Education: Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
Master of Science, Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University
Master of Business Administration, Texas Christian University
Preston Weintraub isn’t afraid of pushing boundaries – in fact, the accomplished engineer thrives when presented with the most onerous of obstacles.
“He innovates by attaching himself to difficult challenges, leaning on his technical expertise and customer engagement focus, to subsequently understand and provide genuinely advanced solutions to solve real world problems,” says David Nemetz, president of Gilmore, a Proserv Co.
“Preston prides himself on the ‘D’ in R&D, with a strong emphasis on actually productizing technologies. He continues to generate fresh innovations and does not simply rely on old solutions and methods to solve problems. Preston uses proven technologies but he also advances new ones, where necessary, to meet market needs.”
Tech track record: Weintraub has been innovating ideas and solutions for more than 25 years. Early in his career, he was part of a team that designed and developed a complex, electromechanical coiled tubing drilling system. Later, he led the development of a measurement-while-drilling formation tester.
At Gilmore, a Proserv Co., Weintraub has been involved in the roll-out of numerous key innovations. He has been integral to the evolution of the dual patented, Key Seal assembly, a scalable, high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) dual direction seal, which leveraged an existing legacy valve.
The Key Seal technology has resulted in a suite of critical service valves, specifically aimed at the harshest and most corrosive oilfield environments.
Recently, Weintraub has provided an innovative technology to Gilmore’s second-generation relief valves for drilling control systems. This valve represents a fundamental shift in sealing methodology for relief valves, directly enhancing durability and reliability.
Career track: Weintraub’s potential was apparent even from the earliest stages of his career. When he was a research assistant at Purdue University College of Engineering, he devised a fuzzy finite element analysis algorithm.
He was hired by Schlumberger as a design engineer in 1995 before first joining Gilmore, for one year, in 1997. This brief period proved crucial as it introduced Weintraub to the core valve product line at the company that he was to have such an impact upon when he rejoined the business.
Weintraub also spent time with numerous other oilfield service providers and drilling outfits, honing and widening his expertise.
But in 2012, he returned to Gilmore and has had a major role on the refining and expansion of the team’s wide portfolio of valves.
“I saw the potential in Gilmore back in 1997,” Weintraub says. “To return, armed with wider experience and knowledge, and to be free to expand a legacy product into a full product offering of critical service valves was, and has continued to be, a great opportunity, and a rewarding one.
“The additional responsibility for our new technology strategy was something I craved, as I enjoy the full scope of developing products for the now and the future. We continue to innovate, pushing the envelope, such as with exciting new technologies aimed at reducing friction, and therefore, energy requirements, in hydraulic valves."
Accomplishments: Weintraub was the recipient of Gilmore’s status of Technical Authority in 2019. He was published in the SPWLA 45th Annual Logging Symposium, 2004 (Simulation of Formation Evaluation). He is the author of 15 patents, with numerous others pending approval.
An enjoyable task: For Weintraub, coming up with solutions for the upstream industry’s most challenging problems is part of the fun.
“Innovating new products and new technologies is complex,” he says. “It is about pushing boundaries and taking technical risks. When the ‘tried and true’ methods we lean on cannot get to a solution, one must be willing to pioneer beyond them to find a successful result. Many of my accomplishments have come from being challenged beyond my comfort level.”