Tom Gollan

Tom Gollan

Director of Engineering, Operations and Projects

Clean Tech, Midstream, Downstream, Upstream
United States, Europe

1. What is your profession? Or if you are retired, what was your profession?

Chartered Mechanical Engineer and Fellow of the IMechE

2. What are your areas of expertise?

Midstream: Engineering, Operations, Projects, Executive, Commercial, Technology

Downstream Subsegment: Refining

Downstream Disciplines: Project Management, Operations, Corporate  Development, Commercial, Supply Chain, Digital

Upstream: Operations, Facilities Management, Mechanical Engineering, Completions, General Management, Project Management, Supply Chain, Asset Management, Technology, Corporate Development, Executive, Commercial

Upstream Areas: Offshore, Onshore

Clean Tech: Engineering, Project Management

Types of Clean Tech: Nuclear, Wind, Hydrogen

3. Current Employer:


4. Previous Employers:

BP, FMC Technologies, Expro, OneSubsea, Doosan Babcock and Glacier Energy

5. How did you end up in the Energy Industry?

I was always building stuff, "helping" my dad with his car from age 3 (which he put up with patiently!) Joining the close-by BP refinery as an apprentice was a natural step for me, having grown up being mesmerized by the flare stacks. It was amazing to then travel the world with BP over many years.  

6. Why do you like working with Start-Ups?

I'm not an entrepreneur, but I have worked with lots of small start ups (as their client) and I love the passion, energy and belief - uncomplicated by the layers and complexity that exists in big organizations. Given my own experiences, I am able to help start ups understand more fully the expectations of clients, beyond the pure technology of the product or service, and how to integrate that with the clients needs, projects and strategies.

Okay, now for some fun things about Tom

7. What are three of your interests outside of work?

  • I just love spending time with my family and taking real time to enjoy things together.

  • Anything to do with motorsports, on two wheels or four. MotoGP, F1, Le Mans, Goodwood - as batteries take over, the noise and smells are just not the same, but Formula E tech is amazing.

  • Travel to experience different countries and cultures in places like Brazil, Singapore and India - sharing food on our travels has always led to great conversations and some memorable adventures.

8.  What are your top 3 accomplishments (personal or professional)?  Don’t be shy!  Give ‘em to us.

  • That my wife and daughters have put up with me and my annoying habits for all these years!

  • Building my own sportscar and racing it at iconic tracks such as Goodwood (and getting penalized for excess noise!)

  • Winning the BP UK apprentice of the year in 1982 - the prize was sponsorship to Loughborough University, which gave me the chance to progress with BP as an Engineer, and paved the way for so much adventure.

9.  If I were a superhero, my superpower would be               .

For me it would be the ability to teleport when I wanted to ... but I'd settle for getting my side of beef out of the smoker at exactly the right moment, every time!

10. When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a                 when I grew up.

A paleontologist - I found it fascinating!

11. If I weren't so damn good at what I do now, I'd probably be                 .

A race car driver - anything with a big V8 or V12 with straight through exhausts.

12.  My favorite song is               by            .

This is tough for me, as its event based ... at T in the park festival it was Under Control by Calvin Harris, in 2014 when he was introduced by Will Smith (you can see it on youtube!) In Ibiza

"Cafe Del Mar" by Energy 52. In the garden at the BBQ

"Shackles" by Mary Mary, or "Movin too Fast" by Artful Dodger.

13.  If I won the lottery tomorrow, I'd          .

start a motor racing team, specializing in sportscar and endurance racing

14.  The best piece of advice I've ever been given is                              .

The best leaders create more space in a conversation than they use up. They don't re-state outdated truths with even greater conviction in a vain attempt to stay in control, and they don't use their ego to protect them from the discomfort of being wrong!