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Provided by ASME Logo The American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Plenary Panel Discussion

Topic: Innovation in Oil & Gas – Embracing New Challenges

While it’s true that the Oil & Gas industry is always challenged by some of the toughest physical and political environments, the industry continues to Innovate as it prepares itself to play a major role in the global Energy Transition. Market volatility, demand uncertainty and stringent environmental, social and governance compliance requirements are all driving forces that propel the need for Agility, Technology and Innovation in this sector.

Shareholder driven capital discipline among Oil & Gas companies is now stronger than ever, and it has made it harder for companies to make high investments in fields like Digitalization, Emerging Technologies, Automation, Subsurface Imaging, IOT, Artificial Intelligence, ESG, and other areas that may be considered high risk. The Onshore sector however has been the quick test bench for the industry to test out technologies prior to implementing something across various levels of an enterprise.

Our panelists are the Oil & Gas industry veterans and experts in all things Operations, Technology and Digitalization across the entire value stream of Onshore Oil & Gas. They are going to share some valuable insights from their organizations on how they have steered Innovation against the challenging headwinds that the industry has faced in the recent years and where they see future opportunities for Innovation in our industry. Industry and Academic participants will gain valuable insights that will help prioritize their focus- whether commercial or research related.



Rustom K. Mody P.E.

Rustom K. Mody P.E.

CEO of VinTech Nano Materials
Formerly: Vice President of Technology – Baker Hughes a GE Company

Master of Business Administration in Finance from University of Houston
Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering – University of Oklahoma

Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, USA

Mody holds 22 patents and is the author of over 80 articles, technical presentations and publications. He has won numerous Meritorious Awards for Engineering Innovation. In all, he has more than 40 years of experience in drilling, completion and production of which 32 years with Baker Hughes a GE company in various executive positions in technology. Mody currently is the CEO of VinTech Nano Materials. VinTech Nano Materials is a nanotechnology manufacturer of specialty lubricants, chemicals, protective coatings and cutting tools. Mody is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), International Association of Drilling Engineers (IADC) and serves on various committees. He serves on the Board of Advisors on multiple Universities and Industry organizations.

In 2019 he was appointed:

  • Sr. Fellow of Council on Competitiveness Technology Leadership and Strategy Initiative - Washington DC
  • Visiting Professor for the School of Technical Management Masters Program at Texas A&M
  • Executive Board Member "Pumps & Pipes" an organization made up of professionals from Medicine, Aerospace and Energy Industry. 2007 - present

Mody was the recipient of:

  • 2018 Baker Hughes a GE company "Life Time Achievement Award in Technology"
  • 2017 World Oil "Life Time Achievement" Award
  • 2017 SPE "Distinguished Member" Award
  • 2012 Chad Deaton Diversity & Inclusion Award at Baker Hughes a GE Company



Kevin McMahon

Kevin McMahon

GM US Operations – Shales - Shell

Kevin McMahon is currently running Shell's shale operations in the Permian Basin, West Texas. Prior to this, he was Vice President for Health and Safety in Shell's shale business. Kevin is passionate about ensuring efficient, safe and environmentally sustainable operations and developing people, including young talent.

During his career in Shell, Kevin has held various roles in engineering, engineering leadership and operations leadership in Shell Pipeline Company and Shell Exploration and Production Company. He spent five years as operations manager in the Mars Field in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) in Shell’s Deepwater Business.

Kevin played an instrumental role in the creation of Shell's Offshore Support Engineering Team in the GOM. This program recruits engineering graduates, trains them and prepares them for their first offshore assignment in the GOM. Under Kevin’s leadership, this program grew to be a top field development program at Shell.

Kevin is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in Civil Engineering. He remains actively involved in Texas A&M as Shell's Campus Executive. In November 2019, Shell donated $6 million to the Texas A&M Engineering Program. This donation is divided among the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station's Mary Kay O’Connor Process Safety Center, the Shell Engineering Foundations Laboratory and the Shell Transport Phenomena Laboratory.

Kevin is also a Board Member of Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC), an Executive Steering Committee Member of American Petroleum Institute (API)'s Onshore Safety Alliance and a Recipient of Governor's Award Louisiana Coastal Conservation Association (CCA).

Kevin is married and has two children. In his free time, Kevin enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as fishing, hunting and playing golf.


Richard Lynch

Richard Lynch

Senior Vice President, Technology and Services
Hess Corporation

Richard Lynch is Senior Vice President, Technology and Services for Hess Corporation, a global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas. He is a member of the company's executive leadership team. In this role, Lynch is responsible for the functional delivery teams associated with Wells, Projects, Facilities, Global Supply Chain, IT and Technology & Innovation.

Prior to joining Hess in April 2014, Lynch spent 34 years with ARCO / BP. In his last role at BP, he served as the Vice President of the Global Wells Organization where he was responsible for the safe, compliant, and reliable delivery of all upstream activities associated with drilling, completions, interventions and wellbore integrity.

Under Lynch's leadership, the organization built the Containment Response System to shut-in a well in the event of an uncontrollable leak, created the BP Global Wells Institute to develop the technical expertise of employees and contractors, and established new drilling and completion standards and policies following the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon incident.

Lynch holds a bachelor's degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Wyoming.


Yanni Charalambous

Yanni Charalambous

Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Occidental Petroleum

Yanni Charalambous is Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Occidental Petroleum. He is responsible for the Information Technology (IT) organization and the strategy and deployment of IT across Occidental's worldwide oil and gas, low carbon ventures, midstream, chemicals and corporate operations.

Mr. Charalambous was appointed Vice President, Information Technology in 2013 and Vice President and Chief Information Officer in 2014. In this role, he led all aspects of the company's global IT operations, including oilfield and plant automation, exploration and production systems, information management, business systems and process change. He joined Occidental in 2002.

Prior to joining Occidental, Mr. Charalambous served as a member of the management team at a startup. Mr. Charalambous began his career at Royal Dutch Shell where he advanced through positions of increasing responsibility working both in the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Charalambous holds a bachelor of science in Computer Science from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and a Master of Computer Science from the University of Houston, Clear Lake. He represents Occidental on the American Petroleum Institute's Information Management and Technology Committee and the American Chemistry Council's Chemical Information Technology Center (ChemITC®) committee. He is a member of the board of ESCAPE Family Resource Center, a non-profit organization serving the Houston area. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers where he Chaired the Digital Energy Technical Section for several years and served as a member of the Advisory Board for the College of Science and Computer Engineering at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

About Occidental Petroleum
Occidental Petroleum is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. Headquartered in Houston, Occidental is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies, based on equity market capitalization. Occidental’s midstream and marketing segment gathers, processes, transports, stores, purchases and markets hydrocarbons and other commodities. The company's wholly owned subsidiary OxyChem manufactures and markets basic chemicals and vinyls. More information about the company is available at