Sheetal Handa


Role: ICAM Associate Director

Partner: bp

Sheetal Handa graduated in Chemistry from King’s College, London in 1982 and completed his PhD in organic synthesis (Synthetic Opiate Analgesics) also at King’s in 1985. He then went on to a postdoc at Duke University in North Carolina in developing enantioselective synthetic methodologies using carbohydrates. This was followed by a postdoc at Cambridge under Professor Sir Alan Battersby FRS in vitamin B12 biosynthesis.

He joined Shell Chemicals at the Sittingbourne Research Centre in 1988 as a bio-organic scientist. Here he led a team of chemists and bio-chemists discovering and developing bio-catalysts for organic synthesis as well as for key chemical targets.  During this time he developed novel bio-mimetic catalysts for oxidation. He then spent three years as a senior scientist in Shell Agrochemicals and led a team developing scale up routes for Shell’s current and development agrochemicals.

He left Shell to take up an academic position in the Chemistry Department at King’s College, London in 1993.  Here he built up a research group investigating bio-mimetic catalysts and enantioselective synthesis of natural products.

He joined bp Chemicals in 1997 as the Organic Chemistry Consultant and was involved in a range of chemical programmes, ranging from catalysis, polymer chemistry, fuel additives, oilfield chemicals to commercialisation.  He was also involved in the delivery of high throughput methods for the discovery of catalysts and the discovery and testing of oilfield chemicals.

He joined bp Legal in 2002 to be the IP Advisor for Group. Here he negotiated a range of large research and development collaborations and licensing deals for Group, bp Upstream and Downstream, including seismic TCAs, MEOR with Dupont, and Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In 2006 he was appointed Technology Portfolio Leader for the Upstream Projects TU and was responsible for delivering a diverse R&D portfolio including deepwater, LNG, and pipelines research and development. 

In 2010 he was appointed University and Laboratories Manager in the Ops HSSE & Engineering Function, and set up the "bp Laboratory" for Corrosion and Materials through a long term collaboration with two Universities and two commercial Laboratories. 

In 2011 he was seconded to Group Technology and was a member of the team that developed the case for the bp International Centre for Advanced Materials (bp-ICAM) through to its launch. In 2013 he was appointed Research Programme Director for the bp-ICAM. In January 2017 he was appointed Associate Director for the bp-ICAM.