Career development

TWA Energy Influencers 2021

A selection of outstanding young professionals in the oil and gas industry whose work positively influences and inspires others.

What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.
Pericles (Greek statesman, 495–429 BC)

Energy is the world’s most important commodity. Without energy, there is no transportation and without transportation, there is no commerce. While the world economy has a voracious energy appetite, it also has vast energy resources. The supply and consumption of fossil fuels are driving the global energy markets and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Through emerging energy technologies, renewables are anticipated to increase their share in the world’s energy mix in the coming decades.

"TWA Energy Influencers Class of 2021" consists of 17 exceptional young professionals, under the age of 36, who excel in their fields at a level superior to that of their peers, yielding second-to-none achievements. Their outstanding efforts help shape the narrative around key issues in the energy sector for future generations. Yet, above all else, their commitment and dedication to excellence should inspire and motivate us all.

-Andreas Michael, Editor-in-Chief, TWA Editorial Committee

Dhruvit Berawala

Senior Engineer Reservoir Technology, Equinor; Associate Professor II (part-time, 20%), University of Stavanger

A teacher, peer-reviewer, and mentor, Dhruvit Berawala is an outstanding researcher and technologist working on projects that foster a low-carbon future.

Dhruvit Berawala is an energetic young professional who strives for technologies that act as an accelerator for transition to a low-carbon future. He currently works as a senior reservoir engineer at Equinor based in Norway and has worked on multiple projects ranging from ensemble-based reservoir management and drainage, Carbon Capture and Storage prospect evaluation, and optimization of offshore wind farms.

Berawala graduated with a PhD degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Stavanger (UiS) and the National IOR Centre of Norway in 2020. In addition to his full-time position at Equinor, Berawala works as an associate professor II at UiS where he is responsible for a master’s degree course. His research portfolio includes numerical and analytical modeling of complex fluid-flow mechanisms, geo-mechanical effects in chalk, and CO2 injection for enhanced gas recovery and storage in shale gas reservoirs. He published his PhD research work in seven journal articles, seven conference papers, and multiple posters, and has won many “best presentation” awards at conferences. He also taught a master’s degree course for 2 years and supervised several master’s and bachelor’s students in their thesis. For his contributions, the SPE Stavanger Section recognized Berawala with the PhD Student of the Year 2020 award.

SPE plays a significant role in shaping Berawala’s career through regular guidance from its members and opportunities at various scales and platforms. In return, he serves as a member of SPE’s e-mentoring program where he actively helps and guides students in their career development. Berawala is a peer reviewer for petroleum-related journals such as Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering and Journal of Natural Gas, Science, and Engineering.

Manisha Bhardwaj

Data Science Technical Advisor, Halliburton

A trained mathematician, Manisha Bhardwaj develops research strategies to turn data into a competitive advantage for the oil and gas industry.

Manisha Bhardwaj is a data science technical advisor at Halliburton. With more than 10 years of experience in data science and machine learning, she is recognized as a leader and advisor in her field. A trained mathematician, she provides technical expertise related to data science and analytics, develops research strategies to use the latest analytics innovations to turn data into a competitive advantage and makes recommendations for data-driven business decisions. Prior to joining Halliburton, Bhardwaj held technical and leadership roles at Monsanto (now Bayer Crop Sciences). She is a coauthor of several technical publications and patent applications and is an active peer reviewer for many leading journals by IEEE, Springer, and SPE. She has been invited to speak at various events and has served as a judge at many technical and machine learning competitions.

An active member of SPE, Bhardwaj has held multiple volunteer roles at the SPE Gulf Coast Section (SPE-GCS) Data Analytics Study Group promoting data analytics in the energy industry. She is also the past chair for the group, the organizing committee member for the 2019–2021 SPE-GCS Data Science Convention, and a program member of the section’s Diversity and Inclusion committee. She has been selected to serve on the SPE-GCS board of directors for the 2021–2022 term. For her outstanding contributions to SPE, Bhardwaj was awarded the SPE Gulf Coast North America Regional Service Award in 2020.

Bhardwaj holds a bachelor’s degree in physical sciences from the University of Delhi and master’s and PhD degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Houston (UH). She is the recipient of several prestigious scholarships, including the UH First Friends of NSM Fellowship, awarded to the best and brightest PhD students; the UH NSMAA Eckhard Pfeiffer-Alumni Scholarship; the Jack and D’Ann Burke International Scholarship; the Sanwa Bank Scholarship by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi; and the Mukarji Memorial and Ramesh Goel Memorial Prize for outstanding academic performance.

Alexey Borisenko

Head of EOR/IOR Technologies Division, Lukoil

Alexey Borisenko’s active participation and contributions to the technical community of professionals and students helped his SPE chapter and section excel in their activities.

Alexey Borisenko is head of enhanced oil recovery and improved oil recovery (EOR/IOR) Technologies Division at Lukoil, responsible for implementation of EOR/IOR technologies across subsidiaries of the company in Russia, Africa, and the Middle East. He has worked in the industry for more than 14 years. Borisenko previously held several technical positions at Schlumberger, including senior technical expert, senior technical sales support engineer, and fluid technical engineer in Russia and North America. Among his duties were regional technical group management, fracturing operations support, implementation of new technologies, extensive laboratory testing, and unconventional reservoirs projects.

Borisenko has been a member of SPE since 2007. During 2008 to 2011, he started as secretary and then became president of Tyumen State and Oil Gas University’s SPE Student Chapter, during which time the chapter received many awards, including the Outstanding Student Chapter and the Gold Standard in 2011. He then held various positions in the SPE Tyumen Section from 2011 to 2016, leading it to earn the 2014 SPE Award for Outstanding Student Support, the 2015 SPE Award for Innovation, and the 2016 and 2017 SPE President’s Awards for Section Excellence. As section chairperson, Borisenko organized several SPE programs for children (Energy4me), students (Ambassador Lecturer), and professionals (Technical Clubs). He started the SPE Tyumen Section groups in social media for wider reach of the programs.

For his contributions to the Society, Borisenko received the SPE Regional Service Award in 2015 and the SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award in 2017. He is the author of many SPE papers in Russian and English and was recognized with the SPE Regional Completion Optimization Award in 2020.

Borisenko holds a petroleum engineering degree and an interpreter (English-Russian) degree from the Tyumen State Oil and Gas University. He is currently studying data science at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow. He was a 2008 SPE Star scholarship recipient.

Riteja Dutta

Director of Product, Commercial Strategy, Enverus

A champion for women in the energy industry, Riteja Dutta's body of scientific research and application experience distinguish her contributions to the industry.

Riteja Dutta is the director of product for commercial strategy at Enverus, where she oversees commercialization of products across the Energy Analytics business unit. She began her career as a reservoir engineer at Gaffney, Cline & Associates and continued as a reservoir modeling and simulation engineer with the global consulting group at Baker Hughes. She has consulted on asset evaluations and field development planning for conventional and unconventional oilfield assets across North America, Latin America, and Australia.

Dutta holds a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Her experimental and modeling research focused on understanding the impact of fluid migration in unconventional reservoirs, and she was recognized by SPE for the Best Student Paper in 2012. Her published research spans various technical topics and is widely cited; it includes the use of analytics in unconventional reservoirs, improved production forecasting techniques, and modeling rejuvenation technologies by coupling geomechanics and reservoir dynamics.

Dutta began her involvement in SPE as part of her university student chapter. She then served as a leader on the Young Professionals Committee for the SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS). Between 2014 and 2016, she cochaired and moderated the PetroBowl Championships and was instrumental in taking the competition global.

Dutta appreciates the importance of having strong mentors and helps provide guidance to early-career professionals. In 2019, she chaired and inspired the vision for the first-ever SPE GCS Women in Energy Congress held in Houston. The one-day event attracted attendees from around the world to help change the gender paradigm in the industry, focus on building leadership skills, and help students and young professionals navigate their careers. For her contributions to SPE, Dutta received the SPE GCS Regional Service Award in 2019.

Mohamed ElSebaee

Senior Design Technical Engineer, Reservoir Performance Stimulation, Schlumberger

An energy sustainability advocate, Mohamed ElSebaee is a dedicated SPE volunteer regionally and internationally, supporting academic, technical, and career development programs.

Mohamed ElSebaee is a senior stimulation design engineer at Schlumberger. He has 13 years of experience leading integrated stimulation projects in the Middle East onshore and offshore in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. He possesses a wide range of expertise in stimulation, production, and completions domains and has authored more than 15 technical papers on different aspects of reservoir performance stimulation. He also won many “Performed by Schlumberger” awards, the Schlumberger annual awards program recognizing excellence through teamwork, innovation, and business impact, for his outstanding work supporting operations.

ElSebaee has been a dedicated SPE volunteer since 2006, both locally and internationally, beginning with leading the Suez Canal University student chapter and serving as SPE Egyptian Section officer. Appointed as the focal point supporting young professionals in the Middle East and North Africa, he also served on several international SPE committees including the legacy SPE Young Professionals Coordinating Committee (now named the Young Member Engagement Committee), the Education and Accreditation Committee, the Membership Committee, the Petrowiki Steering Committee, and the 2021 Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition Well Stimulation Committee. ElSebaee also mentors several undergraduates and has been involved in SPE scholarship selection in the Middle East.

An energy sustainability advocate, ElSebaee firmly believes in the role of oil and gas industry innovations in providing access to sustainable energy across all geographies supporting social, environmental, and economic development for decades to come. He works toward leveraging the industry value chain, technical expertise, resources, industrialization capabilities, global footprint, and know-how to provide the fit-for-purpose technologies required for responsible, efficient energy consumption across the energy mix and to facilitate the global energy transformation. 

ElSebaee holds a BSc in petrochemical engineering from Suez Canal University in Egypt, completed a post-graduate program in data science and business analytics from the University of Texas at Austin, and is currently pursuing his MBA at Imperial College Business School in London.  

Ismaila Ibrahim

Head, Business Development, Union Energy Services

A certified management consultant, Ismaila Ibrahim applies his outstanding project management capabilities for successes in oil and gas offshore projects and SPE section activities.

Ismaila Ibrahim is the head of business development at Union Energy. A change-maker and a versatile energy professional, his experience spans across the energy value chain from project management and contracts to procurement and supply with a successful record of developing and maintaining high-performing client networks across the oil and gas marine sector. He designs and delivers key strategic initiatives for projects ensuring quality, compliance, and performance objectives are met.

A certified management consultant, Ibrahim specializes in project management, cost engineering, performance evaluation, vessels management, subsea installation and maintenance, and remote-operating-vehicles inspection for offshore projects. His work led to the award of three consecutive contracts worth more than $4 million to his organization. Ibrahim’s experience includes successfully managing and completing visual inspection of subsea installations using dive support vessels, and managing from the technical tendering phase to project award for engineering, procurement, installation, and commissioning of offshore mooring buoys, and procurement and fabrication of pipeline end manifolds. Ibrahim was the recipient of the SPE Africa Region Projects, Facilities, and Construction Award in 2020.

Considered a pillar of support for the SPE Port Harcourt Section, Ibrahim has served SPE in various capacities over the years. He has mentored many young professionals and helped organize the section’s successful 2020 Young Professionals E-Symposium. For his contributions to the section, he was recognized with the Section Service Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019. He represented SPE at the Emerging Leaders Alliance in 2018 and currently serves as a member of the SPE Young Member Engagement Committee.

Ibrahim holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and an honorary doctorate degree from the Africa Institute of Public Administration (Honoris Causa). He is an MBA student at Cardiff Metropolitan University. As a cofounder of a small fast-food outlet in Port Harcourt, he enjoys traveling, cooking, and recently, investing in tech startups.

Siddharth Jain

Field Development Team Leader, Sharjah National Oil Corporation

A certified project manager, Siddharth Jain leverages his exposure to upstream projects across the value chain to lead innovative projects in integrated reservoir management and upstream digital transformation at his company.

Siddharth Jain leads the reservoir management, field development, and upstream digital transformation initiatives at Sharjah National Oil Corp. (SNOC). Exposure to a variety of upstream projects across the value chain enabled him to achieve rapid growth in his career over a short span of time. The youngest team leader in the company, he played an instrumental role in the latest discovery of a new gas field by SNOC in Sharjah after 37 years. Jain successfully led and delivered the field development plan for this discovery to have first gas produced within 1 year.

Jain played a key role in the successful turnaround of a mature field for underground gas storage. Leading the reservoir re-characterization for storage feasibility, he appraised the potential for well productivity and enhanced recovery in line with the Emirate’s energy strategy. He was also the single-point authority for SNOC’s project to find, archive, digitize, and integrate all exploration and production data in the Emirate dating from 1966. This helped establish the regional technical data archive unlocking new business opportunities and exploration prospects for the company.

An SPE member for more than 12 years, Jain has published nine technical papers in OnePetro. He is the young professional chairperson of the SPE Northern Emirates Section. In this role, he collaborates with regional universities for research and training and helped add two new student chapters to be sponsored by the section. He has been a steering committee member, session chairperson, judge, and panelist in many industry forums.

Jain holds a dual degree in petroleum engineering and an MBA in oil and gas management from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, and is pursuing an executive master’s degree in energy management from ESCP Business School. Outside of the industry, he is a certified scuba diver and volunteers as a rescue and extrication technician at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, for professional racing events including the Formula1 GP.

Sarath Ketineni

Project Manager, Subsurface and Wells, Chevron Technology Ventures

Sarath Ketineni motivates the people around him to give their best. As part of his volunteer work for the SPE Gulf Coast Section, he helps organize datathons and machine learning challenges for young professionals.

Sarath Ketineni is a project manager for the Subsurface and Wells team at Chevron Technology Ventures. In his current role, he scouts for external innovation and leads technology trials to enable the company to deliver higher returns with lower carbon. Before this, he was a reservoir simulation engineer at Chevron’s Energy Technology Company and project manager for Chevron’s gas enhanced oil recovery projects in Permian.

Ketineni is an outstanding leader at Chevron, SPE, and the SPE Gulf Coast Section (GCS) through his service and active contributions to technical areas such as advancing data analytics capabilities in petroleum engineering. At Chevron, he led an initiative called "Elevate" to improve diversity and inclusion across the company’s global operations. Ketineni is the GCS Data Analytics Study Group chair. Under his leadership, the group brought industry leaders in a series of webinars and most recently held its first-ever machine learning challenge. As the Roughneck Camp committee chair from 2018 to 2020, he rallied his team and changed the in-person format to a virtual event to adapt to the pandemic, which benefitted more than 300 students. Ketineni has published technical papers in SPE flagship conferences and served as an SPE e-mentor, student paper contest judge, and Virtual Career Pathways advisor on many occasions. He also serves as a technical editor for SPE journals, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, and Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.

Ketineni is the recipient of two Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant awards from Pennsylvania State University, the GCS Service Award, SPE Journal’s Outstanding Technical Editor Award, and the Publon Global Top Peer Reviewer Award. He holds a BTech in chemical engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras and an MS and PhD in petroleum engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Nikhil Kulkarni

Lead Consultant, Energy and Natural Resources, Wipro

A dynamic young professional with multidimensional networks, Nikhil Kulkarni works to create a positive impact and change in other people's life.

Nikhil Kulkarni is a lead consultant for energy and natural resources at Wipro, working with oil and gas clients to deploy new age technologies and digital transformation. Known for his energy and passion, Kulkarni has been an active contributor to energy initiatives, sustainable development, and inclusivity.

An active SPE member since his college days, Kulkarni has served SPE in various roles. He is currently a member of the Young Member Engagement committee, contributing to global SPE initiatives for young professionals (YPs) and students. He is also the data analytics and digital director and webmaster for the SPE Mumbai section. He is credited with the increased social media presence of the section.

In 2018, he played a key role in organizing the Digital Transformation Workshop at the SPE Bangalore Section in India. He proposed and, along with the team, successfully hosted the first hackathon at an SPE event during the 2019 edition of the workshop. Kulkarni is an advocate of transferable skills and guides petroleum engineering students pursuing alternative career paths. He also mentors startups in execution excellence and fast-paced growth. He is a member of the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition Startup Village Committee.

Kulkarni contributes to many social causes. He supports initiatives that help children with cognitive challenges. During the pandemic, he volunteered with community organizations in India as a frontline Corona Warrior. He actively provided support to many families by arranging delivery of sanitizers, masks, and cleaning liquids; took part in door-to-door coronavirus testing in the city of Nashik, India; and organized grievance counselling to relatives of deceased patients. He also helped to provide food, vegetables, and grocery supplies for many affected families.

Kulkarni holds a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology and a joint executive MBA from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and Washington University. He is the recipient of the Section Service Award by the SPE Bangalore section in 2018, and more recently, Wipro’s Business Excellence Award in 2020.

Mark McClure

CEO, ResFrac Corp.

A young entrepreneur, Mark McClure used his research to identify new and innovative digital solutions to old problems in the oil and gas industry.

Three years after earning his PhD, Mark McClure cofounded ResFrac, a 3D, cloud-based, fully integrated fracture/reservoir simulator technology, to help operators maximize value through the application of advanced geomechanics and reservoir simulation.

Conventionally, hydraulic fracture simulation and reservoir simulation are handled with separate codes, but ResFrac is a combined hydraulic fracturing, wellbore, and reservoir simulator. The company licenses software to operators and also provides professional services, serving operators as a software-as-a-service solution. It is used by more than 35 companies, including most of the top 20 oil-producing companies in North America. Through ResFrac, McClure has organized two collaborative industry studies with operators, one on diagnostic fracture injection testing and the other on parent/child interactions. The company won the People’s Choice and Rising Star awards at the 2018 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition Startup Village competition, and was recognized as a Most Promising startup at the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference Startup Roundup.

Before founding ResFrac, McClure was an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. After earning a BS degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Stanford University, McClure stayed on to earn a PhD in energy resources engineering. His academic research focuses on hydraulic fracturing, diagnostic fracture injection tests, induced seismicity, and enhanced geothermal systems.

McClure has earned multiple awards, including the Hank Ramey Award for Outstanding Research from Stanford University, Best Paper in Geophysics from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, outstanding paper award at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference, SPE Regional Completions Optimization Award for southwest North America, and the SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award for western North America. McClure also was named a Hart Energy 40 Under 40 honoree. On four occasions, he received recognition from journals as an outstanding reviewer.

Siddharth Misra

Associate Professor, Texas A&M University

Siddharth Misra’s work on data-driven workflows for subsurface characterization and engineering positively impacts technology and research frontiers in petroleum engineering and geosciences.
Image credit: shevaun williams

Siddharth Misra is an associate professor in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, Texas A&M University. He is a researcher and educator in the field of subsurface sensing and sensor interpretation, developing new theories and computational tools to better understand the interaction of sensor physics with physical processes and properties of subsurface earth resources. He has been a pioneer in data-driven workflows for subsurface characterization and engineering.

Misra has contributed several inventions, publications, and methodologies to the fields of electromagnetic methods, fracture characterization, petrophysics, and machine learning. A common theme in his data-driven research efforts is to better analyze geophysical measurements and better visualize geophysical processes using advanced machine learning methods to improve exploration decisions. Misra is the lead author of Machine Learning for Subsurface Characterization and the upcoming Multifrequency Electromagnetic Data Interpretation for Subsurface Characterization; he holds eight technology patents.

Misra joined a recent webinar series to train professionals and students in machine learning applications for SPE, Society of Exploration Geologists (SEG), and European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE) members. He is a core team member of the Energy in Data conference jointly supported by SEG, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and SPE, and is also a Distinguished Lecturer for SEG.

For his significant contributions to exploration geophysics and subsurface engineering, he has received several international awards: In 2018, he earned the Department of Energy Early Career Award and SPE’s Mid-Continent Formation Evaluation Award; in 2020, the SEG J. Clarence Karcher Award, the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts Young Technical Professional Award, the EAGE Arie Van Weelden Award, and SPE’s Gulf Coast Formation Evaluation Award. Misra holds a BTech degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay and a doctoral degree in petroleum and geosystems engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Nefeli Moridis

Developer Relationship Manager for Subsurface, Global Energy Team, Nvidia

An advocate for STEM education for girls, Nefeli Moridis supports digital transformation and energy transition projects and works on machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches to reservoir engineering problems.

Nefeli Moridis is the developer relationship manager for subsurface applications at Nvidia, working on the Global Energy team. Before Nvidia, Moridis worked in the oil and gas industry as a reservoir engineer and consultant, focusing on projects in unconventional reservoirs in the US and internationally. She has published 11 papers based on her research and work and has presented at SPE conferences worldwide.

In her current role, Moridis focuses on helping to accelerate subsurface applications, such as reservoir simulation, onto GPUs. She supports the digital transformation and energy transition projects and works on machine learning and artificial intelligence approaches to reservoir engineering problems. She also works to grow the energy team’s reach in greener energy initiatives, expanding into carbon storage and sequestration projects for the industry’s decarbonization efforts.

Moridis has been active with SPE for many years. While pursuing her PhD, she helped create a more advanced set of talks for the Texas A&M University (TAMU) SPE student chapter that focused on bridging the gap between academia and industry through the TAMU-SPE R&D Series initiative. She has served on seven SPE conference committees, notably for the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference and the Latin America and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, as an abstract reviewer and session chair.

She currently serves on the SPE Gulf Coast Section Communication Committee which launched the section’s first podcast on 2 June. She is very passionate about encouraging girls entering the science, technology, engineering, and math fields and is a mentor and group leader for the New York Academy of Sciences 1000 Girls 1000 Futures program.

Moridis holds PhD and MSc degrees in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University, an MSc from the Insitut Français du Pétrole in reservoir engineering, and a BSc from the University of Texas at Austin in petroleum engineering.

Adil Mukanov

Deputy Chairperson of the Board of Governors on Geology and Development, PetroKazakhstan Kumkol Resources

Adil Mukanov is a passionate proponent of SPE in Kazakhstan who founded a new SPE section to promote knowledge sharing among the next generation by bringing world-class experts to the section.

Adil Mukanov is a very passionate proponent of SPE. Mukanov participated in the SPE Annual Caspian Technical Conference for the first time ever in 2016 and was inspired to grow SPE in Kyzylorda, the region where he lives. When he returned from the conference, he presented the idea of establishing a local SPE section to his colleagues. Despite the fact that there are few oil companies in the region, Mukanov was able to promote the idea and enroll a sufficient number of members and founded the sixth SPE Kazakhstani section in Kyzylorda in 2017. He is the chairman of the section, and he and his team have created a family-like atmosphere in the section.

From the time of establishment, the Kyzylorda Section has held nearly 30 technical workshops and symposiums with more than 50 lectures by speakers from all the oil regions of Kazakhstan as well as from Russia, Scotland, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and the US. The section has created opportunities for local professionals, especially for the young generation, to listen and talk to many of the world’s distinguished oil and gas professionals.

In addition to local section activities, Mukanov takes active part at SPE regional events. He was a member of the SPE Annual Caspian Technical Conference program committee, regional student summit committee, regional Petrobowl Qualifier committee, and others, and has presented seven SPE technical papers in the conferences.

A Fulbright scholar, Mukanov holds a BS degree from Kazakh National Technical University and an MS degree from Texas Tech University, both in petroleum engineering. Upon graduation from Texas Tech, he joined PetroKazakhstan as a reservoir engineer in 2011 and is currently the deputy chairperson of the Board of Governors on Geology and Development.

Aditya Mukerjee

General Manager, Business Development and Operations SKO Energy Solutions

With his continuous commitment to SPE in Indian sections, Aditya Mukerjee energized young professional engagement by organizing interactive online events during the pandemic.

Aditya Mukerjee is a petroleum engineer with more than 12 years’ experience. He has been involved in the introduction of innovative and disruptive technologies in the Indian exploration and production (E&P) industry in areas such as radial jet drilling (RJD), transient simulation-based real-time production management, robotic e-line well intervention, and use of data science and digital transformation in areas such as artificial lift and reservoir management.

Mukerjee has displayed continuous commitment to SPE activities in India over many years. He assisted in the formation of the SPE Barmer section and its membership drive and was a steering committee member at many SPE workshops held in Bangalore and Ahmedabad. Mukerjee is the young professionals (YP) committee chairperson of the SPE Mumbai Section and supports YP engagement and membership drives.

Despite the logistical and financial constraints caused by the global pandemic, Mukerjee successfully helped organize online events that brought great value to the members of the section, especially the YPs. The notable events were a technical session on “Digital Twin for Mature Fields,” which has great relevance for the Indian oil and gas landscape, and an interactive 3-day panel series on the “Future Petroleum Engineer,” focusing on the energy transition, digital transformation, and the upskilling needs of YPs in the industry today. The workshop featured panelists from across Asia, Europe, and North America, and from diverse backgrounds comprising E&P companies, service companies, market analysts, SPE technical directors, and academia.

Mukerjee is the coauthor of SPE 185398 on radial jet drilling in mature fields of Oil India Ltd; SPE 194595, a detailed RJD case study; and SPE 202221 on how RJD improves injectivity and conformance in onshore fields in India. He holds a BTech degree in applied petroleum engineering from the University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun, India.

Rodrigo Rueda Terrazas

Petroleum Engineer, Production Performance, TotalEnergies EP Brasil (Brazil)

A young professional who’s active in SPE, Rodrigo Rueda Terrazas works to expand the reach of SPE young member programs regionally and internationally.

Rodrigo Rueda Terrazas is a petroleum engineer in the production performance group at TotalEnergies EP Brasil, on the Lapa Field Operations team, focusing on well performance and acting as a focal point for greenhouse gas reductions, aside from mass balance and metering. He has 10 years of experience in the industry, including field development, production, project management, subsea, and wells, mainly in deepwater offshore projects and pre-salt.

Rueda is an active young professional (YP) in SPE at national, regional, and international levels. He is the 2020–2021 chair of the SPE Young Members Engagement Committee (YMEC), leading the committee in hosting the first international virtual PetroBowl. He is promoting an ambitious awareness campaign for YMEC to best represent and help students and YPs during the recent market downturn and COVID crisis, including using social media presence for YMEC.

In SPE Brazil Section, Rueda is a board member and secretary, and was previously YP chair for 6 years. During his leadership, he led the digitization and expansion of the section’s young member base. He is the cofounder and former president of SPE Universidade Estácio de Sá (UNESA) Student Chapter in Brazil and was the Regional Focal Point for SPE South America and Caribbean region in 2015. He is a former vice chair of the Brazilian Petroleum and Gas Institute’s youth committee and member of the natural gas committee.

Rueda is the author of technical papers and newspaper articles and a former member of the editorial committee for SPE The Way Ahead. He was the recipient of the SPE Young Member Outstanding Service Award in 2019, SPE Regional Young Member Outstanding Service Award for South America and the Caribbean in 2015, and the Brazilian Petroleum Institute Professional of the Future award in 2012. He studied physics at Pontifical Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro, holds a petroleum engineering degree from UNESA, and is concluding a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University.

Marina Tkachenko

Senior Expert, Gazprom

A supporter of diversity and inclusion (D&I), Marina Tkachenko launched D&I events in the Moscow Section and worked to expand them to the regional level.

A senior expert at Gazprom, Marina Tkachenko is a young aspiring professional who has built a successful career in commercial analytics, economics, and project management, initially in upstream and currently in the LNG industry. She has 10 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and is the author of more than 15 professional publications, including a textbook on cost management. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in management from Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas.

Making a positive impact and standing out both in professional and volunteer services have always been priorities for Tkachenko. She has been the young professionals committee chairperson of the SPE Moscow Section since 2019 and led a student organization in her student years from 2011 to 2013. On a pro-bono basis, Tkachenko participated in working groups and conducted analytical research at the Skolkovo Energy Center from 2017 to 2019.

A supporter of diversity and inclusion, Tkachenko proposed to bring the topic to the spotlight in the SPE Moscow Section and energized the section’s D&I activities. During 2019–2020, she organized many D&I events. After the successful events in Moscow, with the support of the SPE Regional Office in Moscow, she helped expand the events to the regional level, leading to an online series of regional SPE D&I meetings in 2020. In these events, several female professionals shared their success stories, discussed typical barriers to diversity and ways to avoid them, and presented case studies on gender diversity promotion and support in companies.

Tkachenko also supports SPE activities related to identifying talent and knowledge sharing. Since 2017 she has regularly served on many committees supporting students and young professionals. She was a student paper contest judge, an invited speaker at the SPE Career Pathways Fairs, and a member of the SPE Russia and Caspian Regional Awards and Student Chapter Awards committees.

Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes

Co-Founder, President, and Director Black Mountain Metals, Black Mountain Energy, and Black Mountain Carbon Lock

Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes has a proven history of building and leading natural resources operating companies in complex operational environments, and excels in international business, project management, fundraising, and new business line construction.
Image copyright: Michael Campbell/Michael Campbell, www.michaelcam

Ashley Zumwalt-Forbes is an engineer with 9 years’ experience in acquiring, financing, and developing both greenfield and brownfield natural resources projects around the globe. She currently serves as a director, cofounder, and president of Black Mountain Metals, a private battery metals mining company; Black Mountain Exploration, a private natural gas company; and Black Mountain Carbon Lock, a private carbon-negative company.

A few months into working for Black Mountain’s oil and gas upstream unit, while investigating a way to diversify the company’s revenue streams to take advantage of the global electrification trend, Zumwalt-Forbes came up with the strategy to start Black Mountain Metals to mine Class I nickel sulfide, which goes into lithium-ion battery cathodes, and copper, which is a conductor in electrical systems. She identified opportunities in Western Australia, raised around $75 million from investors, and facilitated the acquisition of a nickel-copper-cobalt mine called Lanfranchi in Kambalda and 20% of a nickel mining company called Poseidon Nickel. She built operating systems and corporate processes from the ground up to ensure adequate controls on safety and capital expenditure, and established the reputation and brand for the company in Perth.

Prior to joining Black Mountain in 2017, she worked in lead engineering roles at ExxonMobil and XTO Energy, managing drilling, completions, and planning aspects of international shale exploration, laying the groundwork for greater than $1 billion in capital deployment.

Zumwalt-Forbes serves as a strategic advisory board member for Hennessy Capital and is a member of the advisory boards of the Female Venture Fund, TCU Energy Institute, Polestar, and the University of Oklahoma’s School of Petroleum Engineering. She holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Zumwalt-Forbes was recently highlighted as the featured honoree on the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 in Energy list.

Evaluation Process Summary

SPE TWA received numerous high-quality nominations from different parts of the world. An exhaustive, three-step evaluation framework developed by the TWA committee was used. The nominees were evaluated on various scales such as academic and technical credentials; quality of work experience; awards; positions of responsibility; volunteering; and academic, industrial, and social impact. The result was the selection of 17 TWA Energy Influencers whose candidature had the intrinsic qualities of going above and beyond.

A special recognition of thanks to TWA Committee members Vikrant Lakhanpal, Andreas Michael, Thomas Shattuck, Asif Zafar, Bita Bayestehparvin, Mani Bansal, Mohammad Rasheed Khan, Robin Kueh, Abdul Saboor Khan, Nihal Mounir, and Stephen Forrester for their efforts in strategy building, promotion, evaluation, execution, and recognition of the initiative.