Our Team

Experienced leadership team with proven track record.

Ben Strange


Ben joined Strada in June 2017 as Executive Director. He became Group CEO in January 2019.

Ben has a proven track record of organisational design, capital investment and allocating that capital with discipline. He has a passion for corporate governance and sets a high standard of accountability within the organisation. Ben’s vision is to find applications for Strada’s technology that enable sustainable energy and 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.

Taras Olijnyk

Head of Engineering

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

Head of Operations

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

Non-executive Director

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

Non-executive Director

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 director on Strada’s board, bringing with him extensive knowledge of drill manufacturing and logistics that is critical to our decision-making.