marine Archaeology in the USA. Currently, he is Chair & President of the Society for Underwater Technology in the US (SUT-US).

Kerry Campbell
Principal Geoscientist, Fugro USA Marine, Inc
Kerry J. Campbell began his professional career in 1968 as a Research Geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey mapping glacial and Holocene deposits in New England.  Subsequently, he helped pioneer sea-ice and permafrost surveys in the Arctic using radar profilers.  For the past 40+ years, he has been a marine engineering geoscientist with Fugro and predecessor companies.  Mr. Campbell’s specific areas of expertise include interpretation of marine high-resolution seismic data for shallow hazard and engineering purposes for both shallow and deepwater sites scattered around the world, including sites offshore North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia.  He has also helped pioneer integrated, multi-disciplinary studies of offshore geohazards and soils, the use of 3-D exploration seismic data for drilling hazards assessment and preliminary engineering-geologic assessment of deepwater areas, and assessment of gas hydrates as a potential geohazard.  Mr. Campbell is author or co-author of some 40 technical papers in geology, geophysics, and engineering geology.  He holds BS and MS degrees in geology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He is a Registered Geologist, Geoscientist, or Engineering Geologist in Alaska, California, and Texas.  Mr. Campbell is currently Principal Geoscientist in the Houston office of Fugro Marine Geoservices, Inc.

Chris Hadley
Senior Engineer, Shell

Chris Hadley has a professional career spanning more than twenty five years, including the past seventeen years with Shell, and  has been involved in many aspects of marine geotechnics, foundation design and installation.  He has worked on projects in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and in soil conditions ranging from soft clays to rock.   More recently, he has specialized in quantitative geohazard risk assessments and integrated site characterization of deepwater sites including Shell’s Gumusut-Kakap, Malikai and Stones developments.  He serves on the ASCE OTC committee and is a member of API Resource Group 7 on geotechnical engineering.  Chris has a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Durham in the UK and is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Texas.

Dr. Victor Taboada
President and CEO, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Houston, Texas
Victor Taboada received his Ph. D. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1995. His academic career has included teaching soil dynamics and Advanced Soil Dynamics at the Graduate School of Engineering, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). He was Research Professor of the Institute of Engineering, UNAM (1995-2005), and Chairman of the Department of Soil Mechanics of the School of Engineering, UNAM (1996-2001). In 1986, he was Head of the Office of Construction License in Netzahualcoyotl City (with a population of 5 million people), State of Mexico, Mexico. He is president and CEO of the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute in Houston, Texas. He has also had extensive engineering and consulting experience, including three years as visiting researcher in Geotechnical Offshore Studies at the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (1997-1999), and evaluation studies of the seismic response of soil deposit and seismic soil-structure interaction in the US, West Africa, Mexico and Venezuela. His main research and consulting interest lies in the field of Offshore Geotechnical Engineering and Soil Dynamics. The National Counsel of Science and Technology (CONACYT, Mexico), National Science Foundation (NSF), U.S. Army Corp of Engineer and Keller Latin America have supported his investigations. Recent work includes studies on dynamic properties of Bay of Campeche soils for seismic site response analysis, liquefaction of granular material on Centrifuge, the development of new procedures for the evaluation of earthquake-induce lateral spreading and identification of soil’s dynamic parameters for use in seismic response analysis.
Victor won the award of Exemplary Citizen in the world of the state of Sinaloa in research and technology from the State of Sinaloa, Mexico in 2013. The Gabino Barrera Award for his contribution to practice given by the Mexican Academy of Civil Engineers in 2003, and the Manuel Gonzalez Flores Award for his research on liquefaction, from the Mexican Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering in 1998. He is member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee of the Society for Underwater Technology in Houston, and the International Society of Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE). 
Victor has lectured extensively in Mexico, Japan, New Zealand, England, France, Thailand, Brazil, US and Colombia, including participation in short courses on seismic response of foundations in Mexico, US and Japan. He his author or co-author of 94 publications.

Andy Hill
Global Technical Authority, Marine Geohazards, BP

Andy Hill is a leader in the field of marine geophysical site investigation. Based in Houston he is BP’s Global Technical Authority for Marine Geohazards characterization.  With an MSc in Marine Geology and Geophysics from UCL, he has spent his entire 37 year career in marine geophysical site investigation, 31 years with BP. He is Chair Elect of the Houston SUT OSIG Committee.

Michael Pfister
Seismic Acquisition Specialist, BP America Inc.

Michael Pfister received an M.Sc in Geology from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland and an M.Sc in Petroleum Engineering from the University of the West Indies. He has 25 years of varied oil & gas industry experience ranging from operations geology, site investigation and seismic acquisition. He joined BP in 2000 and has designed, planned and implemented seismic projects for streamer, ocean bottom, land and borehole seismic. He currently holds the role of Global Borehole Seismic Technical Expert within BP.

UT3 Issue 3 2019

UT3 is the online magazine of the Society for Underwater Technology. It is a new single authoritative source on subsea engineering for those that do not have time to look at the various subsea news sites.

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