I joined MPI Offshore 10 years ago as a Structural Engineer to design sea fastening grillages for offshore wind farm (OWF) components. In 2018, MPI became part of the Van Oord Offshore Wind division. I originally come from a highways and bridges background rather than oil & gas or marine environment, so initially there was a steep learning curve for me. I worked on projects such as the London Array and Lincs OWFs and slowly I assumed more responsibility overseeing the work of others. In 2015 I was made the Lead Engineer for the Rampion Offshore Wind farm. This was a very challenging project due to difficult ground conditions and the fact that the installation vessel was at the limit of what it could achieve.
For the last year I have been working as an Engineering Manager in the Foundation Unit providing technical support to the project team working on the Saint Brieuc Offshore wind farm in France. My team of engineers and draughtsmen are based in Stokesley, UK and in Gorinchem, the Netherlands. We are responsible for producing technical drawings for deck plans, sea fastening structures, lifting studies, rigging designs and bespoke tools. A big part of our work now is to manage third-party specialist companies in order to design specialist equipment that will save time offshore.
I am motivated to solve difficult problems and provide efficient solutions. I like to think there is always a way of doing something even if it seems impossible, it’s just a matter of finding it. I have been very impressed by the expertise and experience of my Van Oord colleagues. The depth of in-house knowledge that can be called upon is superb and I have found that everyone is keen to help if they can. I have learned how to make better use of an individual’s strengths and decide when to get involved in the detail and when to take a higher level overview. I have learned to accept that everyone in the team is different and has unique qualities to bring, and that not everyone thinks the same way as I do. I see this as a positive that helps drive innovation and fresh thinking. In a big organisation like Van Oord, I think it is important to take the opportunities when they arise. Give it your best and your efforts will be recognised. I still enjoy being part of the smaller MPI, but it is nice to feel you have the backing and size of Van Oord supporting you. The offshore wind industry continues to go from strength to strength. I am excited to be a part of that and I am looking forward to the next challenge that awaits.