Dr. Ali A. Al-meshari
Chief petroleum Engineer, Saudi Aramco
Vice-Chairman of the board of directors, SPE-KSA
1.Why did you decide to join the energy industry?
Observing the kingdom’s involvement in the global energy scene created a sense of eagerness to contribute to the country and the company’s mission of supplying the world with energy. This eagerness evolved to be a personal driver in ensuring that Saudi Aramco continues to be the leader in providing the world with sustainable and affordable energy.
2. What event, person, or life experience has had the most influence on the direction of your life?
There are many, but my parents influenced my life direction where they shaped my values that always kept me in the right direction. Saudi Aramco also influenced me, and I am so indebted to the leadership and career advancement opportunities provided to me. In terms of events and to limit it to a recent one, my involvement with the G-20 S-20 (Science 20) as a task force lead deepened my realization of the interconnectedness of this world in essential aspects such as health, fair access to water and energy, and circular economy amongst other topics. This realization was amplified as the G-20 S-20 was held during 2020, a challenging year due to the pandemic and disruptions to energy markets and supply chains. This ties back to my decision to join the energy industry.
3. What’s one thing — either industry/work-related or not — you learned recently?
The flexibility and agility of our industry and its response to the recent challenges it went through due to the pandemic. This allowed me to reflect on and learn from what went well and what needs to be enhanced, leading to achieving a positive and sustainable working culture that aligns with the Kingdom and the company’s goals and objectives.
4. Is there an achievement or contribution of which you are most proud? Why?
Although they are many, my contributions on the carbon circularity and sustainability front are dearests to me, as this ensures a steady supply of energy to the whole world.
5. What does SPE mean to you?
An excellent stage and venue for networking, sharing experiences, and knowledge. SPE, and SPE-KSA specifically, provided me with the opportunity to learn leadership skills and styles through others. SPE also serves me as a window with a view of the industry as a whole as I learn something new every day, whether technical or not.
6. When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your time?
I enjoy spending time with my family and perfecting my steak cooking skills. In addition, I like reading about leadership and new technology for personal development, especially digital transformation. I also make sure I spend adequate time exercising to be fit and healthy.
7. How do you define success?
Success is relative and is also a personal challenge for every person. You need to set your ambitious goals with a timeline, challenge yourself to meet them, and then set more goals. Success is achieving my goals and staying hungry to set and achieve more. The goals that I am talking about are not business only, they are around five dimensions: spiritual, social, health, financial, and career. The success is to strike a balance around these five dimensions.
8. What are you looking forward to in the future?
More ambitious goals around these five dimensions to set and achieve…
9. Quote or motto you live by
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo
10. Advice you would give to other SPE members
SPE is a great society that presents an excellent opportunity for everyone, especially young professionals, to network, learn, and stay up to date, so be sure to utilize it fully and contribute to it. Be resilient and work hard, good things happen to those who wait. SPE is great because of the contributions others made and continue to make.