Don Allen graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1982 and graduated from Rice University with a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering in 1987. Upon completion of his Ph.D. studies at Rice, Don joined Shell in 1986 and began work in offshore structures research. In 1987 he began research in vortex-induced vibration (VIV) of risers, tendons, pipelines, and umbilicals. In 1988 he performed his first experiments on VIV suppression devices, conducting a set of experiments with his long-time colleague Dean Henning (who also works with VIV Solutions) that led to the discovery of both the short fairing and the tall helical strake. These two discoveries represent the vast majority of VIV suppression devices used in the ocean today. While at Shell, Don made numerous advances in VIV, VIV suppression, riser interference, and spar technology.
In the late 1990s Don’s Shell team began to fabricate VIV suppression devices for other companies (previously they had only manufactured devices for Shell projects) and in 2001 the team was formally rolled into Shell Global Solutions as a small business entity. Don managed this business for a period of almost 10 years while continuing to conduct VIV research with his colleagues Li Lee and Dean Henning. This team achieved many “firsts” including the first retrofit and s-lay installations of fairings.
In 2010 Don retired from Shell and formed VIV Solutions LLC. VIV Solutions has quickly emerged as an industry leader in VIV suppression and has continued to strengthen its team and enhance both its technical and manufacturing capabilities.
Don has received several awards and recently was inducted into the Offshore Energy Center Hall of Fame as a Technology Pioneer together with his Shell colleagues that developed the steel catenary riser. In his private life, he enjoys coaching high school and youth baseball, photography, church work, and keeping up with his wife and five children.
Vice President – Projects
Jeff graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and completed his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He spent 4 years as a product development engineer for the Chrysler Group before joining Shell Global Solutions in 2009. While at Shell, Jeff specialized in Vortex Induced Vibration Suppression as well as subsea hardware design and installation. Jeff joined VIV Solutions in the spring of 2012 and recently assumed the role of Vice President of the Projects organization. He is responsible for leading a wide range of activities including: project execution, HSE, inspection and installation support while continuing to work with other members of the company team on quality and product development.
Director of Business Development
Julie graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2006. She was recruited by Shell Global Solutions and joined the VIV suppression small business group in a project management capacity. Julie oversaw many successful deliveries while also serving as the team’s primary focal point for quality and safety. She also trained as a Subject Matter Expert on export controls. She was promoted to the role of account executive in 2009 after demonstrating a passion for combining both customer satisfaction and engineering excellence. During this time, she continued to develop her formal education in offshore structures. Julie later served as a Deals Advisor for the Amerias region at Shell Global Solutions, supporting the development of multi-million dollar projects in the US, Canada, and Mexico. In 2010, Julie hired on with VIV Solutions as the company’s Business Development Manager. She is responsible for customer relations, tender requests, and sales & marketing activities. She also leads the team’s quality management system and assists with technical peer reviews. Julie was promoted to the role of Director of Business Development in early 2017. In her personal time, Julie enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children.