Dr. Michael Ala has been closely associated with the oil industry for more than 35 years as an exploration geologist with an independent oil company, as a consultant, and also within the field of education and training. He has a B.Sc. in Oil Technology and an M.Sc., Ph.D. and DIC in Petroleum Geology from Imperial College.
In 1973 he joined Seagull Exploration International and was involved in exploration studies and prospect evaluation in many parts of the world including Africa, Northwest Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, the Caribbean, South America and the Middle East. In 1976 he became the company’s General Manager in London, responsible for its North European and Middle Eastern operations.
He joined the academic staff of the Earth Science Department of Imperial College in 1981, rising to the post of Director of the internationally recognized M.Sc. Petroleum Geoscience Course in 1994. Dr. Ala has published more than 60 research and review articles covering the Middle East and West Africa, focusing on the petroleum geology and oil industry of Iran and is on the Editorial Board of the international Journal of Petroleum Geology. He was also Editor in Chief of Seventy-Five Years of Progress in Oil Field Science and Technology, published in 1990. He is the author of An Introduction to Petroleum Geoscience, a textbook published by World Scientific/Imperial College Press in 2017. Since 1982 he has been involved in organising and presenting numerous industrial training programs in Europe, throughout Africa, Middle East and Southeast Asia.
Dr. Ala remains engaged in the oil industry and his commercial activities include providing advice on upstream projects and serving as a non-executive director on some oil company management boards.