Interview with Scott Mildren, Tech Limit

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Welcome to an interview with Scott Mildren, Managing Director of Tech Limit.

What is your background?

Scott Mildren
Scott Mildren
I have been working in petroleum geomechanics for over 20 years around the world with a particular interest for integrating analyses with other disciplines to develop unique solutions. I co-founded my first company, JRS Petroleum Research, back in the early 2000's and we provided image log and geomechanical services in the Australasian market. We were acquired by Ikon Science in 2012 and became responsible for bringing geomechanical functionality to RokDoc and building integrated workflows with their pre-existing pore pressure, rock physics and geophysics groups.  After leaving Ikon in 2020, I founded Tech Limit to plan and develop a brand-new approach to integrated geomechanical analyses based on all my past experience.  The Tech Limit Toolbox is the result of this endeavour.

How did you become interested in innovation and new directions in the industry?

Working in a multi-discipline environment with many different clients that are dealing with a range of different problems, I have been in a good position to see that a lot of today’s tools still separate disciplinary tasks or make it difficult for non-experts to easily generate results that require integrated workflows. As datasets are getting bigger, workloads are getting heavier, and results are required quicker, I feel we need to improve the accessibility of multi-discipline workflows and optimise the effort required for execution.

Please describe a new technology or process that you are involved with.

We have been developing our flagship software suite, The Tech Limit Toolbox, which is a platform for building and running integrated geomechanical workflows.  It is comprised of over 50 tools that can be linked together on a workflow canvas to perform systematic sequence of calculations.  Discipline experts can build workflows and set parameters for others to simply drag and drop data to generate results with confidence.  Our design philosophy is also built around the removal of all the difficulties that individuals experience when building geomechanical models, such as, eliminating time spent loading data, simplifying the iteration process to calibrate models and maintaining calculation histories to replicate the process used to generate derived logs.

Who will benefit from it?

I believe our approach makes geomechanics more accessible to non-experts and permits them to build their own expertise at the same time. Intuitive controls will let anybody build models and apply them to a range of applications without reducing calculations to a simplified black box.  All aspects of a workflow are available for users to dive deeper and experiment with alternative scenarios without compromising their dataset. It also permits discipline experts to dictate methodologies and settings via specifically designed workflows that they can then disseminate within their group and quickly expand their output for internal delivery.

Where will the technology or process be in a year?  three years?  five years?

Im hoping that initiatives like ours can help open up geomechanics beyond just the experts to become accessible to a wider community.  The barrier to the creation of innovative multi-disciplinary workflows can be lowered and we can find solutions to local problems quicker and easier.
We also believe that the implementation of geomechanics within the Tech Limit Toolbox is just the tip of the iceberg and that as a platform, a broader selection of tools will permit users to construct workflows across many more disciplines. All the benefits we are now providing to those wanting to perform analyses integrating geomechanics can also be applied to more traditional disciplines such as petrophysics, rock physics and geophysics.

What makes you optimistic about the future?

Our users can create their own tools and workflows within the Tech Limit Toolbox and I am excited to see how they will use that ability to expand its functionality and what problems they will be able to find solutions to.

Please recommend a book or two that you found insightful.
  • Structural Geology (Fossen, 2016): a great starting point for those making first steps to understand fundamental geomechanical concepts.
  • Design of Everyday Things (Norman, 2013)


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