After graduating in 1977 from the University of Southampton with a degree in Ship Science, I went to work for the classification society
Lloyd’s Register, based in their head office in London. I joined the SERS department which provides a valuable ship emergency response service to vessels around the world that have incidents. Whilst there, I was involved in over 15 real life emergencies and countless exercises, using my naval architectural skills to provide technical advice to all types of vessels (tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, passenger ships and even a sheep carrier!) that had suffered from a range of incidents including major
groundings, collisions and explosions. I was also given the opportunity to carry out surveying work on vessels around the world and worked abroad in Denmark and Greece gaining practical experience of ships and the shipping industry.
My next position was as vessel superintendent for a pipelaying company which gave me exposure to a whole new type of vessel and the offshore side of the Shipping industry. In this role I worked for several months in Holland (in Rotterdam port) supervising the winter
maintenance of vessels and from there it was natural to progress into pipelaying project role.
This gave me the opportunity to see the vessel in action as I spent time learning about how pipelines are laid on the seabed and spent time offshore seeing the theoretical office work turn to reality (and also got to go on helicopters flying out to oil rigs!). After a time doing this, I was fortunate enough to be able to move to a commercial role, preparing bids and tenders for a wide variety of projects which again provided a new insight into how we turn ideas at the contract stage into reality.
I now work for BP Shipping where I joined as a Naval Architect in a marine assurance role, ensuring the vessels BP uses are safe and structurally sound. My next role was as chief of staff to the CEO which provided great insight into the workings of the company and provides a real birds eye view of the workings of the whole company as well as our interfaces into the rest of the BP group as we are part of an oil major rather than a traditional standalone shipping company.
I am presently working in a commercial role based in Canary Wharf which is providing me with more commercial skills and exposure to yet another side of the shipping business chartering and ship broking!
I have had a varied career so far which has provided me with many opportunities to learn new things and continuously develop myself. I have also had some fantastic experiences and a great balance of roles where I'm not 100% based in an office but have had the opportunity to see the world. It is a career where in every role I keep striving to learn new things and
provides a wealth of opportunities.