We’ve had the chance to catch up with Jamie Holmes, from the 2006-2007 cohort!
Where are you from, when did you do the ECE and what did you most enjoy about it?
I joined the ECE course immediately following a BSc in Oceanography and previously a period in the Royal Navy. I was particularly drawn to the course in order to apply the theoretical science of my undergraduate degree in a practical coastal and maritime engineering context. I enjoyed the applied nature of the course and access to a strong network for placement and graduate opportunities. My course peers had very diverse backgrounds which enriched the experience – particularly in the group assignments.
What have you been up to since; and what does a day in your working life involve?
Within a month of graduation I was working in Kuwait for the engineering consultancy Buro Happold, as a resident engineer on a large waterfront development project – what a baptism of fire! I relished the remote responsibility and seeing construction of coastal infrastructure that I’d been involved in designing. I subsequently spent six years at HR Wallingford, a specialist engineering consultancy, undertaking technical and project management roles on the design of ports, harbours and oil & gas marine facilities worldwide – including significant periods in the Middle East, Africa and Russia. In early 2016 I was offered an opportunity to join and develop a department at Marico Marine (www.marico.co.uk), a small independent consultancy based in Southampton, supporting the ports, oil & gas, offshore renewables, shipping and offshore industry with a focus on marine safety, navigation and risk assessment.
A typical working day doesn’t exist for me! Yesterday I was in London at a design workshop with engineering contractors for the Thames Tideway Tunnel – a major UK infrastructure construction project for which Marico Marine are managing the marine navigation risk for the design and construction. Later this week I’ll be back in London undertaking stakeholder consultation meetings on the project with the Port of London Authority and a number of the vessel operators on the river. For today though – I’m based in the office with our GIS and data analysts who are busy working on a shipping and navigation study in support of an EIA for the construction of a proposed offshore windfarm in the North Sea and I’ll be on a conference call later this afternoon checking in with our field engineer who’s installing a radar in preparation for a vessel traffic survey that we’re undertaking at a potential tidal energy site off the coast of Wales.
Have you any advice to ECE students that have only just started the course, or recently graduated?
Keep an eye focussed on modules, content and placements that align with your future career/employment aspirations. Take unusual and interesting opportunities, seek responsibility and challenge!