Mentors (old)

  • Caroline Muir

    Caroline Muir

    Caroline advises scale-up companies predominantly in the digital and software sector, such as Skyscanner and Deliveroo, on tax incentives and appropriate business models for global expansion, private equity houses on debt structures and the exit readiness of their portfolio companies, and local oilfield service companies managing their tax position.

    Her role is typically focused on tax strategy and optimisation and on managing risk as companies expand overseas. For the tech sector, she also has a role in networking companies and their founders with other contacts. She also has a coaching role within Deloitte and a mentor role at Elevator.

  • Chris Bird

    Chris Bird

    Chris has been involved with engineering and technology since 1977 and been employed in the UKCS upstream industry for 30 years. Since 2000, he has held director positions including technical director for Centrica plc and Western Europe CEO for MOL group. Chris was followed by the discovery Channel for two innovative and technically challenging developments, has developed several new technologies for the industry and won several awards.  

    Chris completed a 5-year apprenticeship, completed both an engineering degree and master’s degree and is a chartered engineer and fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Currently he supports a number of small businesses.

  • Claire Kinloch

    Claire Kinloch

    Claire founded Genoa Black in 2013 following a 20-year career in marketing working for Orange and Bausch and Lomb, and holding Board positions at leading agencies across Scotland and the UK. With an MBA from Strathclyde University and a recent graduate of the Santander Growth Advantage Programme, she is passionate about business growth and talent development.

    With experience in the energy and technology sectors, she has helped companies grow through product and market launch strategies, change management, strategic marketing, brand development, internationalisation, value proposition and messaging, sharing learnings and experiences from working with others and building her own company.

  • Dave Russell

    Dave Russell

    Dave is a Chartered Engineer and a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineers with over 30 years’ experience gained over a broad range of industry sectors including oil and gas exploration & production, petrochemicals, organic pigments production, engineering contracting and engineering consultancy.


    Dave’s key skills include:

    • Project framing
    • Project management
    • Operations excellence
    • Decommissioning, abandonment and restoration
    • Business transformation
    • Research and development.

    Dave has considerable experience in the application of process technology and innovation in offshore oil and gas operations. Dave is passionate about the application of class-leading technology in driving performance improvement.

  • Hamish Milne

    Hamish Milne

    Hamish, a maths and science graduate, and former founder director of one of Scotland’s leading private house builders, is an experienced and financially literate business growth specialist, corporate director and investor in companies from start-up level to larger corporates adding value at all stages of growth and development. 


    Since 2003 he has been a founding director and now co-manager of Aberdeen based Business Angel syndicate, Aurora Private Equity. Aurora have invested in many early stage high growth companies in a wide variety of industry sectors including oil & gas, bio-science, IT, media and service industries. 

    Specialties: Compelling business story and growth strategy, financial appraisal, contract review, nxd roles, mentoring, agitating, business angel investment and extensive contact

  • Jonathan D'Arcy

    Jonathan D'Arcy

    Having established a sound technical grounding in his early career, Jon’s passion for engineering developed to include a love for business growth.  Realising the direct connection between the delivery of engineering solutions and business growth, Jon’s leadership saw his first business quickly grow to over 40 people before, in the pursuit of international growth, he divested his interest to a PLC in August 2008. 

    This appears to have been a contributing factor in the global financial collapse, and as a result Jon was relieved of his duties soon after.

    Jon went on to found Apollo, a technically led provider of value engineering services, which currently has over 75 staff and is more robust than ever despite a cost realignment within its main industry, offshore oil and gas.

  • Mike Dyson

    Mike Dyson

    Mike Dyson has 35 years' experience in upstream oil & gas – mostly with Shell and BG Group.  He has lived and worked in Aberdeen, The Netherlands, Middle- and Far-East and the USA in roles that included wells, production and supply chain.  At BG, as global wells leader, he drove a substantial and successful performance improvement program.  He led Shell’s Production Systems technology program 2006 -2010 and possesses experience in technology innovation, development, piloting and commercialisation. 

    He is passionate about performance improvement and the contribution that advanced technology can make to our industry and the UK economy.  Mr Dyson has a Masters' in Engineering, an MBA and is guest lecturer on Imperial College London's Petroleum Engineering MSc course. 

  • Nick Beeson

    Nick Beeson

    Nick combines a 25 year career in the Oil & Gas industry with personal experience as a company founder in a technology start-up environment. A graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge and holding an MBA (Distinction) from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, he has held a number of Executive leadership roles with Baker Hughes including VP Wireline North America region,

    Managing Director Egypt Geomarket, Eastern Hemisphere VP HSE and Wireline Product Line Director Europe, Africa, Russia & Caspian. He is currently Commercial Manager at Aubin Group as well as founder & Commercial Director of EBar Initiatives.

  • Professor Paul de Leeuw

    Professor Paul de Leeuw

    Paul has worked for nearly 30 years in the oil and gas industry and has worked for a number of companies, including Shell, Marathon Oil, Amoco, BP, Venture Production and Centrica Energy. His broad business and deep commercial background include senior leadership roles in strategy, commercial, business development, planning and supply chain.

    Before joining Robert Gordon University in July 2014, Paul was the Strategy and Commercial Director for Centrica Energy’s upstream business.

    He is currently the Director of the Oil and Gas Institute at Robert Gordon University, Chairman of the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre, Chairman of PlanSea, a Board member of the Oil and Gas Technology Centre and Vice-chairman of Robert Gordon College. Paul is also a regular commentator on developments in the oil and gas industry.

    Paul holds a Master degree (Mechanical Engineering) from the University of Twente (Netherlands) and a MBA from the Cass Business School (UK).

  • Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy

    Peter Murphy is a recently retired Baker Hughes Executive with more than 35 years of international business experience. The last 10 years he was an Executive running large scale oilfield operations and reporting performance to Board of Directors. More recently he was Managing Director of UK, Managing Director of Norway and finally Vice President of Field Management, USA.

    Peter was responsible for developing, implementing and delivering innovative strategies and successfully drove profitable growth in new, challenging and competitive markets. He has a strong focus on safety, execution and customer relations while simultaneously driving for efficiency and synergies across various product lines.

  • Steve Aitken

    Steve Aitken

    Steve Aitken is currently the director of Intelligent Plant Ltd, a small aspiring company that develops digital capabilities for Oil and Gas and other industries.

    Steve has worked in roles beginning as a placement Student at an engineering company where he won an award for most enterprising student in the Grampian region.

    Moving on to software development, he developed software products for the Engineering company, and eventually left to set up Intelligent Plant.

    Intelligent Plant has been going for 11 years - it came second place for growth in the Scotland Fast 50 in 2013, it provides a prize for university students, and he is a mentor of students in Aberdeen University.

  • Steve Bruce

    Steve Bruce

    Steve started in the oil business with Schlumberger in 1980 and has extensive experience in technology development, patent generation, operations, sales and business development in Well Construction, Intervention, Stimulation and Completions. Steve’s international assignments include the Middle-East, North Africa, USA and S.E. Asia.

    In 2010, Steve headed start-up Darcy Technologies from day one and this private equity backed sand control company grew over the next six years, was awarded multiple supply contracts, international patents and was recognised by the industry for technology development. The company was sold to Halliburton in 2016.

    Steve is currently the Chairman and CTO of Deltatek Oil Tools.

  • John Butler

    John Butler

    John is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer and a Fellow of the IMarEST. Having started his career in the merchant navy where he worked on-board Chemical Tankers as a Marine Engineer.

    In 2001 John graduated from the Robert Gordon University with an Honours Engineering Degree and joined Technip as a Project Engineer.

    In 2008 John joined MCS as Project Manager in Aberdeen prior to acquisition by Wood Group. John now holds the role of Business Acquisition Manager for Wood’s Subsea and Export Systems business stream and is tasked with identifying future projects and business development opportunities for Wood.

    In his current role John is also responsible for developing the Engineering, Procurement and Fabrication, (EPF) and Engineering , Procurement and Construction Management, (EPCM) Services and EPCM within the Wood diversification strategy.

  • Garry Millard

    Garry Millard

    Garry Millard is originally an Electronics Engineer, he has more than 38 years of multi-disciplinary experience in a diverse range of companies within the O&G subsea sector.

    He has extensive experience working with Private Equity backed businesses as a CEO/MD and specialises in general management, strategy, globalisation, patented technology, commercial, contracts and business development activity.

    He has a MBA from Robert Gordon University, he is a member of the Chartered Management Institute (MCMI), past Chairman of the Aberdeen Pipeline Industry Guild (PIG) and MCEDD Advisory Board Member (Marine Construction Europe Deepwater Developments).

  • Caroline Roberts

    Caroline Roberts

    Caroline is Managing Director of Astrimar, Chief Consultant and Fellow of IMechE, with over 25 years’ experience in oil and gas, and subsea engineering sectors.  Caroline’s technical expertise in reliability engineering, integrity, technical risk management, and technology qualification has supported development of industry best practice.  She has coached numerous operators and technology developers in their implementation. 

    Caroline is passionate about helping clients understand and prevent failures at every stage of the life cycle from concept to decommissioning.  Since its 2010 inception, Astrimar has been a leader in reliability and technology qualification best practice and is currently developing TQ guidance for OGTC. 

  • Donald Girvan

    Donald Girvan

    Donald works extensively as a Strategy Consultant, focused on SMEs. He set up his own consulting business (Capital Hill) in 2005, worked extensively in Western Canada over a twelve year period, and most recently he has been supporting a number of government-funded initiatives to facilitate/deliver high intensity strategy workshops and diligence work to Scottish companies in growth mode.

    He works across industry sectors and has a particular interest in new technologies. Prior to 2005 he was the Managing Director of Balmoral Marine (now part of Acteon) and Commercial Director of Ferguson Group (now Hoover Ferguson), both based in Aberdeen.

  • Fraser Pritchard

    Fraser Pritchard

    Global experience in corporate direction, commercial development, disruptive business models and energy technologies.  Operating at senior executive for two decades with global corporations, public and private companies.  Unique insights into challenges facing start-up and underperforming businesses and passionate on troubleshooting sustainable improvements in leadership and companies to perform above peers. 

    Co-founder of Columbus Energy Partners® which evolves pioneering concepts and underperforming companies into successful sustainable businesses.  Directed in Chairman, Non-Executive and Director the incubation and turnaround of energy companies across Europe and the Americas.  Certified Director through the UK Institute of Directors.

  • Ian Dougary

    Ian Dougary

    Ian began his working life in 1976 as an apprentice with the MoD in the dockyard at Rosyth, at the age of twenty-three he enrolled as a mature student on the B.Eng Energy Engineering course at Napier University in Edinburgh, he graduated in 1989 with a first. 

    He has for nearly 30 years been a consultant process engineer in the O&G business. His experience covers most areas of field development, design, and construction of upstream and downstream O&G facilities.  He also spent a very fruitful period working for Shell Global Solutions in Den Haag as a Technology Development Engineer.

  • Ian Philips

    Ian Philips

    Ian Phillips has over 30 years’ experience in the upstream oil and gas industry, including 18 years with oil operating companies and 6 years with a major service company.

    In 2007 he became a founding Director of CO2DeepStore Limited, the first company specifically seeking to deliver CCS. 

    He is currently CEO of OGIC – the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre – part of the technology development ecosystem in Aberdeen.

    He holds an M.Eng. in Petroleum Engineering and an MBA.  He is part chair of the SPE Aberdeen Section, a Fellow of the UK Energy Institute and a Chartered Petroleum Engineer.

  • John Macgillivary

    John Macgillivary

    John combines a 25 year career in the Energy and Technology Sectors helping companies grow through product/service and business strategies, with personal experience as a company founder. 

    In recent years John has assisted companies articulate/validate and achieve their initial objectives and goals. Through to complex funding support packages bringing products and services to market.

    John has held a number of Senior Executive positions within the Global Energy Services and Tech sectors defining and delivering business/operational plans and budgets for SME's ranging from early stage businesses to multi-million dollar T/O's. 

    In 2019 John's Company was a Finalist in the North East of Scotland Elevator Awards. 

    John also supports the TechX OGTC pioneer business program as a Cohort Mentor

  • Kenny Wiggins

    Kenny Wiggins

    A successful commercial ‘can-do’ professional who combines 30 years’ demonstrable achievement in international leadership roles within start-up, SME & corporate organisations. He aims to bring zest, passion & team spirit to improve business growth & governance - while having fun!

    With an Engineering degree, an MBA, being a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and being a certified ‘Business Mentor’ he also sits on the investment panel of a Scottish Angel Syndicate. Experience at Chairman, Director, Operations, & Sales Management Levels, across Energy and Technology, Kenny has the platform to define strategy, and drive business integration/engagement. 

  • Sean Girvan

    Sean Girvan

    Sean has a career in O&G spanning 30 years in which he has gone from engineering roles to project management and onto executive board positions within the topsides brownfield environment predominantly.

    His background as a chartered mechanical engineer allowed Sean to work around the world and as his career progressed he gained an MBA which then opened the doors for him to move into more general management roles culminating in Managing Director roles with two SME’s in the £20m-£30m revenue range.

    Sean is currently working within the subsea pipelay sector as he expands his knowledge base.

    Sean also has commercial interests outwith O&G that help ensure a broad perspective on the current business landscape.

  • Stephen Tate

    Stephen Tate

    • Competent / Diligent / Focussed / Hard working / Results Driven Person.
    • Significant Operator Exposure – Amoco / BP / British Gas / ConocoPhillips / Fairfield Energy / INOC / QGPC / Qatar Gas / SNAM / Shell / Talisman Energy / Total E&P.
    • Corrosion / Asset Integrity Lead / Technical Authority – (one of a Team of 10 Technical Authorities at Fairfield Energy 2013 – 2015, for Dunlin / Osprey / Merlin Facilities).
    • Similar positions held previously at ConocoPhillips, Talisman and Total E&P currently.
    • Long-Standing, ICorr - Institute of Corrosion Org. Committee Member (Aberdeen Branch). Prev. Chair/ Vice Chair.
    • Unique Combination of Experience covering all Asset Integrity and Corrosion / Inspection Disciplines, both Topsides and Subsea.
    • Highly practical with good Fabrication / Worksite knowledge.
    • MBA / Asset Integrity Management:
    • Experienced Co. Board Member.
    • Experienced Budgetary Controller / Vendor Co-ordinator.
    • Experienced in Business Development.
    • Experienced Graduate Recruiter / Developer.
    • Experienced Proposals Engineer.
  • Martin McCormack

    Martin McCormack

    Martin McCormack is an independent Technology Consultant with 30 years of international (Colombia, Houston & Middle East) and UK experience working for BP. His most recent leadership roles have involved identifying technology needs and subsequently implementing strategic technologies within BP’s asset portfolio in the North Sea and in National Oil Company operated businesses in the Middle East.

    Martin has a passion for and a track record in supporting technology development and deployment throughout his career, in particular technologies developed by Small & Medium Enterprises (SME’s) to fulfil specific business needs. He has held the role of non-Executive Director at Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) and prior to the formation of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), he also co-ordinated technical activities for the PILOT EOR Work Group, a body set up between the UK Government and the UK Oil & Gas industry to pursue implementation of additional EOR schemes through collaborative ways of working amongst UKCS operators.

    Martin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fuel & Energy Engineering from the University of Leeds in the UK. 

  • Andrew Byers

  • John Kearney

  • John Scrimgeour

  • Jonathan Smith

  • Neil Hartley

  • Sam Pettipher