John Spell


John Spell is an Advisor at Pilko & Associates and has 36 years of petrochemical experience.  He has over 24 years of olefins experience in various positions including operations, process engineering, project improvement, and process safety.  He also spent six years as Production Leader for a Polypropylene plant and six years as an EHS Leader. During his career, he worked for Dow Chemical, Braskem, Flint Hills Resources, and Motiva Enterprise.

As EHS Leader, he led teams to assess and improve fundamental work processes such as:

  • Safe Work Permitting and Personal Safety
  • Isolation of Energy and Returning Equipment to Operations
  • Confined Space Entry and Hot Work
  • Process Safety Analysis / LOPA and Risk Management

John has many years of experience working with front-line operations and maintenance as well as leadership organizations.  He has been a production engineer, turnaround manager, project manufacturing rep, operations manager, startup manager, Olefins Technology manager, and plant manager.  He has led the startup of new plants, trained new operators, and created operating discipline elements such as operating procedures, training material, training front-line operators, and certifying board operators and shift supervisors.  He led the startup of a new plant in Argentina as well as shutdown and decommission of an Olefins unit in Texas.

He has a proven track record of helping plants achieve record asset utilization. He also has extensive experience in advanced process control for both normal operation and managing unplanned events.

John graduated from Lamar University with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering.