Katrine Hilmen, 34
Getting the most out of oil rigs
ABB Corporate Research
Katrine Hilmen is helping to keep dwindling North Sea oil fields productive. The chemical engineer at ABBs research center in Norway developed innovative online monitoring and management tools for oil production platforms. Her technology monitors parameters such as heat, vibration, pressure, and flow rates, and can quickly identify a problem and its cause. The typical benefits: a 3 to 8 percent increase in oil production, a 10 to 15 percent reduction in operating expenses, and less pollution. Her innovations in process optimization, which have led to four patent filings, are widely studied by others in the field, enhancing their impact.