Oxford Flow recently announced Adam Eckersley as their new CTO. Adam joins the team with a wealth of knowledge and many years’ experience working in the valve industry including Severn Glocon. We ask him a series of questions to learn more about him, his background and experiences, his new role and his life outside of work.
Please summarise your impressive background?
I am a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and chartered engineering leader and bring over 20 years’ experience in the oil & gas, power and process industry, specialising in control valve product engineering, NPD, and value analysis/engineering. Having worked at Severn Glocon for 17 years and LNS Europe prior to that, I have been fortunate to have managed projects worldwide including in UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Middle East, North Africa, South America, the Caspian and Australia. Most of my experience has been with control valves, choke valves and butterfly valves. I have worked in sectors including oil and gas, power, LNG, gas storage, petrochemical and Air separation. This has led me to work with some large organisations including Shell, BP, ARAMCO, Petronas, Equinor, Petrobras, TAQA, CNOOC and Harbor Energy to name but a few.
In addition to this, I was nominated by the BVAA to sit on two BSI sub-committees. This valve regulation body reviews valve safety standards, actuator valve fittings, assesses noise and updates standards to align with ISO standards. I am a member of 2 sub-committee PSE/18/4 (Industrial Valves steam, traps actuators and safety devices against excessive pressure – Control valves) and GEL/65/2 – (measurement and control devices). Our activities include reviewing European and International standards to see if aspects can be adopted for the UK market.
Why have you decided to join Oxford Flow?
Various pull factors drew me to wanting to work at Oxford Flow. Severn Glocon has given me great exposure of different industries and valve markets and I have developed a solid set of skills which I am keen to apply in my new role. Oxford Flow is clearly on an upwards trajectory especially with the success of their zero emission, low maintenance technology. The ES stemless valves are inevitably going to be game changing, and they will undoubtedly transform the valve world, so there is perhaps no better time to come on board. Innovation is a real driver for me and it is great to see Oxford Flow are setting precedence with their hydrogen-ready products. Oxford Flow is looking at things differently and really looking at resolving today’s real-life problems industries face with valves. I feel Oxford Flow distinguishes themselves by selling solutions rather than just selling valves.
“Oxford Flow distinguishes themselves by selling solutions rather than just selling valves.”
What responsibilities will you have as CTO at Oxford Flow?
My primary responsibility will be to deliver leading innovation and ensure all Oxford Flow technology aligns with market needs. From a strategic perspective I’ll produce a market driven innovation programme for the team. This will include working with product life cycle, product development and analysing markets regions and industry sectors to target. I’ll be responsible for reviewing the company’s technical strategy and this will include making sure the company and products are both technically and regionally compliant and meet functional safety criteria. A significant part of the role will be to model and develop the engineering team. Oxford Flow is expecting significant rapid growth and being able to manage recruitment demands and structure the team will be integral to the position. A further requirement will be to optimise the engineering project delivery processes, systems, and tools to improve efficiency and meet the demands of a fast-paced and growing business. Zero emission solutions will remain at the forefront of the product management innovation strategy, making sure that product development continues to lead the way with this. One R&D project will be to enhance product ranges for retrofit applications and enable Oxford Flow technology to fit retrospectively into existing plants.
How do you like to manage and mentor staff?
With a team-oriented personality, I enjoy collaborating with others. Past experiences teaching STEM subjects with children and being a course tutor, teaching about control valves for EIC (Energy Industries Council) members has shown me the benefits for personal development. I actively encourage autonomy and ability for people to make their own choices, learn and make improvements. At Severn Glocon, I managed a team of 60 people and had 4 direct reports including those working within engineering field services and aftermarket repairs teams. This substantial knowledge has provided valuable insights into customer needs, the challenges faced by OEMs an understanding of product pitfalls as well as the common causes for valve failures. I firmly believe in sharing ideas and aim to build a supportive framework based around a hybrid engineering function, that has an agile management structure and which balances both a traditional waterfall model with application specific solutions for innovation development.
What are your aspirations and how do you see the valve world evolving?
Oxford Flow is undergoing rapid expansion and I am keen to advance the company’s success. Achieving zero emissions goes beyond just a business aspiration, it is pivotal to how we impact the planet. As societal pressure mounts and industry becomes more mindful of hefty fines imposed for emissions, drive towards proven products to eliminate this will become inevitable. Whilst Oxford Flow products are leading the zero emissions race, it would be great to see them become even more widely acknowledged and accepted worldwide as the go to solution. Over the coming years, I expect to see our capabilities evolve and see the team adapt as the product performance enhances.
What interests do you have outside of work?
In my spare time I am a bit of a DIY enthusiast and being quite practical, get involved with everything from electrical, plumbing, and plastering tasks. In fact, I recently designed and built quite an impressive glass partition in my family home. Cars are another passion of mine. Earlier in my career, I worked for Ginetta Heritage Cars, where I used to design high performance and racing components for cars competing in the Historic Sports Car Cup (HSCC). Motorsport is still a passion and on weekends I enjoy restoring classic cars. One of my latest automotive projects has been to successfully install a Nissan 200SX turbo engine into a 1970s classic Toyota Celica. My family are all keen on winter sports and we often take snowboarding holiday breaks to the Alps.
Find out more about other key Oxford Flow members of staff.