Shell’s systems engineering journey in projects & engineering – Successes and challenges

Harry van der Velde & ChangLih Ee: "In this session, we will take the audience through the Systems Engineering journey Shell has gone through over the last 5 years as part of their larger capital improvement program."

The case for change at the time will be addressed as well as details around the journey itself, what are the successes to date and what have been (and sometimes still are) the challenges when it comes to implementing Systems Engineering in Capital Projects.

Key item in the journey is the transformation from a document centric way of working to a data-centric way of working. Huge strides have been made at this front, but there is a lot more that needs to be done. What that means in detail and Shell’s vision on transforming the industry in that respect will be shared in more detail.

The session will close with reflection, lessons learned and a look into the future; where lie the opportunities and challenges and what needs to be done to substantially contribute to Shell’s wider purpose of Powering Progress and its capital improvement program.

About Harry van der Velde


After a study and PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente, Harry van der Velde left for Aberdeen in 1997 as an engineer to support the offshore production of oil and gas. In the meantime - more than 20 years later - he still enjoys working for Shell. All in all, a very diverse career with 10 jobs, five countries and interactions with countless different people.
His interest in system engineering was sparked when he developed a deep water oil production floater in Malaysia with a group of Texans. Harry van der Velde was made Lead Systems Engineer without knowing exactly what that meant. The project itself was a complete failure although the installation is now very successful in the production phase. Since then he has been involved in a number of mega projects in Systems Engineering roles such as Prelude FLNG and the Kazakhstan Kashagan project. He concluded that the conventional way we tried to do these projects (i.e. with many thousands of documents and different wishes from various stakeholders) no longer works. This insight has been strengthened in the last three years, now that Harry van der Velde is responsible for the assurance of Shell's liquefied gas, gas-to-liquid and 'New-Energies' parts in internal audit. In addition to insights into how risks can best be managed, he has also learned how to convince others and get them excited. In a sabbatical in 2018, Harry van der Velde certified himself as a systems engineer and did an online MBA in the field of energy transition.

About ChangLih Ee


ChangLih Ee is a Chemical Engineer by training who has worked for Shell in Malaysia, USA and the Netherlands since 2005. During this time, he has worked in concept development and project delivery of multiple shallow and deep-water production facilities. In the last 3 years, ChangLih has been part of the team driving Systems Engineering implementation in Shell where he takes an active role in developing internal guidelines, delivering trainings, supporting implementation in projects, and collaborating with external partners to mature our industry’s digital requirements transfer capability.