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Bridging Research to Response

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bridging Research to Response

In March, OSRL facilitated a tour of UK research institutes for two of our Member companies, ExxonMobil and Chevron. Over the last few years, Dr Rob Holland (OSRL Technical Lead) has been engaged with the UK academic community in a drive to build closer working links and organising spill response workshops.  Visiting from the USA, we had Dr's Tim Nedwed, Tom Coolbaugh and Tom Parkerton from ExxonMobil and Dr Maria Hartley from Chevron for our visits to Heriot-Watt, Exeter, Portsmouth and Essex universities.

Why engage with academia you might ask...what's the point?

We are working on an outreach programme with academia across the globe to explain how the spill response "toolbox" feeds into NEBA/SIMA based decisions making and to highlight how lab-based research and experimentation, if done correctly, can feed into a response strategy. We call this “Bridging Research to Response”.

This latest tour proved highly successful by making new connections with PhD students who are the next generation of spill response scientists and sign posting students and researchers to the IOGP-IPIECA Good Practice Guides.

What next?

The work continues to build relationships and expand the network of industry-research interactions across the globe.  

Another activity taking place later this year is the ITAC workshop, an annual gathering of academia and spill response scientists. This year’s event will be held at The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton, UK in early October.


Author Bio(s)

Rob Holland

STSE Manager

Rob holds BSc and PhD qualifications in Marine Biology and has over 30 years’ experience ranging from academic research, teaching, consultancy and the last 20 years in the oil spill response industry. Rob has worked at OSRL since 2003 and has delivered a wide range of spill response preparedness projects for OSRL members globally including oil spill response plans, capability reviews, exercises, training, spill support and secondments. 


Rob currently sits in OSRL's global Technical Department and is responsible for the development of new and novel techniques and approaches to spill response which includes the application of marine autonomous systems. He is also responsible for OSRL's outreach to the scientific research and academic community to ensure oil spill response good practice is shared.