In the latest issue of Drilling Contractor magazine, Advanced Rig Technology (ART) Committee Member Robert van Kuilenburg shares his career journey and discusses the importance of innovative thinking for the future of the industry.
Mr van Kuilenburg was exposed to the industry from an early age through a grandfather who worked at Shell, but didn’t necessarily have his sights set on a future in drilling when he decided to major in mechanical engineering and minor in naval architecture at Delft University of Technology.
“When people go to university, I really think they should try to focus on specializing in something, get really good at it, but also keeping your eyes open for something outside of your field because, sometimes, it can lead you to something interesting. I graduated on the topic of AI in condition monitoring systems, something that was outside of our industry at the time, and I never suspected it would grow into what it is today.”
From a Dutch engineering firm, to Huisman Equipment, and ultimately to Noble where he remains today, Mr van Kuilenburg’s career has always been focused on technology, innovation, and the future – 3D printing, machine learning systems, and equipment and drilling rig designs. In more recent years at Noble, he managed a team of R&D engineers responsible for the development of electrically driven BOPs and the design/manufacturing of integrated managed pressure drilling equipment.
Mr van Kuilenburg has also been actively involved in IADC’s ART Committee, including serving as Chairman in 2019-2020 when he helped to spearhead the development of IADC’s Daily Drilling Report (DDR) Plus. He also recently co-led a workgroup to upgrade IADC’s long-standing bit dull grading system.