2016 Industry Champion


Lillian Espinoza Gala is recognized as one of the first Gulf of Mexico female production roustabouts during her tenure with ODECO. Lillian overcame all of the challenges of working in a rugged male-dominated offshore environment. Lillian’s family moved from Iowa to Louisiana in 1960 so that her Dad could work for J. Ray McDermott. In 1973, needing money for college, her parents suggested Lillian work with an offshore catering company. Lillian attributes her advancement to production work responsibilities as a result of great on-the-job mentors & her knowledge of drilling fluids. In 1974 she was recruited by the Nicholls State University Seven and Seven Petroleum Technology program and graduated in 1977 with an associate’s degree in petroleum technology. Although a near fatal accident ended her ODECO career in 1981, Lillian redirected her professional focus to safety. In 2004, she resumed her career as an academic researcher through to this day.

Born 05 December 1948 Des Moines, Iowa
A.S. Petroleum Technology 7 & 7 Program Nicholls State University 1977
BGS. Nicholls State University 1988