AUGUST 26, 2015
Shell Technical Team responds to questions on a popular motor oil forum.

The Internet loves to talk, type, share, tweet, and post about a myriad of subjects. However, motor oil typically doesn’t get that kind of attention across the wider web. But believe it or not, there are some very knowledgable and avid subject matter experts out there. One of our favorite places to go for this kind of chatter is the forums over at (BITOG, for short). The folks on BITOG know their stuff, and we love getting to pick their brains and read their opinions from time to time.

Luckily for us at Pennzoil, the great team that runs BITOG has been gracious enough to allow some of our technical team members to participate in a question and answer session with their readers on subjects like motor oil myths, viscosity grades, and component wear. You can follow along with that thread here.

Get to know more about the members of the Pennzoil Technical Team that will be participating in the Q&A session below. You might recognize some of them from previous videos and articles we’ve shared.

Shanna Simmons
Shanna Simmons, Shell Research Engineer and Technical Advisor

Shanna is an honors graduate from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering. Prior to joining Shell, Shanna gained experience in the oil and gas engineering industry with several firms and companies.

Today Shanna provides technical support to Shell customers for passenger car motor oils, transmission fluid, and fuel–which can include training, product launch events, and technical marketing materials. Shanna also serves as the technical advisor for BMW of North America, which makes sense because her dream car is a BMW X5 M.

Shanna’s passion is teaching others about technology by making extremely technical concepts understandable and enjoyable for everyone, which is exactly what you can find her doing in the Know Your Oil series. She also enjoys promoting STEM careers to young students.

Mark Ferner
Mark Ferner, Project Manager

Mark is one of the biggest car enthusiasts at Pennzoil, and he has the credentials to back up his passion. Mark has a mechanical engineering degree from Florida International University, and he also obtained a two-year degree in Automotive Mechanics. Not to mention, he’s an ASE certified mechanic.

With 26 years of technical R&D and operational leadership experience in lubricant and fuel technologies, Mark knows the industries from back to front. He’s worked at crude oil plants, in the lab on lubricants, at industry events discussing lubricant specifications, as a gas station attendant and operations trainer, as a fast lube employee, and as the technical point person for professional motorsports teams.

His passion for automobiles is obvious when you check his past list of “projects” including a 1969 Firebird and a 2000 Jeep Wrangler, both of which were heavily modified. He’s updated the engine, suspension, and brakes on his 1970 Corvette Stingray with performance modifications. His next project is installing power steering. Check out these videos of Mark talking about wax and zinc in motor oils.

Richard Dixon
Richard Dixon, Pennzoil Technology Manager

Richard has worked for Shell for over 19 years in Lubricants Technology. He has a degree and postdoctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Richard has worked as a lubricants formulator in industrial and crankcase lubricants in the past, and currently works with passenger car crankcase oils for several Shell brands. In addition, Richard also has developed consumer engine oils and specialized, OEM factory fill engine oils. Richard enjoys seeing consumers using the products he works so diligently to perfect, and he’s motivated by their candid feedback and views on the different motor oils.