Jaramillo, Ph.D.

Metocean Engineer
Shell Global Solutioins US Inc.
Shell Oil Company

Ph.D., Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering, University of Florida
M.Sc., Physical Oceanography, University of British Columbia
B.Sc., Physical Oceanography, Escuela Naval Almirante Padilla 
B.Sc., Naval Sciences, Escuela Naval Almirante Padilla 

If you’re wondering what a “Metocean” engineer does, you’re not alone.  It’s one a highly specialized field combining meteorology and oceanography, and Dr. Sergio Jaramillo is a leader and an innovator whose work is defining this emerging area.

Dr. Jaramillo dwells in the fluid world between science and engineering, theory and application.  His work must consider structures that soar above the surface of the sea and currents that sweep the depths of the ocean.  As one of Shell Oil’s leading metocean engineers, he applies the power of his intellect to assets and projects company-wide and leads research that would be impossible for meteorologists and oceanographers on their own.

It’s not surprising that Dr. Jaramillo idolized Jacques Cousteau as a young boy growing up in Medellin, Columbia. Dreams of far-away places were a good distraction for a boy growing up amidst the drug gangs and paramilitary groups in his hometown.

With a love of science and a yearning for adventure, he enrolled at the Escuela Naval Almirante Padilla as a cadet in the Colombian Navy, the only place in the country where he could study physical oceanography as an undergrad. Adding naval science as the other half of his dual degree, he supplemented his studies with real world experience at sea over the next 10 years, first as a navigation officer, then as a commanding officer and port captain. 

His naval experience gave Dr. Jaramillo a keen understanding of the mysteries of the deep and unpredictable seas – and a passion to learn more. Discovering that the author of his favorite textbook taught at the University of British Columbia, he enrolled to earn his master’s degree there.

He continued to expand his knowledge of the effects of sea bottom topography on water flow through both his doctoral and post-doctoral studies. In 2011, Dr. Jaramillo joined Fugro Global and Environmental Sciences as a project oceanographer, where he managed more than $2 million in metocean studies for industries and government agencies.  He quickly earned a reputation as one of the world’s top metocean specialists. 

When he joined Shell in 2013, his talent helped to determine design criteria for some of the world’s most ambitious offshore projects.  Dr. Jaramillo’s extensive studies on the interactions between the sea bottom and deep ocean currents helped ensure that these projects could withstand local wave and current forces.

His research portfolio spans numerous topics with immediate real-world applications, including wave-mud interactions, flow over submarine canyons,waves and currents over rough seabeds, Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, biological effects on acoustic measurements, ocean response to tropical stormsand deep-water circulation in the Colombian Caribbean.  Dr. Jaramillo’s contributions to these applications are reflected in the innumerable papers he’s published and presentations he’s been invited to deliver.

He has taught pro bono at the University of Texas at Austin and seeks out deserving Hispanic grad students worldwide to provide research opportunities that can jump-start their careers. He also serves on their Ph.D. committees, provides career guidance long after they complete their educations, and acts as their mentor in the professional world as well.