Earth Sciences welcomes new Visiting Professor

Earth Sciences welcomes new Visiting Professor

Oxford Earth Sciences are delighted to welcome Martyn Millwood Hargrave, who will be joining us as a Visiting Professor from summer 2021.

Martyn has a successful career spanning over 40 years in geoscience, energy, and entrepreneurship. He has founded earth resource start-ups, led scale ups, acquired and divested over 10 businesses, and fulfilled senior leadership and advisory roles for governments and industry leaders. He is founder, former CEO and Chairman Emeritus of IKON Science Ltd, a leading global subsurface software technology developer (

For the first 11 years of his career, Martyn lived and worked in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Australia, UK, and the US working in active technical geophysical and geological positions in resource exploration companies including BG E&P plc., Trafalgar House Oil and Gas plc, and Acre Oil plc.

His entrepreneurial career, begun in 1990, has focused on initiating, developing and commercialising new research-based geoscience software in start-up companies including Troy-IKODA Ltd), Fusion Oil and Gas plc, Virgo Energy Ltd and as a founder investor of FTSE 100 & 250 African explorer Ophir Energy Plc. He founded Ikon Science in 2001, developing the popular RokDoc® software system and in 2018 he led Ikon Science Ltd to gain a majority investment from private equity major Great Hill Partners of Boston USA. Stepping down as CEO and Executive Chairman to become non-executive Director in 2020. Ikon science holds 3 Queens awards for global trade and innovation (2014, 2016 and 2019) and the Institute of Physics prize for Innovation 2017.

He is an enthusiastic protagonist for the social role of both geoscience and business and has served as a director of the UK Petroleum Science and Technology Institute, chaired the Upstream Industry technology body, GeoNet UK, from 2000-2003, and was an advisory board member of the Centre for Earth Energy Systems (CeREES) of Durham University (2008 – 2013).

Martyn has contributed to government policy by providing expert evidence to select committees of the UK government on oil and gas exploration and public enquiries on geologically hosted nuclear waste disposal and took part in a government mission to Iceland in 2015 which aimed to gain access to new sustainable geothermal energy sources for the UK.

Martyn’s specialities – and passion – derive from a broad understanding of the interrelationships between science, geoscience, and technology.  He has a track record in identifying promising solutions which can be accelerated by the further research, development, and commercialisation of those ideas. He has raised significant funding for start-ups and scale ups generally, though not exclusively, in new subsurface technologies. His key management skills are in opportunity identification, communication, team building and mentoring both senior executives and early-stage professionals.

Martyn is a keen traveller, reader across genres, writer, photographer, cook, cyclist, hiker and long-distance walker and runner, having completed 10 marathons, Ultras and Biathlons. He is a member of various societies exploring science and society. Martyn is a trustee of the TDC Trust private trust aimed at dispensing charitable donations and UK based small scale good works. He has funded modern medical resources in India via the Prakritik Society (Ranthambore Hospital) and has over 30 years’ involvement with mental health charities and women’s education charities in Afghanistan and Africa.