Trey Mebane, Commencement Speaker
Read Mr. Mebane's address
Trey Mebane, the director of business development at NOV, is an engineer by training. Varco (which merged with National Oil in 2005) hired him in 1997 to revitalize new product development. Mebane's marquee project for Varco was the development of V-ICIS, a "Star Trek" chair for drillers. V-ICIS provided drillers with a touch screen command center that replaced more than 3,200 knobs, dials and buttons that drillers previously had to scan and monitor. It was able to give the driller control of critical systems while still automating routine operations.
Mebane also recognized the need to create a social network of innovators to integrate the aggressive acquisition strategy the company was following. To achieve this objective, NOV partnered with the McCombs Master of Science in Technology Commercialization (MSTC) Program - one of the few technology commercialization degree programs in the country.
Having completed the MSTC degree himself, Mebane realized the principles and skills the degree taught could address the challenges facing NOV and encouraged NOV to send additional engineers through the program. Three years and 25 NOVers with MSTC degrees later, NOV top management recognized the positive contributions that MSTC graduates were making. Mebane became the catalyst for launching NOV Ventures, a yearlong certificate program for educating 50 NOV engineers each year. This program is now in its second year and planning for the third year has already begun. The MSTC program has become the perfect vehicle to assist NOV in achieving its goal of creating a culture of innovation.