Monday, October 7, 2013
Looking Forward to ATA54: Science and Technology Division Distinguished Speaker
This year’s Distinguished Speaker is John Moffitt, whose CV includes about 50 years of experience in the oil business. Although he’s an industry veteran and is usually surrounded by oil and gas experts, he’s also very experienced talking to groups who don’t have advanced backgrounds in science and engineering. I was fortunate to meet him in person recently at a local ATA event, and found him to be an energetic, down-to-earth speaker.
John will be presenting an Action-Packed Tour of a Modern Offshore DrillingOperation (ST-2, Thursday, 2:30pm–3:30pm). The brief description from the conference website reads:
“The speaker will discuss the types of hardware designed for use on modern oil exploration rigs, from the crown to the sub-sea. Attendees will learn about the variety and sizes of large steel robots that now do much of the heavy lifting on modern drilling rigs. Development and application will also be discussed. Questions will be encouraged.”
His talk in San Antonio will cover the offshore rig from birth to death. He’s currently managing a group of engineering working on the end of a rig’s life cycle.
When I met him, John had very interesting stories to tell about the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. He can describe how a series of oversights, mistakes, and poor planning culminated in one bad decision by one person, which ultimately killed 11 people and destroyed a multi-million-dollar drilling rig. When you hear him speak, you’ll immediately know he’s excited about his subject.
John will also be presenting Earth Extinction Events: History and Future (ST-4, Friday, 10:00am–11:00am):
“Let's take a look at the very big picture of Earth's past three orbits around the Milky Way-and even go a bit into the future. Many are familiar with the theories associated with Earth's most recent extinction events, but few are aware that the planet's past is filled with a far more complex pattern of extinction events and probabilities. The speaker, a geologist and astrophysicist, will examine paleogeography and astrophysics in the context of our complex solar system. Learn how life on Earth has been significantly affected by the geometry and violence in a very crowded solar neighborhood.”
Clearly, John has an impressively broad scope of knowledge. You can tell from the way he speaks that he sees the big picture, taking a trans-disciplinary approach to studying the natural world. Both of his sessions are sure to provide new insight to beginners and experts alike.