BP Chief Scientist Dr Dame Angela Strank delivered the EI’s prestigious Cadman Lecture this week, drawing parallels between the challenges faced by John Cadman a century ago and the transition today to a low carbon economy.
Before giving her lecture to a packed room of senior industry figures and young professionals in central London, Dr Strank was presented with the Cadman Award by EI President Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng FEI for her outstanding and significant service to the international oil industry.
In her lecture, entitled ‘In the footsteps of Cadman’, Dr Strank also explored how women’s progress in the energy industry has changed over the last 100 years.
Sharing her own inspiring career journey from a young graduate geologist at BP to her current role as BP’s Chief Scientist and Head of Downstream Technology, she focused on how the sector is changing for women today.
Dr Strank heralded ‘…the confident and open way, women and men, are now able to talk about, and act upon the issues of equality, enabled by a more connected world.’
‘This is all allowing us to be bolder together in our ambition to develop and harness the talents of us all.’
‘And bolder as we seek to finally break the paradigm around women in STEM and in careers in the energy industry.’
‘It is a boldness that I am sure Lord Cadman would recognise, be proud of and applaud.’
Lord Cadman of Silverdale was Chairman of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now BP) and President of the Institute of Petroleum (now the EI). Dr Strank referenced a startlingly prescient lecture given by Lord Cadman in 1931 in which he said: ‘There would be little difficulty in depicting a future in which mankind derived supplies of heat and energy from sources quite different from those of today. The force of the tides remains unharnessed, as also does the attraction of the moon. A great fuel industry may yet be built up along the equator, collecting and transmitting the radiant heat energy of the sun. The atom is still unharnessed and many of the potentialities of wireless lie dormant.’
Dr Strank said: ‘A century later, we face a new energy transition of similar scale – one that brings a dual challenge.’
‘There’s a challenge to produce more of the affordable energy that society needs.’
‘And there is also the challenge to produce energy that’s less carbon intensive, to help meet the world’s climate goals.’
On the evening Dr Strank was also awarded an Honourary Fellowship of the Energy Institute by EI President Malcolm Brinded.
Dr Strank's full speech is available to view here.