Dr. Dirk Smit

Vice President R&D Exploration Technology, Chairman Shell Science Council, Chief Scientist Geophysics

Dirk graduated from Utrecht University in 1989 with a PhD in Mathematical Physics, String Theory. He went on to complete an academic post-doctorate at Berkeley and was awarded a post-doctorate at Harvard University. He joined Shell’s Geophysics R&D department in the Netherlands in 1992.

Since then he has held numerous positions, including Chief Geophysicist for Shell UK and Technology Manager for Hydrocarbon Exploration.

Dirk holds several positions outside Shell: a visiting faculty position at the Earth Science department at MIT in Cambridge, as well as a visiting professorship in Geoscience at the Chinese University of Petroleum in Beijing. He serves on numerous university advisory boards in The Netherlands, China and US. Dirk served as a member of the National Research Council on Solid Earth Observations in the US and is currently a member of the National Dutch Science Board for Basic Science Research in the Netherlands.

In his spare time, Dirk is an amateur astronomer and, together with his son, enjoys searching the deep skies through an 11 inch SCT (telescope) during long, Dutch, winter nights.