Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

In at the Deep End - a review of the move into deepwater oil exploration and the technology challenges facing the industry

30 September 2009

John Baxter, Group Head of Engineering, BP, reviews the engineering challenges as oil exploration and production moves from fixed platforms on the continental shelf to floating structures in deep water.  The latter presents a wide range of unique engineering challenges which require deep professional expertise and innovation.

John Baxter was appointed as the Group Engineering Director for BP, now Group Head of Engineering in April 2004. He is based in London with responsibilities for integrity management and engineering standards. He also acts as Head of Profession for engineers across the BP Group.

Following a mechanical engineering degree at Strathclyde University he trained as a Royal Navy Submarine Engineer Officer, serving on a POLARIS submarine and refitting nuclear submarines. His subsequent career was in the nuclear industry, with the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, and Hunting BRAE, the private sector company that ran the UK Atomic Weapon plants. After a period as Director of Dounreay he was appointed by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry to the UKAEA Board and latterly ran nuclear operations at the Windscale, Harwell and Winfrith Sites.

In 1998 John was appointed Chief Engineer and Technical Director of Powergen Plc and subsequently became Powergen’s Group Engineering Director. He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for 2007/8. In addition, John has numerous accolades from august engineering bodies in the UK. He is also an advisor to the MoD on nuclear safety and on oil industry matters.


In At The Deep End

: John Baxter, Group Head of Engineering, BP

Duration: 43 minutes