2016 Industry Pioneer


Gordon Sterling received his Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University in 1965 and joined Shell Oil E & P. He was involved in designing, fabrication and installation of well jackets in 40 to 70 feet of water. Gordon led a team designing, and engineering the Cognac platform which was installed in a record water depth of 1,025 feet. After the Cognac project, he became the project manager for the Bullwinkle project, a huge, 50-well, platform built, launched and installed in one piece in the Gulf of Mexico. The single piece jacket weighed 49,375 tons and was installed in 1,353 feet of water. It is still considered to be the largest jacket platform in the world.

From 1989 until late 1998, Gordon was responsible for coordinating engineering entities and leading the planning and project management of three tension leg platforms (Mars, Ram-Powell, Ursa) in about 3,000 to 4,000 ft. of water. And later, the design of Popeye and Mensa.

Gordon retired from Shell in 2000. Since his retirement, he co-authored a book “Deepwater Petroleum Exploration and Production—A Nontechnical Guide

Born 28 April 1938 Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

B.A.Sc Civil Engineering University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
MSCE Structural Engineering Lehigh University Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 1965