4th Technology and Innovation Conference


On November 7th, 2019, the U.S.-Russia Chamber of Commerce (the “USRCC”) hosted its 4th Annual Technology and Innovation Conference organized by the USRCC Technology and Innovation Committee. This Conference was held at the Petroleum Club of Houston. 

This event was “by invitation only” and focused on some of the most current global technology trends in leading industries, such as oil and gas and aerospace. Topics of this year’s conference included Operational Excellence, Predictive maintenance, Remote Monitoring and Operations, Augmented Reality, Commercialization of R&D Projects, Start-up Companies and Innovative Technologies. Each sessions was moderated by the Innovation and Technology Committee member and followed by the Q&A and networking. The audience was actively involved in the discussions reflecting their interest in the conference’s topics. 

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More than 80 attendees attended this year’s conference, including, vice presidents, chief technology officers, presidents, senior executives and technology leaders from Baker Hughes, Shell, TMK ISPCO, Halliburton, Emerson, ExxonMobil, Kinder Morgan, TAM International, Radix Engineering, Parker Drilling, Caterpillar, Moody Rambin, Exterran, Plug and Play, Salamander, Houston Airport System, CGG, Occidental Petroleum, Chevron,  Mitsui & Co., Weatherford, Intel Corporation, NOV, Gazprom Trading, Neftegas, Microsoft, Conoco Philips, representatives from the Harris County leadership, venture capital firms, private equity firms and many others.

Welcome remarks were made by the USRCC Chairman and were followed by the sponsor’s remarks from Joel Mastervich, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, TMK IPSCO, who emphasized the rich agenda of the event and greeted the audience on behalf TMK ISPCO, the Gold Sponsor of the Conference.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”SPEAKERS” color=”custom” border_width=”2″ css_animation=”slideInLeft” css=”.vc_custom_1574420774921{margin-top: 5% !important;margin-bottom: 5% !important;}” accent_color=”rgba(0,30,76,0.14)”][vc_column_text]The morning keynote speaker, Jeff Monk, US Energy Industry Executive, Microsoft, focused his presentation on the topic of the “New Principles of Digital Transformation in the Energy Industry.”

Speakers of the first session “Operational Excellence” included Greg Powers, Vice President, Halliburton Global Innovation, and Jose Jimenez, Vice President, Global Strategic Accounts, Emerson Automation Solutions. The session  was moderated by Rich Frogge, President, Radix Engineering and Software. Presenters covered innovative technologies in operations of the oil and gas industry, including, oil field optimization.

“Predictive maintenance” session speakers included Reagan Kinser, General Manager, North Seamless Facilities, TMK IPSCO, Jeremy Hartings, Operations Manager – US South – Machinery Management Services, Solar Turbines Incorporated, Ganesh Nayak, Director, Product Line Development (Oil & Gas), Exterran Corporation, Leo Vitor Leartth Moreira, O&G Upstream Manager, Radix Engineering. The session was moderated by Alexei Tcherniak, PhD, Shell. The speakers discussed topics including digital core, data science applications, predictive analytics, efficiency monitoring, engineering troubleshooting, predictive and prescriptive maintenance and optimization, including, solar digital.

“Remote Monitoring and Operations” session included panel speakers Hani Elshahawi, Digitalization Lead – Deepwater Technology, Principal Technical Expert – Formation Testing and Sampling, Shell, Anders Johnson, Vice President Storage, Kinder Morgan, Richard Arndts, Senior Project Engineer, TMK IPSCO, Michael Bates, General Manager, Intel Energy. The session was moderated by Andrey Klimushin, Emerson. Presenters covered innovative technologies in remote controlling and monitoring systems, including, in the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas.

The luncheon keynote speaker Harvin Moore, President and CEO, Houston Exponential, emphasized Houston’s booming tech economy, shared his view on the importance of constant changes and implementation of innovation in business, education, IT, public transportation, and other areas. He also stressed importance of attracting talent and capital to the region, and promoting Houston as a thriving, and innovative city.  [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

The luncheon keynote presentation was followed by the “Augmented Reality” session, which included Athicha Dhanormchitphong and Kyle Daughtry with ExxonMobil IT / IT Strategy / Architecture & Technology  and Jeff Potts, Cyber-Physical Systems Leader, Baker Hughes. Speakers discussed AR and VR technologies and their implementation in the different fields, specifically in safety training, and showed various VR/AR practical applications.

“Commercialization of R&D Projects” session included speaker panel with Andrea Course, Venture Principal, Shell Technology Ventures, Michael Trudeau, Senior Director, Corporate Strategy Office, Intel Corporation, Ben van den Brule, CEO, Salamander Solutions Inc., and Wade Bitaraf, Founder, Energy & Sustainability, Plug and Play. They covered different topics from selection of the start-ups and their technologies, to spin off of the technologies and R&D commercialization done by the oil and gas companies to the use of technologies in selecting M&A targets.

Afternoon Keynote Speaker was Arturo Machuca, General Manager of Houston Spaceport who shared with the audience current developments in the Houston Spaceport and space innovation developed in and attracted to Houston.

“Start-up Companies and Innovation Technologies” session panel included Sam Cheney, Technology Manager, Majorpack, Inc., Jonathan Avila, Manager, Business Development, Serl.io, Marat Zaripov, AI Driller, and Chris McManaman, Vice President, Product Development, Ignite ETRM. It was moderated by David Diederich, Vice President, Engineering, Research and Development, TMK IPSCO. Speakers presented to the audience their innovations and practical application.

The Conference concluded with the networking session where speakers and attendees exchanged opinions and made new business connections.

We would like to thank all the attendees, speakers, moderators, USRCC volunteers, USRCC Technology and Innovation Committee members and our Gold Sponsor TMK IPSCO for their support.

For event pictures visit our Facebook page.

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“This years USRCC Technology and Innovation conference was very well attended and contained a large amount of relevant content related to the most advanced topics that are dominating the energy industry.  Seeing participation from some of our top partners and customers demonstrates the need for us to connect and collaborate in these types of forums.  I was impressed with the line of questioning in the Q&A sessions after each speaker.  In fact, the only thing I would submit for future consideration is less presentation time, but more Q&A time, where the questioning created some provocative discussions that will continue beyond the event.  On behalf of Microsoft, we appreciate the opportunity to present at this event and look forward to participating in the future. “

Jeff Monk

Sr Industry Executive, Microsoft US Energy Industry, Microsoft US Energy Community Leader
  “It was indeed my pleasure to participate in this event, which I found quite rich and relevant in content.”

Hani Elshahawi

Digitalization Lead - Deepwater Technology, Principal Technical Expert - Formation Testing and Sampling, Shell Technology Center Houston.
“The event was well organized and the layout was conducive for networking. Great exchange of information. I enjoyed the presentations, venue, and the setup  – great work making the conference a success! “

Anders T. Johnson

Kinder Morgan, VP Storage
“I very much enjoyed the program. It is always a good opportunity to learn from others; the presenters and the audience who were very actively engaged and asked insightful questions. Thank you very much for offering me the opportunity to share my experiences in starting up our business. I look forward to your upcoming events.”

Ben van den Brule

CEO, Salamander Solutions Inc.
“It was a really insightful conference. I was completely impressed with the content of all the speakers.Thanks for allowing me to participate!”

Chris McManaman

Vice President, Product Development, Ignite ETRM
“I enjoyed the conference!  The exclusive event was packed with executives and great speakers.  The sessions and panels were very informative and insightful.  The intimate setting provided a great opportunity to network with industry leaders.”

Athicha Dhanormchitphong

Immersive Technology Architect, ExxonMobil IT / IT Strategy / Architecture & Technology
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