Innovation Conference & Showcase

Agenda.jpg HighlightedSpeakers.jpg SponsorsWEB.jpg RegisterWEB.jpg


Celebrating the Arc
from Research to Commercial Success


Panel on Technology, Business Creation
and the Implications for Houston

Dick_Williams.jpg Richard E. Williams
Shell WindEnergy Inc.

Dick Williams joined Shell in 1980 after receiving his Electrical Engineering degree from Penn State. He worked in a variety of Shell Pipeline's regions as an engineer, returned to Houston for several positions in the business, including Base Chemicals, then went to St. Louis as Mid Continent District Superintendent. Upon returning to Houston he joined the Joint Ventures group, lead the Commercial Development effort of a major restructuring, was the Operations Support Manager for Shell's Pipelines and Distribution Terminals, and then served 3 years as the Commercial Manager for Shell Distribution North America. Dick was appointed President, Shell WindEnergy, in 2008. Shell’s Wind activities include operating 11 wind farms, 8 in North America and three in Europe, with a capacity of 1100 MW and developing new projects in North America. 
Wade-Adams.jpg Dr. Wade Adams
Associate Dean - George R. Brown School of Engineering
Rice University

Dr. Wade Adams is Associate Dean of the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University, as of January 16, 2012. For the past decade, he was the Director of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology at Rice University, the first organized nanotech center in the world, founded in 1993 by its namesake. For the past 44 years he has conducted research in polymer physics, concentrating on structure-property relations in high-performance organic materials. He is internationally known for his research in high-performance rigid-rod polymer and carbon nanotube fibers, X-ray scattering studies of fibers and liquid crystalline films, polymer dispersed liquid crystals, and theoretical studies of ultimate polymer properties.

J. Downey Bridgwater
President - Houston Market,
Comerica Bank

J. Downey Bridgwater is President of Comerica Bank's Houston Division. Mr. Bridgwater began his banking career at the First National Bank of McAlester, Oklahoma. In 1979 he joined Allied Bank (later acquired by First Interstate Bank) where he spent the next 11 years holding positions on increasing responsibility, including serving on the Bank's merger team during its consolidation with First Interstate. Mr. Bridgwater then joined Charter Bank in 1991 as Senior Vice President of Corporate Banking. He joined Sterling Bank in 1996, was named president in 1998, CEO in 2002, and Chairman in 2005. He served in those three roles through July, 2011, when Sterling was acquired by Comerica.


Parker-Bobby.jpg Robert L. Parker Jr.
Executive Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Parker Drilling

Mr. Parker Jr., age 63, is the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Company, and was appointed as the interim President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company in March 2012 upon Mr. Mannon’s resignation. Mr. Parker is on the Board of Directors of the University of Texas Development Board, the University of Texas Health Science Center (Houston) Development Board, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the American Petroleum Institute and the Greater Houston Partnership. As Chief Executive Officer of the Company, Mr. Parker brings a wealth of historical knowledge and strategic experience and is well suited to serve as a link between the Board and the Company’s management. Mr. Parker brings significant experience in the oil and gas service industry through his more than 35 years with the Company, and his membership in the International Association of Drilling Contractors.

Afternoon Keynote


Michael L. Coats
Johnson Space Center Director,
Johnson Space Center/NASA

Mike Coats, former astronaut, returned to NASA in November 2005 to serve as the 10th director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Coats graduated from Ramona High School, Riverside, California, in 1964; received a bachelor of science degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1968, a master of science in Administration of Science and Technology from George Washington University in 1977, and master of science in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in 1979. Coats, a Navy pilot and flight instructor, logged 315 combat missions in Vietnam and has more than 5,000 hours flying time in 28 different types of aircraft, and more than 400 carrier landings.