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Working lives

Route to the job I had always been attracted by the unpredictability of marine engineering and after graduating with a degree in civil engineering from London University I went to work for specialist marine consulting engineer Coode & Partners. I spent two years in London and then three years in Tanzania, working on port construction in Dar es Salaam. I then joined the geotechnical company Dredging Investigations - part of Boskalis Westminster - and moved on to plant production evaluation in the UK and later in the Middle East, on a number of large dredging and reclamation projects.

From there I moved to the Netherlands, working in surveying and site investigation, and then on to Edinburgh, where I was engineering director for the Forth Ports Authority.

Expectations I joined Seacore 11 years ago to establish and develop the construction part of the business. I saw the opportunity to develop a high quality specialist service.

The reality Marine construction requires particular skills, equipment and abilities, all of which we have successfully developed. Renewable energy is an exciting sector for us as a specialist marine contractor - offshore wind power and tidal stream power. The latter is still in its infancy, the next stage being construction of prototype turbines off the north Devon coast, but we have already helped construct wind farms off the coasts of Sweden and England. We have managed to transfer monopile construction techniques from port construction to offshore windfarms as well as helping to install the turbines on these facitlities. We are now working on a second Swedish wind farm, some 5km off the country's eastern coast and are looking forward to helping construct some of the many wind farms scheduled to be built around Britain's coastline.

Advice You have to really want to work in this sector - coping with the sea is a challenging and unpredictable business. You need to be self reliant, confident, and physically fit.

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