Blog & News

Meet the 2019 Council Candidates – Jim Henderson, President Elect

Thu 01 November 2018

Category: Council, Elections, Membership

I graduated in geology from the University of Aberdeen in 1978 and joined GSI, where I learned the rudiments of seismic data processing and interpretation. I moved to Ranger Oil in 1986 and worked mainly in the North Sea, Pakistan and Angola. In 1997 I decided to freelance as an independent consultant. In 2005 I joined Fairfield Energy as a co-founder but returned to consultancy in 2011. Despite the recent ups and downs of our industry my consultancy has survived (just!) and is active again. I have recently become more involved with academia, teaching and mentoring students, and currently hold honorary positions at Imperial College and Durham University. I am also on the External Advisory Board for the Geophysics MSc. at the University of Leeds.

Throughout my career, I have benefited enormously from the PESGB. Access to conferences, lectures and the social networking that flows from being a member are unsurpassed. It is tremendous value and above all, a friendly and welcoming society. Furthermore, I am an active contributor, having been on the PESGB Council from 2008 to 2010 as First Vice President. During my tenure, I was responsible for initiating the Stoneley Lecture which has now evolved successfully into the PESGB’s major outreach event. I am also a member of the Geophysics Special Interest Group and have been actively involved in putting together topical seminars and other events since 2008. We are currently preparing an exhibition on the history of geophysical exploration in the UK for PETEX 2018. I was awarded PESGB Honorary Membership in 2016.

For me, the future challenges for the society are:

How does a society with “Great Britain” in its name offer itself relevantly to a progressively more internationally based membership? The Africa Conference is one very obvious success story but are there other things we can do? For example, could there be a greater role for international regional groups?

Many long term members are close to, or have already retired. Can we retain their interest and participation in the PESGB? I believe there is an opportunity here to capture the 50+ year evolution of the UK oil and gas industry. Company histories, personal memories, documents and artifacts should be brought together to tell that story before it is too late and I think there is a role for the PESGB’s membership in making this happen.

At the other end of the spectrum, our younger members have perhaps been hardest hit by the 2014 downturn. It has been difficult for graduates and young professionals to find jobs and many have been forced to contemplate careers elsewhere. However, the commonly touted “generation change” is already upon us and we can’t afford to lose the hard won skills of young professionals. Can the PESGB retain these members and encourage continued interest in the geosciences?

I believe I am well placed to contribute to the future of the PESGB through my professional experience and active participation in the society over many years. I welcome the opportunity to stand for the position of President Elect.

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