Shell's Tech Pro Joins Management of Offshore Digital Twin Firm Akselos


Akselos, a company developing real-time digital twins for offshore energy industry applications, has appointed Shell Venture’s Michiel Van Haersma Buma as Vice President of Customer Success.

Van Haersma Buma joins Akselos after a 12-year career with Shell as a commercial technologist, most recently spending five years with the energy giant’s Venture Capital arm, leading the implementation of breakthrough tech across Shell's global operations. 

"He is well-versed in Akselos’ technology, having spent the past three years supporting the tech scale-up as one of Shell Ventures portfolio companies," Akselos said.

Thomas Leurent, Akselos’ CEO said: “We are delighted to welcome Michiel to the team at such a crucial time in our growth journey. He has been instrumental in the deployment of our technology within Shell and indeed in securing the three-year Enterprise Framework Agreement we signed last year. 

"As a Board-level advisor since 2018, he has helped shape our product offering and strategic direction and is a passionate advocate for tech as a force for good. The timing couldn’t be better as we focus on scaling-up while accelerating the deployment of offshore wind. I look forward to supporting him as he takes our customer experience and growth to new heights.”

Akselos last year deployed structural Digital Twin for Shell’s Bonga Main FPSO, located 120km Southwest of the Niger Delta in Nigeria.  

The Digital Twin is a physics-based model of the asset, which represents its entire physical counterpart in absolute detail and accuracy. The model is updated with loading conditions and inspection data on a regular basis, providing the ability to carry out structural assessments based on the ‘as is’ condition, from anywhere and at any time, Akselos said at the time.Bonga FPSO Digital Twin - Credit: Akselos

A few months later, the two companies in December 2020 signed a three-year Enterprise Framework Agreement (EFA), for the use of Akselos' structural digital twin technology, supporting Shell’s international teams with the design, operation, and life extension of assets across oil and gas and wind portfolios.

Back to Van Haersma Buma's appointment. According to Akselos, Van Haersma will be responsible for every stage of the customer life cycle and he will also have oversight of global product marketing.

Michiel Van Haersma Buma said: “I’ve been fascinated with the power of Akselos’ technology ever since I was introduced to the company in 2018. My time working with countless start-ups over the years has contributed to my thinking around technology playing a key role in tackling society’s challenges, and I’m inspired by the new innovation curve Akselos is trying to establish in mechanical engineering to do just that. 

"I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with so many smart people during my time with Shell who are leading the way when it comes to technology deployment, and I’m excited to put all of that experience to good use to help Akselos design and protect energy infrastructure for a low carbon world.”

Apart from the Bonga FPSO digital twin, Akselos' digital twin technology has been deployed at EDPR’s WindFloat Atlantic and Lamprell’s digital twin offering for offshore assets.

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