Bob Kilford – Keynote Speaker

Health and Safety professional and experienced engineer

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Bob Kilford Profile Picture

Specialist Subjects

  • Health and Safety
  • Engineering
  • Oil and gas
  • Aviation


  • English


Bob Kilford is a senior Health and Safety professional with an extensive engineering background gained in the land and offshore oil & gas drilling industry, deep coal mining, power generation and aircraft operational roles.

Kilford spent the early part of his career in the Royal Air Force. After training, he worked as a junior engineering manager on the Nimrod maritime reconnaissance aircraft before moving to Germany for 3 years to manage the storage and servicing of air-to-air missiles and other explosive ordinance. He then underwent further technical training and for the next few years worked as a technical analyst assessing the capabilities of foreign aircraft before returning to work on Nimrods in a more senior role. Throughout this time he was exposed to many hazardous operating environments and gained a good grounding in engineering principles and procedural discipline which have helped him to manage safety ever since.

On leaving the Air Force Kilford moved into the power generation industry, initially in an engineering capacity but then transferring into safety to eventually head up the Health & Safety organisation for EDF Energy’s non-nuclear activities in the UK. After 5 years in this role Kilford was asked to join UK Coal to lead the safety improvement strategy for the UK’s few remaining deep coal mines after a period when they had had several fatalities and regulator interventions. Unfortunately, a catastrophic underground fire shortly after he Joined UK coal, combined with a downturn in world coal prices, meant an earlier than planned end to this company.

Kilford moved on to become the Global Head of Health, Safety, Security & Environment for KCA Deutag’s international oil and gas drilling operations. Amongst the initiatives Bob is spearheading there is the redesign of their safety management system to ensure KCA Deutag managers can always answer the question How do You Know?

Currently he is Director of Health Safety and Environment at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology since january 2016 and previously was Global Head of HSSE at KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd for a year until 2015.

Kilford has a degree in Electrical Engineering, a Masters in Aero Systems Engineering and a Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety Management. He is a keen cyclist and when he gets the chance he also likes to sail his 16ft catamaran. He has two adult children and maintains his link to aviation through his son who is a Boeing 737 pilot.

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