Engineering award for young stars

Two BP engineers, Tom Byrne and Alex Kelly, have been recognized at the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering for exceptional engineering contributions early in their careers

Their work included LoSal® (Low Salinity Enhanced Oil Recovery) delivery; LoSal® is used to reduce the salinity of water used to flood reservoirs, which leads to increased oil recovery and SaaBre™ petrochemical plant modellings and development. SaaBre™ is the next generation of acetic acid technology.

Byrne, a mechanical engineer based in Aberdeen and Kelly, a process engineer based in Hull, were presented with ‘Rising Stars’ awards at the Academy’s annual awards dinner. The event was presided over by Royal Academy of Engineering president and BP non-executive director, Professor Dame Ann Dowling.

The awards celebrate and showcase the rising stars of global engineering and individual engineers who have made a remarkable contribution over the course of their careers.

Executing LoSal®

Tom Byrne was recognized at the awards for his leading role in the design and execution of the LoSal® package on BP’s Clair Ridge project.

Byrne deployed all his skills as an engineer to take on the challenges that the team faced along the way. These challenges included Tom defining and executing extensive site inspection and testing, proving the condition of the installed package, and design improvements of seawater reverse osmosis vessels. Tom successfully completed all of the necessary work within a tight timeframe. The LoSal® package was successfully delivered and is currently undergoing commissioning offshore

Byrne said: “The work that I have done on LoSal is one part of a huge team effort, and a lot of other people have contributed to the success of the project. I’d like to thank everybody involved for their help and support over the last few years. I would also like to thank the BP leadership team in attendance at the awards evening for their recognition and encouragement.

Petrochemicals technology SaaBre ™

Alex Kelly joined BP as a graduate in 2011, and in his relatively short time in BP, has already made an impact on the business.

The ‘Rising Stars’ award recognizes Kelly’s work for being the technology lead for one of BP’s petrochemicals plants. He led the process engineering for the major expansion project, developing a process design that included several innovative solutions. Throughout his tenure, the plant successfully achieved a record production rate, implemented a novel ‘first of its kind’ upgrade, and achieved record low feedstock and utility usages.

In his current role, Kelly is responsible for leading the modelling and physical property development for BP’s latest petrochemicals technology, SaaBre ™. He has developed new complex reactor and process models and rebuilt the full-plant model, improving model stability and the convergence speed.


“It is an honour to be recognized by BP and the Royal Academy of Engineering. I owe a lot to all the great people I’ve worked with and learnt from since I joined BP and it’s a privilege to continue to work with such talented individuals on such exciting and groundbreaking projects and technologies
Alex Kelly