ITF Board Members

ITF is a not-for-profit organisation that serves its members.

The Board will therefore comprise a few executive Directors and a majority of non-executive Directors who together bring the relevant skills and experience required.

Non-executive Directors will often be from current or recent Member companies' employees and current or recent employees of developers. All Directors act as individuals rather than as representatives of any group or organisation and have a duty to execute their duties in the best interests of ITF.

It is recognised that current and recent employees of member companies and developers will usually not fulfil the requirements of independence set out in the UK Corporate Governance Code. However the Board are not involved in the selection of joint industry projects to be supported (this is the decision of individual members). Accordingly it is believed that the above selection criteria will ensure the most effective governance of the company.

To further ensure the avoidance of actual or potential conflicts of interest, the Board will:

  1. Seek to have some Directors with a greater degree of independence
  2. Avoid situations where a Director is also the ITF Member company representative
  3. Rigorously declare and consider all potential conflicts of interest and avoid situations where such conflicts could affect the judgement of the Board

john wishart

John Wishart


John leads the Energy business of Lloyd’s Register, the world’s oldest technical authority on safety and risk management working around the world across 237 locations to help organisations comply with regulations and industry best practice so they can operate safely and productively.

Before joining Lloyd’s Register in December 2011, John was President of GL Noble Denton responsible for the organisation’s growth strategy and leading the integration of multiple heritage businesses. In 2008 he was Group MD of Noble Denton guiding the organisation through the
merger with GL. 

John has held a wide range of leadership positions across the consulting, contracting and operator sectors with John Brown, BP, Genesis Oil & Gas Consultants which he helped to establish. He spent 10 years in Houston rising to the position of President and CEO at Technip Americas and in 2007 he was accountable for Technip’s regional E&C business covering the Americas. He has a strong industry network and has gained exposure to the nuclear, power and renewable energy industries. He is accustomed to developing business with a range of stakeholders including government, IOC’s, NOC’s and service companies around the world.

paddy 12

Dr Patrick O'Brien, FREng

Chief Executive
+44 (0)1224 222410

A Chartered Engineer with 30 years’ oil and gas industry experience, Dr O’Brien started his career with riser design specialist MCS, where he helped to lead the business through successful product commercialisation, international growth and subsequent integration into Wood Group Kenny.  Dr O’Brien is a recognised expert in subsea riser mechanics, riser design and flexible pipe technology and has established an international reputation for his contributions to the industry.

In April 2013, Dr O’Brien joined ITF as Chief Executive and is responsible for driving forward ambitious global growth plans for the organisation, while strengthening the development and deployment of innovative technology for the oil and gas industry’s most pertinent challenges through collaborative projects among its members.

Dr O’Brien is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng); he is an Honorary Professor of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen and an Adjunct Professor of Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway.  Up until recently, for a period of close to ten years since its formation in 2004, Dr O’Brien served on the board of industry body Subsea UK.

steve garrett

Steve Garrett

Non-Executive Director

Steve Garrett is currently Manager of Chevron's UK Global Technology Centre (GTC) in Aberdeen, Scotland. The UK GTC provides multi-functional support for major projects worldwide.

Following a BSc in Geology from University of Bristol (1980) and an MSc in Applied Geophysics from the University of Birmingham (1981), Steve joined the British Antarctic Survey to lead three seasons of fieldwork investigating the crustal structure of the Antarctic Peninsula and West Antarctica, leading to a PhD (1987). He joined Chevron in exploration in London, with further assignments in Calgary, Southern California (twice) and Aberdeen (twice). Most of his energy industry work has involved leading teams applying technology in field development and reservoir management for gas, water flood and heavy oil steam flood fields in NW Europe and North America, together with people development for earth scientists in Chevron.

Steve has published over 20 papers on geophysics, tectonics, earth modeling, regional stratigraphy and reservoir characterisation. He was the first Vice-President of the gOcad research consortium at the start of successful commercialisation of this modeling environment. He was quoted by the New York Times in the 2007 article on the application of technology to sustain production from mature fields. He is a director of the Centre for Research into Earth Energy Systems (CeREES) at Durham University, and is 2011 President of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain (PESGB).

neil kavanagh

Neil Kavanagh

Non-Executive Director

Originating from Leeds, Yorkshire in UK, Neil graduated From University Of Manchester with Honours Degrees in Engineering and Management in 1986.

An International oil and gas career followed working with Shell in various production and engineering roles in North sea, Brunei and Oman in middle east. Subsurface development roles followed in Australia (Melbourne) and later Woodside (Perth) where Neil has been based since 1999 working as Production Technologist, Well Integrity Authority, Completions and Subsea Systems Manager and then Chief Science and Technology Manager.

Passions include deepwater development technology, operational excellence, continuous improvement and bringing cost effective gas development to Australia.

Out of work: Enjoys a weekend organic farm, plays guitar and has four children.

jeremy cutler

Jeremy Cutler

Non-Executive Director

Jeremy Cutler is currently Head of Technology Innovation within the Geoscience Research Centre (GRC) at Total Exploration & Production in Aberdeen. Following a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Exeter University Jeremy served a three year Short Service Commission with the British Army as a platoon commander in The Light Infantry.

In 1985 he joined BP Exploration as a petroleum engineer in Aberdeen working first as an economist and then offshore on well logging and testing operations before moving to Stavanger, Norway as a production engineer on the ULA platform. In 1989 he was assigned to BP Exploration Frontiers International (XFI) in London where he worked on the evaluation of prospects and the economics for the east coast Canada and deep water Angola exploration acreage.

After studying a full time MBA at Warwick University Jeremy joined Total Oil Marine in London as a development architect working on North Sea assets before moving to Aberdeen and further afield to Bergen, Norway on secondment to Norsk Hydro’s Troll subsea project. In 1996 he transferred to Paris to work for three years in Total’s Advanced Technology Department. In 1999 he assumed responsibility for the deepwater Nigerian Akpo Field development studies which he led through prospect evaluation to project sanction before moving with his family to Thailand in 2003 on secondment to PTTEP’s Bongkot South asset team. In 2005 he returned to Aberdeen to head up the development studies for Total’s west of Shetland Laggan-Tormore development. After sanction of the project he spent four years working on the Laggan-Tormore pipeline construction contracts after managing the overall project FEED studies in London.

Outside of work Jeremy has a keen interest in the countryside and enjoys fishing and shooting as well as singing with a local choir. He is married with three children.

Martin McCormack

Martin McCormack

Non-Executive Director

Martin McCormack has recently taken up the role of BP’s Middle East Technology Manager for their oil business and is based in Abu Dhabi. He is a Petroleum Engineer by background, with over 25 years of international and UK experience with BP in technical, operational, project management, supply chain management, people development and technology management positions.

Prior to arriving in Abu Dhabi he was BP’s North Sea Region Technology Manager, a role he held for four years. Martin has been a non-Executive Director of ITF since 2010. 

Brian Mercer

Brian Mercer

Non-Executive Director

Following 20 years in aviation and aeronautical engineering where he held management positions in maintenance, project and programme management, assurance and training, both in the UK and internationally, Brian joined the oil gas industry 10 years ago.  Since coming into the Oil and Gas Industry, Brian has held a variety of positions and responsibilities including managing major business units, pursuit management, managing innovation and running consultancy businesses.  He has also been seconded into an operating company as the Maintenance, Reliability and Integrity manager.  Brian is currently the Managing Director at Theon Ltd where he has responsibility for delivering the consultancy business for Project Management, Field Development, Asset Integrity, Safety, Risk and Reliability.  Brian has a bachelor’s degree from Heriot-Watt University, a master’s degree from King’s College London and is a chartered engineer.  He brings a wealth of experience and diversity to the board from operating at senior and strategic levels throughout his career.

paul white

Paul White

Non-Executive Director

Paul White is a professional manager and technologist with 25+ years of leadership, management and engineering experience in the upstream oil and gas industry. He currently serves as Director of Subsea Technology and has held the position since February 2012. In this role Paul is responsible for new product development and technology investment for a broad business portfolio.

Since joining GE in 1995 Paul has worked in a number of interesting roles encompassing business management, engineering management, and research and development.

Paul is a member of the UK Technology Leadership Board, the board of the National Subsea Research Initiative and ITF. Paul has wide ranging technical interests, with a number of patents in fields such as system architecture and production optimisation. Paul contributes to industry dialogue through journals, papers, and often speaks at industry conferences and events, he is based in UK.

About GE Oil & Gas

GE Oil & Gas is inventing the next industrial era in the oil and gas sector. In our labs and factories, and in the field, we constantly push the boundaries of technology to solve today’s toughest operational & commercial challenges. We have the skills, knowledge and technical expertise to bring together the physical and digital worlds to fuel the future. Follow @GE_OilandGas.


Richard Luff 2

Richard Luff

Non-Executive Director

Richard Luff

Richard Luff is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has been in the offshore oil and gas industry for over forty years.  Following graduation, his career began in 1974 by spending two years offshore helping to strengthen some BP North Sea gas platforms.  He then spent a year in Saudi Arabia followed by five years in Houston with WS Atkins, where he developed technology for the design of fixed platforms in extreme environments and researched the effect of wave forces on structures. 

On returning to the UK in 1985, Richard chose to move into the subsea arena and had a long period working with Norwegian supply and engineering companies during the development of subsea technology.  This led to managing the delivery and hook-up of a complete subsea production system for the MacCulloch field, one of the first North Sea FPSO projects.  Moving to Enterprise Oil, Richard was sent to Brazil in 1999 to manage a seventeen well deep-water subsea system for the Bijupira and Salema fields. 

On his return to the UK, he moved to a managerial role with INTEC Engineering.  In 2007, Richard joined a small technology start-up company developing a fibre optic permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) system.  Following the sale of the company in 2012, Richard returned to INTECSEA as head of the Europe and Africa region. 

He has always maintained a keen interest in offshore and particularly subsea technology, having presented several papers at conferences and is the owner of patents for the installation of cables in deep-water.  Richard has been a Council member of the Society for Underwater Technology and was Hon. Treasurer for six years.  Outside of work, Richard has a penchant for driving old cars and is a keen cricketer, golfer and member of a local choir.

Carlo Procaccini

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