Iain Shepherd

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Iain is Global Engineering Manager for Halliburton Pipeline and Process Services Product Service Line. He has worked in the Pipeline Industry since 1986, joined Halliburton in 1995, has worked in a variety of engineering, operations and management positions and is a past Director, VP and President of the PPSA (Pipeline Pigging Products & Services Association). Iain studied Mechanical Engineering at RGIT (now Robert Gordon’s University) in Aberdeen graduating in 1985. He has extensive experience in pre-commissioning, maintenance and decommissioning of pipeline and process systems globally and has worked on many Innovative and high profile projects.



Dr. Phil Hopkins

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Phil Hopkins is an independent consultant, with his own company: Phil Hopkins Ltd. He was previously Executive Director of the pipeline engineering company Penspen Limited, UK, and Managing Director of the pipeline engineering consultants, Andrew Palmer and Associates (APA), UK. He had worked in the power generation industry for C A Parsons, Newcastle upon Tyne, before spending 17 years working in the Research and Technology Division of British Gas, where he was Business Area Manager for Transmission Pipelines. Dr Hopkins continues to be involved with universities: he was a Professorial Fellow at Newcastle University, UK, and has taught on Masters programmes, as a Visiting Professor, at both Newcastle University, and Northumbria University, UK.



Cindy Dirkx

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As graduated economist, Cindy entered the pipeline industry “by coincidence”. Approx 20 years later, she now has a working history in many disciplines of the pipeline industry working for contractors, operators and consultants, mostly onshore. After a short break in 2018 – Cindy decided to enter the market as an independent pipeline specialist since January 2019 and is involved in Pipeline Development, Inspections and Establishment of Educations. Together with Michelle Unger she initiated the establishment of YPP Europe in 2018, with support of the PTC.

Next to this, Cindy is chairing the Dutch Pipeliner Foundation (pro-bono), which owns an accredited MSc in Pipeline Technology and supports other Pipeline Specific educations.



Marion Erdelen-Peppler

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Marion Erdelen-Peppler started her career with an apprenticeship in a seamless pipe mill. After working in the mill for several years, she picked up studies and graduated in mechanical engineering from the University of Duisburg in 2001. Since then she has been working for Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung SZMF, (formerly Mannesmann Forschungsinstitut MFI) in the department for mechanical engineering. She was involved with R&D projects related to linepipe topics for seamless and welded pipes with emphasis on fatigue and fracture mechanical analyses of structures and components. She received a PhD from the Rheinisch Westfälische Hochschule RWTH Aachen in 2008. This was done on basis of research results that were generated at SZMF in developing a high fatigue resistant large diameter pipe.

Between 2004 and 2017, she was head of the department for mechanical testing and fracture mechanics. In this role, she was also responsible for the training of apprentices learning destructive testing. She also supervised numerous students in their thesis. She has been working internationally in the line pipe business through the European Pipeline Research group, which she first joined as member of the Materials Committee. For more than 15 years she was part of the committee. Since 2017, she changed responsibilities and is now Secretary General of EPRG. She is author of more than 50 papers.



David Cockfield

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David Cockfield is multi-skilled mechanical engineer with over 27 years’ service company and operator experience. With a background in applications engineering, operational pipeline integrity and pipeline performance pigging areas of expertise centre around pipelines, SURF, commissioning, cleaning, pigging, in line inspection, assessment, intervention, isolation, integrity management, flow assurance, repair, maintenance, rehabilitation and decommissioning.

David works with Pipeline Innovations Limited in partnership with Online Electronics Limited (part of the IK Worldwide group) and is their Business Development & Applications Manager. He also works with several other well established technology and consultancy companies. His background is applications engineering, operational pipeline integrity and pipeline performance management. After completing a 4 year engineering apprenticeship, David started out in Oil and Gas as a design draughtsman in 1991 with Pipeline Engineering moving up through applications engineering into Sales Management. He then moved into the pipeline service sector working with PII, A.hak and TD Williamson supporting pipeline preparation, cleaning, inspection and operational pigging workscopes. Before joining PIL in 2017 David worked with TAQA Bratani for almost 4 years where he was responsible for UKNS production pipeline pigging operations which included day to day management of specific assets, scheduled maintenance and planned inspections. Dealing with unplanned activities and operational ‘trouble shooting’ was also a big part of the role.

David has a broad working knowledge of the onshore and offshore Oil, Gas and Process Industry specializing in pipeline preparation, pre-inspection pipeline cleaning, internal and external metal loss inspection, production pipeline pigging and maintenance that includes pipeline pigging equipment, pressure vessel, subsea equipment, pipeline intervention, recovery, isolation and sealing system, design manufacture, testing and installation.



David Willis

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David is a Senior Pipeline Engineer with over 22 years of international experience.

He is a graduate engineer with an Electronic design background trained by British Gas at a R&D facility in the UK.

David’s career started in R&D electronic engineering before moving on to production, maintenance, assembly and commissioning of pipeline inspection tools. From there he moved into commercial pipeline operations including pipeline commissioning, cleaning, gauging and inspection. From 1990 to 2003 David travelled extensively covering all global regions from Argentina to Japan, Australia to Alaska and most countries in between.

His current role as Pipeline Technical Authority for an Oil and Gas Operator in the North Sea gives David overall responsibility for the integrity management of the Brae field pipeline network. This role encompasses all aspects of legislative and integrity requirements reporting to both Senior Management and Regulatory Authorities.



Michelle Unger

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Michelle is the Head of the Group Business Line ‘Education Systems and Services’ for the ROSEN Group, and is based in the UK.

She has over 25 years’ experience: her early career involved pipeline integrity consultancy, but her more recent experience is in technical training, learning, education, and competence development.

Michelle is a Visiting Lecturer at Newcastle University in the UK, and was a member of the development team of the MSc in Subsea Engineering and Management at Newcastle University. She was also the Program Director of the Distance Learning MSc in Pipeline Integrity Management at Northumbria University in the UK, which was awarded the ASME Global Pipeline Award in 2014.

Michelle is a Civil Engineer with a Masters in Pipeline Hydraulics. She has a PgC in Academic Practice from Newcastle University, and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in the UK.