ENGINEERING A BRIGHT FUTURE
Name: Stephen Kelman
From: Westhill, Aberdeen
Job title: Mechanical support engineer
Works at: Wood Group
Qualifications: MEng Mechanical Engineering from Robert Gordon University
WHAT DOES YOUR JOB INVOLVE?
I provide onshore engineering support for clients’ platforms in the North Sea and onshore facilities in Scotland. If mechanical systems fail, such as pumps, compressors, valves or cranes, I am the point of contact. I work with the rest of the onshore support team, vendors, and site personnel to get things back up and running while maintaining the systems essential to day-to-day operations. I always have to be ready to react and I am dealing with different challenges every day.
YOUR JOB’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The average age of assets in the North Sea is more than 25 years, so the systems on board can be older. This can prove challenging when trying to source some parts and equipment. Also, there could have been numerous modifications undertaken in that lifetime, so you have to ensure all the information and documents you are working from are correct and fully up-to-date to ensure the engineering work carried out on the platform is safe and efficient.
BEST THING ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I work with a wide range of people to complete a maintenance project – from engineers and technicians working offshore to planning teams in the office. During my time at Wood Group, I have gained a valuable insight to diverse aspects of the business and not just the mechanical side of things. Spending time offshore and visiting onshore sites has been an important learning experience because I gained a real understanding of the part I play and have seen first-hand the changing issues faced on assets.
BEST CAREER ADVICE?
Get involved in as much as you can. Don’t just think about the day job; if you have the opportunity to take part in charity work and other initiatives through your role then go for it. I am a STEM ambassador, have mentored school pupils in industry placements through Career Ready, which helps young people develop the skills they need for the world of work, and I am also on the Wood Group programme to develop future leaders in the business. This has significantly helped to
build my skills outside of my specific field.
There are a lot of opportunities to further my career in Wood Group and it’s not just about advancing my technical competency, but also about my personal development. Wood Group as a company supports a lot of different initiatives, which also opens the door for employees to get involved in different things.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM?
I want to continue broadening my experience and gain knowledge across disciplines. I am also keen to develop my leadership potential and go further up the ladder, whether that may be in an onshore role or going offshore. I want to seize every opportunity and make the most of it.