Alan J Mills MBA, CEng, CMarEng, FIMarEST
Alan Mills is founder of Falcon Group, formed from UK company Falcon Global and US company, Global Falcon Americas. He has been the driving force behind the creation of the highly successful, world-class Verification Management software solutions branded as Zenator Systems and PathMaker Systems.
Since starting Falcon Global in 2000 and Global Falcon Americas in 2006, Alan has focused the company’s activities mainly outside the UK in support of the energy industry, winning business with Operators and large EPC contractors in the Oil & Gas and Power Generation sectors of the industry.
He entered the energy industry in 1975, postponing his formal education to gain valuable experience and an introduction to Commissioning with Brown & Root on major North Sea projects in Holland, Norway and Scotland. Alan returned to his studies in 1980, graduating in 1983 with a BSc (Hons) in Civil Engineering from Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, (now known as Nottingham Trent University).
Much of his early professional experience was gained internationally in Europe and SE Asia, representing major Operators (Shell, ARCO British) and Contractors in engineering and project management positions in the execution of large projects, always with an eye on or involvement in, Commissioning & Start Up (CSU). In 1993 he graduated from Aston Business School with a Master of Business Administration degree and immediately joined Atlantic Richfield Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, focusing on enhanced recovery techniques and early oil from the company’s Offshore North West Java asset area.
From 1996 to 1997, he was Business Manager at Brown & Root-AOC in Aberdeen and Gt Yarmouth, then Managing Director of KYE Ltd, a family-owned, $30m UK-based contracting company. While at KYE, Alan directed business, identifying brand opportunities elevating the company’s status and adding value. As Contracts Manager on two rig conversion projects in Belfast from 1997 to 1999, Alan learned the commercial realities of CSU in hard money contracts, with the many opportunities for Change Orders and absolute need for transparency in CSU, its conduct and professionalism.
Close involvement with Commissioning and Start Up (CSU) has been a recurring feature throughout Alan’s career. From his first exposure to CSU in the Shell Brent field in 1980 as a young engineer, being part of the commissioning team on a major offshore North Sea production facility and then at regular times in his career through the 1980s to mid-1990s with Shell and Arco. Later, in a commercial role with rig conversions. These lessons served him well to bring transparency and clarity to CSU in all its forms by creating completions management and verification products, first with the introduction of PathMaker and then with the outstandingly successful, Zenator. During the development of these products, specialist teams of expert resources from Falcon Global were involved in CSU over a 6 year period on some of the world’s largest and most complex oil & gas projects at that time, deep in the Algerian Sahara Desert in one of the world’s harshest environments, for Anadarko and the national Operator, Sonatrach.
The Zenator software product incorporates all the experience and know-how gathered over 35 years of working in commissioning teams, with large project teams and providing specialist CSU services to customers.
To fulfil the potential of Global Falcon Americas, in the summer of 2010 Alan relocated his family from Norwich to Houston, Texas. From its initial launch in November 2009, Zenator has helped over 30 projects worth billions of dollars, to Start Up, On Time and Safely. After his move to the US, Alan has more than trebled the size of Falcon Group, with Zenator, a recognized, world-class asset verification management system currently being deployed on 400 projects worth $170 billion across 14 time zones.
In 2012 he created a 24 hour intensive course in Commissioning & Start Up, focusing on the methodology underpinning software products like Zenator called, Progressive Systems Completion, and combined it with strategies, tools and techniques essential for Safe and Timely Start Up of a project. In 2013 the course was married with the requirements of API Recommended Practice, 1 FSC, 1st Edition. First delivered in April 2013 and approved by API in 2014, the course has been delivered to over 200 professionals worldwide and is now accepted by Operators and Contractors as an entry level prerequisite to achieving competency and compliance.
Alan has been a Chartered Engineer and Member of the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) since 1985. He helped to form the East of England branch in 2001, serving as its first Chairman until 2003, then remained a Committee member until 2012. In 2006 Alan was awarded the President’s Commendation for outstanding contributions to the IMarEST. Away from work, Alan is currently in his fifth year, serving as Chairman of the Gulf Coast branch of IMarEST, representing more than 250 marine professionals above and below the waterline. He was elected to Council of IMarEST in 2012 and has been active in the promotion of IMarEST for over 30 years.
Alan J Mills MBA, CEng, CMarEng, FIMarEST