Our Team

Experienced leadership team with proven track record.

Benji Strange


Ben is the majority shareholder and CEO of Strada. Ben’s vision is to find applications for Strada’s technology that enable sustainable energy using geothermal heat, and also the delivery of critical infrastructure. He is responsible for the day-to-day running of Strada, seeking out opportunities that require low cost, fast, deep drilling methods that make delivery possible and profitable, irrespective of resource depth and local geology.

For latest updates follow Ben on Twitter @benjistrange

Taras Olijnyk


Taras has extensive experience in a range of fields, including Subsea Construction, Subsea Well Abandonment, Subsea Riserless Light Well Intervention Equipment (RLWI), downhole tooling and Fluid (water) Powered Down The Hole Hammer drilling tool design, manufacture and testing.  Taras has over 25 years of engineering experience, designing solutions and implementation plans for global projects. In the past, Taras has delivered projects for Air Drill, Transco MFG Australia, Seatrac, AGE Development, SDS Digger Tools. Taras has been the driving force behind the development of our unique technology and its applications.  He is continually innovating and improving our offering to ensure that we can offer the most effective deep drilling solution in the world.

Kurt Reif

Operations Manager

As Strada’s operations manager, Kurt has extensive knowledge and experience in the drilling, exploration and mining industries.  Kurt has delivered global projects using a wide range of technologies including; Detroit, Cummins and Caterpillar engines, Sullair, Atlas Copco and Ingersoll Rand Compressors, Hurricane and Air Research Boosters, heavy vehicles and various other machines used in the drilling industry.  In the past, Kurt has also managed projects for VM Drilling, Orlando Drilling, Bellzone Mining, Australian Exploration Drilling, Mitchell Drilling International, Tiger Drilling around the globe. He manages and supervises the testing and drilling of all our wells, providing technical percussion leadership for our drilling crews.

Julian Jones

Julian Jones is the founder of the Drilling Systems Group an oilfield business specialising in Drilling Simulation. Julian holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Southampton University graduating in 1983 and a Masters of Petroleum Engineering from Strathclyde University graduating in Scotland in 1984. Julian has over 30 years of experience in the oil industry, of which five years were spent in Drilling Operations offshore as a Drilling Engineer.  He built up his own company Drilling Systems as a start-up in 1988, to an international oilfield service company, with operational bases in Bournemouth, Houston and Dubai. In April 2015, Julian sold Drilling Systems Group to Blue Water Energy, a private equity company. Currently, Julian is involved in commercial property investment on the island of Jersey and UK Property development in Sandbanks, Dorset and is a shareholder in Strada Design and Galaxkey.

Jonas Ellerstrand

After having finished his studies in economics at the University of Lund, Sweden, Jonas worked for 15 years at Craelius, a division of Atlas Copco in Carros, outside Nice. In 1989 Jonas became the founder of Technidrill SAS France, a company focused on the manufacturing and distributing drilling equipment, within mineral exploration, as well as coring equipment and reversed circulation. Jonas and his partners sold Tehnidrill in 2009 to the French company Eurofor.  Jonas is a shareholder and advisor on Strada’s board, bringing with him extensive knowledge of drill manufacturing and logistics that is critical to our decision-making.

Daniel O’Brien

Daniel was previously Managing Director of venture capital investor Harwell Capital, with responsibility for the group and leading the investment team. Since 2008 Daniel has invested directly across several sectors, and advises venture capital technology companies specifically within FinTech and Impact. Daniel is a Chartered Financial Analyst with extensive experience in portfolio management and investment analysis. Daniel studied a BSc in Biological Sciences at Exeter University before working as an equity analyst / investment manager at Collins Stewart and credit analyst / investment manager at DPZ Capital, before its acquisition by Brooks Macdonald International.

Greg Branch

Greg is a Senior Partner and Alternative Asset Management Specialist, guiding the delivery of cross-border financial strategies for the financial service sector.  After joining Arthur Andersen Financial Services in 1980, Greg was made partner in 1993 and was responsible for building up Arthur Andersen Offshore, including Jersey, Guernsey, IOM and Gibraltar.  Greg became Senior Partner at Deloitte Jersey following the 2001 merger of the organisations. Since 2013, Greg has used his experience to implement sophisticated business strategies for a range of organisations.  He has considerable experience helping Private Equity backed businesses to ensure successful exits. Greg is one of Strada’s trusted advisors, supporting our valuation and fund-raising strategies, and driving critical decision-making at Board level.

Carol Beaugie

Company Secretary 

Carol is Strada’s Company Secretary and also manages the day-to-day running of our head office while providing support to our international team. Carol has worked in the finance industry in Jersey since 1982, firstly as a secretary, before moving into company secretarial roles from 1995. She has worked for various global businesses within the trust, financial and legal sectors.  Carol has extensive experience in company administration of a company and oversees our compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements. She also works alongside the CEO to ensure that decisions of the board of directors are implemented.