Speaker Biographies

Please see below the speaker biographies.


Jerzy Buzek MEP

Jerzy Buzek MEP

Chair, Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, European Parliament


Jerzy Buzek is a Polish politician, former Prime Minister of Poland (1997-2001) and former President of the European Parliament (2009-2012). Member of the European Parliament since 2004, he is currently chairing the EP's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Conference of Committee Chairs.

Known for his activity on the energy front, he and Jacques Delors launched the European Energy Community initiative, aimed at strengthening energy legislation and cooperation within and outside the EU. He is the European Parliament’s former rapporteur for EU Internal Energy Market, European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) and EU's 7th Framework Programme for Research.

In 2013-2014 he chaired the High Level Reflection Group of the Energy Community which proposed a reform enhancing the operation of this organisation.
Jerzy Buzek holds "MEP of the Year for 2013 in the field of energy" title awarded by the "Parliament Magazine".

Sławomir  Brodziński

Sławomir Brodziński

Vice Minister, Chief National Geologist of Poland, Ministry of the Environment, Poland


Sławomir Brodziński graduated from the Faculty of Mining of the Silesian University of Technology in Gliwice (1974) and received the title of Ph.D.Eng. in 1984.

In 1974-1983 he was an academic teacher at the Faculty of Mining (now Faculty of Mining and Geology) of the Silesian University of Technology; then a research assistant in the KOMAG Mining Mechanization Centre in Gliwice. In 1980-1981 he took part in academic reforms. In 1986 he was honoured with a team Award of the Minister of Industry.

In 1989/90 he was a contractual worker in Iraq, before starting work in government administration: he was director of the Training, Technological Progress and Cooperation Office at the State Mining Authority (SMA) in Katowice , then Director of the President Office and the Director General from 1998-2006. During his work in the SMA he organised the civil service’s mining offices. Under his management the SMA obtained ISO 9001 certificate and the Regional Quality Award. In 1992-2004 he was deputy editor-in-chief of the monthly magazine published by the SMA Occupational safety and environmental protection in mining and secretary general of the international organisation World Mining Congress (1998-2004). He authored and co-authored more than 60 publications in the field of mining.

After that he was Director General of the Central Statistical Office (2006-2008), active in restructuring the office. In 1995-2009 he completed several trainings and courses in administration, quality management and management of structural funds. He is a graduate of the Polish-Dutch European Postgraduate Studies (2000).

In 2009 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to the position of the Head of the Civil Service. He succeeded in implementing the new Civil Service Law of 2008. In 2010-2011 he was a member of the Government Work Programming Team. He was also appointed by the Prime Minister Under-Secretary of State to be Chief National Geologist in the Ministry of Environment in December 2013. In 2014 the amended Geological and Mining Law was passed in Poland. Civil servant (2001). General Mining Director 1st Grade.

He is married and has a son.

Hans-Joachim Kümpel

Hans-Joachim Kümpel

President, Federal German Geological Survey (BGR)


Prof. Kümpel graduated from both Kiel Universty and Freiburg University, having studied mathematics and geophysics. He also spent one year at Nice University, France. In 1982, at Kiel University, he got his PhD in Geophysics. He was a post-doc scientist at Dalhousi University, Halifax, Canada in 1983. From 1991 to 2001, he held a professorship in Applied Geophysics at Bonn University.

In 2001, he became Director of the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics in Hannover, lecturing at Clausthal Technical University and Leibniz University Hannover. His fields of research include physical rock-fluid interactions in the Earth’s crust. From 2007-2009 he was President of the German Geophysical Society. Since 2007, Kümpel has been President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), the National Geological Survey of Germany.

BGR has 750 staff members and is subordinate to the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy. BGR’s headquarters are in Hannover.

Małgorzata Woźnicka

Małgorzata Woźnicka

Head of Hydro-geohazard and Groundwater Protection Program, Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute


Małgorzata Woźnicka graduated from the Faculty of Geology at Warsaw University as a Doctor of Earth Sciences (PhD). Previously she was an academic teacher at the Faculty of Geology, Warsaw University. Her responsibilities at the Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute include the performance of the Polish hydrogeological survey in the area of appraisal, balancing and protection of groundwater resources.

She is head of the Hydro-geohazard and Groundwater Protection Programme at the Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute. Since 2010 she has been involved in researching the environmental aspects of unconventional gas production, with a focus on hydrogeological issues. She co-authored a report presenting the results of environmental studies made in the area of the first European hydraulically fractured well, drilled out under a shale gas exploration and appraisal project.

Grzegorz  Pieńkowski

Grzegorz Pieńkowski

Director for Promotion and Cooperation, Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute


Grzegorz Pieńkowski graduated with honours from Warsaw University (Department of Geology) in 1976, obtained a PhD in 1982 and a DSc degree (habilitation) in 2005, becoming a Professor of Earth Sciences in 2013. His main research fields include integrated stratigraphy, sedimentology, palaeoecology and ichnology.

Researcher at the Polish Geological Institute from 1980; periodically (1984-1987) - visiting professor, Stockholm and Lund University (Sweden); Polish Consul-General in Sydney (Australia) 1991 – 1996; adviser to the Minister of Environment 1998-1999; In the Polish Geological Institute head of the Geological Museum (2000-2001), deputy director and scientific secretary 2008-2013, and since 2013 Director for Cooperation and Promotion. He ran a number of Polish and international scientific projects, including the NATO-SPS project on the storage of petroleum in salt caverns and pro-ecological use of salt brine, and the International Geoscience Project 506 on global correlation of the Jurassic system.

Voting member of the International Subcommission on Jurassic Stratigraphy and member of the Global CCS Institute. In December 2014 Pieńkowski was nominated Chair of the Group I of European Science and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction (Group I - Exploration and demonstration and production projects in the EU). He published over 140 scientific papers, including 4 monographs and 2 maps.

Monika Konieczyńska

Monika Konieczyńska

Environmental Geologist, Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute


Monika Konieczyńska is a graduate of the Faculty of Geology of Warsaw University, the Department of Environmental Science at the Central European University in Budapest and Manchester University. She is a hydrogeologist, environmental protection specialist and a Doctor of Earth Sciences (PhD). From 1992-1995 she worked at the Faculty of Geology of the Warsaw University, and from 1995 at the Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute; between 2009-2011 she was Head of the Environmental Geology Unit PGI-NRI and participated in projects associated with geochemistry and contamination of ground-aqueous environments, the assessment of land and underground water status, environmental problems associated with the uptake of and underground storage of CO2.

Since 2010 she has been researching the impact on the natural environment of the exploitation of non-conventional deposits of hydrocarbons. She managed the unit which conducted the first Polish research works that covered the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the natural environment, performed in the Łebień LE-2H borehole ‎‎in the Pomerania region.

She participates in the international research programme Shale Gas Joint Programme within the framework of the European Energy Research Allianz by the European Council, and is a member of the expert group Geo-Energy Expert Group by the association of the European geological institutions EuroGeoSurveys (EGS). In 2012, she participated in a training delegation to the USA, which was devoted to the issue of non-conventional deposits of hydrocarbons covered by the EGS and USGS cooperation of the American geological service.

Simon Talbot

Simon Talbot

Managing Director, Ground-Gas Solutions Limited


Simon Talbot is the Founder and Managing Director of Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd. With over thirty years experience as a professional geologist Simon has devoted much of the last fifteen years to geo-environmental and ground-gas contamination issues and innovative environmental monitoring methodologies.

Simon has a first-class degree in Geology from the University of Manchester and a Masters in Engineering Geology from the University of Leeds. He is a Chartered Engineer through the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and is a Fellow of the Geological Society. Simon is also an Associate Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas, an Associate Member of UK Onshore Oil and Gas and is a Founder Member of the Onshore Energy Services Group.

After working for several years for the Anglo American Corporation in Africa, Simon worked for a number of national and international consultancies before being appointed head of the Greater Manchester Geological Unit (GMGU) in 1998. Based within the University of Manchester, Simon managed a multidisciplinary consultancy team providing minerals and water planning and contaminated land consultancy services. In addition, Simon taught at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels, ran professional training events and collaborated on a number of research projects at Manchester University.

Following the development of a continuous ground-gas methodology, Simon founded Ground-Gas Solutions Ltd (GGS) in 2009. GGS is now the UK’s leading consultancy specialising in continuous ground-gas monitoring and risk assessment. The company provides specialist environmental monitoring services to the on-shore petroleum sector and has been involved with many of the leading shale gas exploration projects.

Simon is regularly asked to speak at national and international conferences on ground-gas and environmental monitoring issues.

Koen Verbruggen

Koen Verbruggen

President, EuroGeoSurveys and Geological Survey of Ireland


EurGeol Koen Verbruggen PGeo is a Geology graduate and has a Masters in Petroleum Geology, both from UCD. He spent 15 years in the resource industry, briefly in oil and gas, but mostly in mineral exploration for junior Irish exploration companies. He worked and lived for several years in Canada and Australia and also worked in Mexico, Cuba and various parts of Africa. In 2000, he joined the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI), working first in Minerals, then in Information Management and before becoming involved in the Marine Geology programme, where he co-managed the flagship INFOMAR project, Ireland’s national marine mapping programme. More recently, Koen has been involved in all aspects of GSI’s management, working closely with GSI's parent - the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, and in January 2013 he was appointed Director of GSI. In 2015 Koen commenced a two year term as President of EuroGeoSurveys, the representative body of Europe’s Geological Surveys, which works closely with European Institutions on all aspects of geoscience.

Rafał Miland

Rafał Miland

Director of the Department of Geology and Geological Concessions, Ministry of Environment of Poland


A lawyer, Civil Servant and active in the energy sector, Rafał Miland graduated from the Faculty of Law at the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (2001) and National School for Public Administration in Warsaw (2003). He also attended the post-graduate faculty for Management in Public Administration in Leon Koźmiński University in Warsaw (2015).

He started his career in public administration in the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Poland, where he was responsible for double-taxation treaties and direct taxes. Between 2005 – 2006 he was a Deputy Consul in the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Malmoe (Sweden).

In 2006 he started working in the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Poland as Deputy Director of the Oil and Gas Department. His was responsible for fuel stocks, supervising the natural gas market and EU-cooperation. In 2009 he joined the oil transportation company PERN “Przyjaźń” jsc (operator of transit oil and fuel pipelines in Poland) where he worked on preparations for investment in underground oil and fuel storage facilities as the plenipotentiary of the management board.

He has been working in the Polish Ministry of Environment since January 2012 as Head of the Department of Geology and Geological Concessions. He supervises geological concessions issued by the Minister of Environment, and also oversees the legal regulation of geological activities in Poland and shale gas issues.


Andrzej Rudnicki

Andrzej Rudnicki

Spokesman, Polish Geological Institute-National Research Institute


Andrzej Rudnicki graduated from Warsaw University (Department of Geology - stratigraphic and exploration geology) in 1997 and completed his postgraduate studies in journalism at Warsaw University in 2003.

He is a specialist in PR and corporate communications, with 18 years of experience as a journalist. Editor-in-chief of the Kredyt Bank corporation magazine, special project manager for the Kredyt Bank's press office (1997-1999). International News Reporter and Editor in several, leading Polish newspapers (1997-2005), War Correspondent in Iraq (2003), News Reporter and Presenter in Polish television stations - TVN and TVP (2007-2015) and in Polish radio – ESKA, RDC (1997, 2014-2015). His main field of interest as a journalist included geology, politics, military, societal affairs, economy. From April 2015, spokesman of the Polish Geological Institute, member of the expert network on Shale Gas Information Platform and Infoshale net project participant.



Thursday 17 September, 2015
09.30 to 15.30




Silken Berlaymont Brussels

Boulevard Charlemagne 11-19
1000 Brussels

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