A Process Safety Management Company



Jillian Hays – Engineers Week 2019 Spotlight

Diligence in engineering excellence and developing trust-based relationships helped Jillian Hays become a trusted relief systems subject matter expert at a major client’s technology research facility.

Provenance Consulting Project Lead (Chemical Engineer)

Meet Jillian

About Jillian

Quick Facts

Job Title: Project Lead

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Degree (College/University): Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (The University of Texas at Austin)

Years with Provenance: 8 years

Years in the Industry: 8 years

Work Site: Bartlesville, OK

The Story

Engineer Spotlight

Houston, Texas, is known by many as the “Energy Capital of the World”. Its proximity to the industry means nearly everyone knows someone connected to oil and gas.

Jillian Hays grew up listening to stories from the plant around the dinner table. This served her well while she pursued her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

When it was time to decide on a career path, she reflects, “Knowing that an engineering degree can open up a wide range of opportunities made it an obvious field of pursuit for me.”

Provenance Path

Jillian joined the Provenance team in the relief systems group – one of the most rigorous and technically difficult areas of Process Safety. For the past several years, she has been based in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, at a technology research facility for one of our major clients.

“I oversee the relief systems work for the PSM covered sections of the facility which specifically addresses the pilot plants. I work with the Environmental Health & Safety (EHS), process engineering, operations, and project groups to handle project work and ad hoc relief systems requests,” she explains.

This smaller facility is unique – it is not a production facility and so it comes with its own challenges. Some of those challenges include, “trying to apply codes and standards intended for production facilities to this type of facility (such as sizing, calculations, and methodologies), continually working on variances to fit the technology, interpreting application of codes – it’s been a big learning curve.”

There are some benefits to working at this unique site. Since the facility isn’t focused on meeting production goals, conducting shut downs are done more frequently and with less hesitation. Since the site is researching and piloting technology, there are more personnel with doctoral degrees which creates a different culture.

Another difference is in the projects themselves. “The client wants us involved in actual installation of PRDs, working with all parties involved,” Jillian states.

“At production facilities, that work is usually split between design and implementation. Here, we get to submit a recommendation and witness it installed in the field within a few weeks. Then we’re involved in updating the final documentation. We get the chance to resolve problems as we go and see it all the way through.”

Engineering and Project Management

As she’s settled into her role at this facility for the last few years, Jillian has found that her role is more about project management than simple engineering. She’s become a communications “clearinghouse” between Provenance and the client – she gathers information, addresses IT issues, keeps the engineers on task, and directs priorities.

“As Project Lead, I spend less time doing calculations and am involved earlier in the projects,” she says. “While overseeing a small team, I focus more on delegation and financial action items than just task completion. A Project Lead’s responsibilities focus on creating efficiencies between the project team and the client.”

Jillian has a unique ability to gain a clear understanding of the client’s needs. “We focus on determining how our clients like to work and craft our recommendations accordingly. Being onsite around the people making the decisions and hearing them share their opinions allows me to understand the different parties and different preferences involved. Developing those relationships with the client is crucial,” she explains.

Her supervisor and Relief Systems Line of Service Manager, Justin Phillips, agrees.

“Jillian is a careful, detail-oriented engineer who makes conscientious decisions in her work and approach, but is also personable, reasonable, adaptive, and focused on customer service. The organization depends on Jillian to manage her client’s needs and to lead the team of engineers, co-ops, and technicians that make her client’s visions become reality.”

Relationships Work

While general engineering stereotypes might lead you to believe there is one “type” of engineer, that’s just not the case. There’s a range of engineering personalities to work with, although most universities provide little guidance on navigating the relationship side of working in these facilities.

“I developed most of my relationship-building skills on the job by focusing on doing the best job for the client,” Jillian comments.

“The social aspect of my personality has helped in the role of contractor and created valuable relationships with clients. It’s important to develop those relationships before situations get difficult or you need to have important conversations.”

Jillian’s strive to provide her clients the utmost best possible service makes her a valuable and indispensable member of the Provenance team. By leveraging her technical acumen and drive to fully understand the needs of her client, she has earned the honored SME designation as well as the respect and trust of those she works with.

Provenance Engineer Spotlight Profiles

Engineers Week 2019


Matt Leos – Engineers Week 2019 Spotlight

Faced with a task outside his normal scope, Matt Leos proved his flexibility and creativity when he focused his engineering mindset on developing innovative software and data management solutions used by major oil and gas companies.

Provenance Consulting Developer and Special Projects Lead (Mechanical Engineer)

Meet Matt

About Matt

Quick Facts

Job Title: Developer and Special Projects Lead

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

Degree (College/University): Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering (University of Texas at Austin)

Years with Provenance: 7 years

Years in the Industry: 8 years

Provenance Office: Austin, Texas

Project Sites: Borger, TX; Ponca, OK; Sweeny, TX; Enid, OK; Deer Park, TX

The Story

Engineer Spotlight

Part of being an engineer lies not only in what you do, but also how you do it.

In university classrooms, engineering students develop a specific mentality. Matt Leos describes his experience,

“Engineering school taught me how to problem solve. The ‘engineer’ mentality includes asking lots of questions, seeing the problem from different angles, figuring out the core problem, all while applying a tireless work ethic – you study, study, study.”

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Susheela Nayak – Engineers Week 2019 Spotlight

During her career at Provenance, Susheela has leveraged a strong relationship with a mentor to better her technical communication and project management skills. She now manages a team that works on multiple client projects.

Provenance Consulting Project Lead (Chemical Engineer)

Meet Susheela

About Susheela

Quick Facts

Job Title: Project Lead

Hometown: Bengaluru, India

Degree (College/University): Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (University of Texas at Austin)

Years with Provenance: 6 years

Years in the Industry: 6 years

Provenance Office: Sweeny and Houston, Texas

Project Sites: Sweeny (TX); Borger (TX); San Francisco (CA); Bayway (NJ)

The Story

Engineer Spotlight

Few professionals, in any field, will claim to be successful in a vacuum. Most will identify an influential figure who encouraged them. Then there are the lucky few who can claim to have had a true mentor – Susheela Nayak is one of them.

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Vipin Vijayakumaran – Engineers Week 2019 Spotlight

Early focus on achieving technical certifications allowed Vipin to pursue his own career path at Provenance, which now includes leading teams at multiple sites.

Provenance Consulting Site Lead (Mechanical Engineer)

Meet Vipin

About Vipin

Quick Facts

Job Title: Site Lead

Hometown: Palakkad, India (Grew up in Mesaieed, Qatar)

Degree (College/University): Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Arizona State University)

Years with Provenance: 6 years

Years in the Industry: 9 years

Provenance Office: Borger, Texas

Project Sites: Borger, TX; Freeport, TX; Conroe, TX

The Story

Engineer Spotlight

From the desert sands of Qatar to the plains and canyons of the Texas Panhandle, Vipin Vijayakumaran is blazing his own path toward career success and engineering technical expertise.Read more


January 2019 Newsletter [ProvPSM Perspectives]

As we begin 2019, we are all hitting the ground running here at Provenance Consulting. These first weeks have been just as busy as the end of 2018 – API conference in Galveston, welcoming new Co-Ops in Houston, and some exciting upcoming volunteering opportunities.
Read more about these items, including a special note about goals from our SLT, in this month’s ProvPSM Perspectives.

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