A former executive for Shell Upstream Americas, David Lawrence has more than 40 years of experience as a professional in the energy sector. In October 2016, David Lawrence leveraged the knowledge he gained from years working with companies like Shell to give a talk at the University of Wyoming entitled “Choices and Challenges of the Energy Transition: Moving from Rhetoric and Conflict to Reality.”
The talk not only explored the current state of the energy sector, but also ventured to postulate on future possibilities for the industry. In addition, the talk posited potential approaches to the challenge of resolving energy disputes and restructuring policy in a way that would support lower amounts of CO2 and higher amounts of energy output.
Energy transition was a core subject of the three-day event at which the talk was given, with the overall topic of the event designated as “Earth, Wind, and Water.” The first official activity of the event was a keynote address and a panel on the challenges that the energy sector faces today. The University of Wyoming is based in Laramie and counts two interdisciplinary schools related to energy resources within its facilities.
David Lawrence is an executive in the oil and energy industry with three decades of experience in various management positions at Shell. Prior to his experience at Shell, David Lawrence obtained a master’s degree and a PhD from Yale University, where he also was recognized with the Estwing and Orville Prizes. He presently oversees Lawrence Energy Group, LLC.
The Estwing Hammer and Philip M. Orville Prizes are awards bestowed upon graduate students at Yale to recognize outstanding achievement. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Yale was founded in 1901. The university strives to improve the world through research, education, and applied practice. The Estwing Prize is named for the Estwing Manufacturing Company and is awarded to a geology graduate student. The Orville Prize is Yale’s top award for PhD candidates in Geology and Geophysics and is awarded to geology students who excel in earth science-based research.
Several other awards are also distributed to Yale students, faculty, and alumni each year at the commencement ceremony for graduate students. In addition to outstanding achievement and research, a portion of the awards recognize high-quality teaching and service.
With almost four decades of combined professional experience, including service as the executive vice president of Shell Upstream Americas, David Lawrence is an expert in the energy and oil exploration industry. Before and after his time at Shell, David Lawrence has advocated for educational initiatives such as the Military Veterans Scholarship Program at the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation.
Founded in 1967, the AAPG is a nonprofit association that supports the geosciences through the funding of educational and research focused programs. One such program, the Military Veterans Scholarship Program, focuses on awarding scholarships and furthering the efforts of veterans studying in different undergraduate geoscience programs.
In addition to being an active military member or a veteran, requirements for applicants of the program include a minimum grade point average of 2.75, a description explaining one’s financial need, and a career goal statement written by the applicant. An applicant must also select or already be a part of a geoscience study program at an accredited college or university. Once these requirements are met, applicants are eligible for an award of $2,000 to $4,000 dollars.
A former Royal Dutch Shell executive with a background in geology and business, David Lawrence has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry. Prior to retiring from Shell, David Lawrence worked to emphasize the company’s support for education initiatives such as the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Imperial Barrel Award.
The Imperial Barrel Award is a global competition for university students studying geosciences. During the competition, a team of qualified students from a university works together for eight weeks to study and evaluate a dataset provided by the AAPG. The set of information includes factors such as geology, production infrastructure, and geophysics, among others.
After analyzing the data, each team authors a 25-minute presentation about its findings and presents it to a local panel. The winner of the local competition advances to regionals, with winners of each regional competition progressing to the finals, where qualified teams use advanced technology to assess a set of data.
The winning team is chosen based on the professionalism of its presentation, clarity of information, technical accuracy, and creativity. Competition winners earn scholarship money for their alma mater’s geosciences department, as well as exposure to industry professionals.
David Lawrence, PhD, worked for Shell for more than three decades. A longtime of advocate education, David Lawrence, PhD, supported the American Association of Petroleum Geologists’ (AAPG) Military Veterans Scholarship Program (MVSP) and other educational programs during his tenure with Shell.
The MVSP works to provision student veterans in their educational pursuit into the geosciences field. In addition to focusing on undergraduate studies, the program drives job placement resources and helps veterans connect and transition into the civilian technical profession.
Academic scholarships range from $2,000 to $4,000 and can be used toward undergraduate college expenses. The 2016 program has an application window of January 15 through April 15. Recipients will be selected on May 15, and funds will be dispersed on June 15. To apply, candidates must have an honorable service record in the U.S. military, achieve a minimum 2.75 GPA, be geosciences majors, and submit a career goal statement.
To date, the MVSP has awarded 10 scholarships to geology majors across the United States. Some of the MVSP corporate sponsors include Shell, Chevron, and Conoco Phillips.
Throughout his career as a vice President and executive vice president with Shell, David Lawrence established himself as a leader in the energy and oil and natural gas sector. Aside from his professional activities, David Lawrence was active in civic and professional organizations, including the National Ocean Industry Association and the New Orleans Business Council and spent several years on the board of the United Way of New Orleans, currently known as the United Way of Southeast Louisiana.
The United Way of Southeast Louisiana supports a broad range of social initiatives in the region, including educational outreach projects. Over the years, the organization has worked hard to improve educational opportunities, especially for individuals and families living in low-income areas. It provides a broad range of educational services, including work transition programs, academic support and enrichment, and quality child care. In particular, the organization delivers superior early childhood education, which has demonstrated a strong correlation with higher third-grade reading scores and success in high school. The United Way of Southeast Louisiana also facilitates access to cultural education and life-skills workshops for at-risk youth.
A former uranium geologist with Plateau Resources and coal geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, David Lawrence went on to serve for nearly 30 years in several executive positions at various divisions of Shell, including executive vice president of global exploration for Royal Dutch Shell and executive vice president of exploration and commercial for Shell Upstream Americas. Currently, David Lawrence utilizes his extensive experience in geology, business and energy resource exploration as chairman of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute (YCEI) External Advisory Board. Focused on activities that facilitate the global community’s adaptation of its economic, energy, and social systems to the consequences of environmental change, YCEI operates research efforts such as the Climate System and Human Health Initiative (CSHHI).
Leading up to the CSHHI’s establishment, YCEI had recognized a lack of investment committed to investigating the potential connection between the emergence of new patterns of disease infection in recent decades and increases in climate change over this same period. Though various predictive models used to simulate overall climate change generally achieve concordant results, there is considerable disparity in the forecasts for climate alteration in particular regions. Since effective future planning for human health will require an understanding of which specific health threats will affect which areas, the CSHHI concentrates on joining human health and climate science research to extend the study of these uncertainties.
The mechanisms by which public health issues created by anthropogenic climate forcing will be addressed by CSHHI via a network of research collaborations across relevant disciplines. There will also open forums through which findings on climate change-related health threats can be discussed with policymakers and members of the public. The research of climate scientists on developments ranging from Arctic hydrologic cycles to carbon sequestration and geoengineering will be considered alongside studies on the climate-influenced determinants of disease, from vector-borne and animal-transmitted pathologies to chronic illnesses like asthma.