As part of the BW Offshore family, I have spent my time on several tasks in a number of locations working with people from many different backgrounds. The exposure I have had to all elements of our industry has helped me grow both personally and professionally. The experiences serve as a reminder of exactly why I made the choice to apply for the BW Offshore Summer Internship almost a decade ago.
I started my career in BW Offshore as a Summer Intern in 2012. During that first summer, I worked on a structural design for a lifeboat platform centred around structural analysis and regulatory compliance considerations. The summer intern group also visited the Singapore Office for two weeks where we were able to meet many of the faces behind the logo including a visit to a VLCC, BW Ural. Spending the day onboard really helped understand the operation of this vessel and appreciate the reasoning behind courses taught at University.
Since joining the company, I have worked on several large projects, and been involved from design stages up until project completion. I have been relocated to Singapore, where I have become a Project Engineer and been able to expand my learning to all aspects of the FPSO Industry.Craig Ralston, Project Engineer
The following summer, I worked on ballast system design for new build concepts whereby I investigated existing system designs and optimization opportunities for future projects. I was able to travel offshore where I performed Risk Based Inspections on the ballast system of BW Athena located in the UK Sector of the North Sea, which was a fantastic experience. This first taste of life offshore allowed me to witness the operation of a BW Offshore asset with my own eyes. Onboard I integrated with crew on daily operations and learned the importance of offshore procedures including vital safety control procedures.
Upon completing my degree, I returned to the company as a Junior Engineer Naval Architect and was immediately exposed to the international side of the business. Whilst based in the office in Oslo I was given a variety of tasks including Stability Analysis for new FPSO projects, Global Hull Strength Analysis and Stochastic Fatigue Analysis for conversion candidate vessels. During the Graduate scheme, I visited 4 vessels spread over 3 countries and 3 continents! I was given real responsibility, and the learning curve was steep. Onboard the vessels I experienced the following:
- BW Opal, Singapore: Spending 10 days onboard this vessel accompanied by a Senior Naval Architect we inspected the hull structure and evaluated its suitability for a potential conversion project. This involved entry and close-up visual inspection of structure inside several tanks onboard the vessel. The deliverable was a global structural analysis on return with an overall summary of the suitability of the vessel for the proposed project.
- Petróleo Nautipa, Gabon: Spending 4.5 weeks onboard this vessel I was the lead focal point for an Underwater Survey. This role required me to have an accurate understanding of the vessel and its structure in order to plan and report on daily activities in conjunction with a DNV Class surveyor and the attending dive team who were performing the underwater inspection.
- Belokamenka, Russia: Spending 2 weeks onboard this ULCC located in Kola Bay (Murmansk), I completed a number of surveys considering the unit as a candidate vessel for deployment as an FPSO. The main survey completed was on the ship structure and reporting its condition after many years at sea. I worked closely with an rope access inspection company deployed to assist with ultrasonic thickness measurements where I prepared necessary documentation for confined space entry to the vessel tanks, co-ordinated on the activities, carried out close-up visual inspections and reported on progress and findings of the inspections to our project management team.
- Cidade de São Mateus, Singapore: I boarded this vessel when in Keppel Shipyard, to complete a condition assessment of the Hull & Topside structures. The project lasted 6 months where I lived in Singapore and travelled to the shipyard every day. Many naval aspects of the vessel were covered during this time including steel thickness measurements, updated cross section analysis, stability modelling/analysis and weight control during all yard operations.
Since joining the company, I have worked on several large projects, and been involved from design stages up until project completion. I have been recolated to Singapore, where I have become a Project Engineer and been able to expand my learning to all aspects of the FPSO Industry. The first posting was in Keppel Shipyard on the BW Adolo Project as a Construction Lead for the Structural Discipline; planning and monitoring progress/quality on all structural activities onboard from hull steel replacement to new riser balcony fabrication.
After this I performed the role of Engineering Manager on the Condition Assessment and Engineering Documentation Review for FPSO Berge Helene, this involved co-ordination of subject matter experts and distribution of workload amongst the team as well as concluding on technical queries regarding all aspects of the unit. I am currently spending a large portion of my time within the Technology Development Department where I function as a Deputy Delivery Manager. This role requires a close understanding of the planning, costs, technical details and scope of work to be completed by our team whilst investigating technologies which can bring a competitive edge to our company; both in our core area of FPSO operation and in potential new business areas within the global energy transition.
In BW Offshore, I have developed in many more ways than my education prepared me for and I am very grateful for the continual exposure including opportunities that increase my responsibility within the organisation. Working with BW Offshore I am constantly provided with new challenges, helping me further develop as an engineer and employee.
Craig Ralston, Project Engineer