Both – Project Engineers at Technip FMC
Duration in current role:
Erin Devaney – 3.5 years
Caitlin Gilmour – 4.5 years
Current work location:
Both – Westhill, Aberdeen or anywhere in the North Sea.
How would you describe your job to a 10-year-old?
Both: There is energy stored in the sea, and we need that energy to charge our phones, heat our homes and get from A to B, in cars, trains, buses etc. We help to get that energy from the sea back to an offshore platform or onshore facility, so that we can use the energy in our everyday lives. In the office, we plan what we’re going to do, then we go on site to oversee manufacturing of structures and pipelines which will transport the energy. Then we go offshore and install them.
What part of your job do you find most interesting?
Erin:The most interesting part of my job is being involved in the full project life cycle. It gives me the greatest sense of achievement being involved in the planning and engineering of a work scope in the office and then being part of the subsea execution on one of the TechnipFMC vessels. I will never get over watching divers work on the seabed carrying out the tasks you have spent months engineering.
Caitlin: I get to work with people from all over the world. As TechnipFMC is a global company, there have been many opportunities to travel and work with different nationalities. It’s a great bonus getting to see other parts of the world whilst getting paid!
Also offshore is a highlight for me. I find it so interesting and rewarding to see all the engineering and preparations you had done in the office, come full circle and get executed offshore. There are structures 1700m subsea that will be there for 25+ years, and I was a part of making that happen!
What part of your job do you least enjoy?
Both: We would have to say after 6 weeks on nightshift, 12 midnight to 12 midday and trying to get your body clock back into dayshift, has to be the worst part of the job! Falling asleep at 8pm and waking up at 4am every morning for the following week, isn’t too fun!
What inspired you to choose your career?
Erin: Growing up in Glasgow, I didn’t have the same exposure to the energy industry as someone from Aberdeen has. There, you are likely to be from a family or know someone that works in the Energy industry. I fell into Engineering almost by chance. In school, I enjoyed Physics, Maths and Art, and I knew I wanted to go to university. After advice and guidance, I ended up deciding that the best way to combine all my interests, would have been through a degree in Engineering. After moving to Aberdeen to study, I was inspired by the scale and opportunities provided by the Energy industry, and I had a keen interest in the subsea and infrastructure development, which resulted in making me pursue a career at TechnipFMC. Being a part of the subsea industry is something I am very proud of!
Caitlin: When I was in high school, I attended Scottish Space School. A weeklong workshop for students, interested in science and maths, and included extensive team building exercises at Strathclyde University. This was led by leading professionals and academics from the university, assisted by NASA engineers and astronauts who travelled over from America and Russia for the programme. This week showcased different types of engineering and after it I knew this was for me!
What or who has had the greatest influence on your career progression?
Erin: I owe great credit to fellow TechnipFMC engineers and colleagues for their guidance and mentorship throughout the beginning of my career. As well as during my graduate scheme, where I felt fully supported and encouraged to gain exposure to different areas of the business with the aim of becoming a well-rounded engineer. Throughout my education, my family have always made me feel that I can achieve anything if I work hard enough, they certainly have had a big influence on my work ethic today.
Caitlin: The mentors I have are invaluable. They encourage me to step out of my comfort zone and provide honest feedback while being enthusiastic about my career goals. I’m also a great believer in the phrase ‘the people you spend the most time with will shape who you are’. And I have a great group of family and friends in my corner that motivates and inspires me to keep progressing.
Both: From my experience in the industry, we believe that to create equal chances and opportunities we need to start by making young people aware of career options in the energy industry during the early stages of their education. By actively providing internships, work experience weeks, promoting apprenticeships and carrying out talks in schools to raise awareness of careers in energy we can set a tone that anyone from any background or gender can pursue a career in the field. We think this is a long-term goal to create an equal and balanced industry.
What is the last song you listened to? (Be honest!)
Both: Mastermind by Taylor Swift – or the whole Midnights album on repeat.
If there was a parallel universe with another version of ourselves, what job would you do there?
Erin: I would love being in the police force, preferably as a detective! Clearly watching too many crime dramas! I love the problem-solving aspect of my career, and would enjoy that in any other job or industry I work in.
Caitlin: I would love to be a performer on the stage. I really enjoy going to theatres and watching live shows. And I’m always thinking, I wish that was me up there! However, I cannot sing, dance or act so it would have to be a very different version of myself!
If you could solve one problem, what would it be and how would you solve it?
Both: It is very well known that there is an attainment gap in the education system. That means children and young people from deprived areas are less likely to obtain qualifications and guidance to carry on to further education. Issues such as housing, transport, access to internet and computer devices can contribute to pupils’ ability to learn.
Tools should be available to everyone in education to be able to meet their goals and aspirations, regardless of their background. The ultimate goal of education is not to produce high test scores, but to produce a well-rounded young individual. An individual who is confident, with positive mind set and has the correct support to find their place in the world, whether that be through an apprenticeship, university, or full-time work.
The energy industry should invest in today’s young people and shape the next generation! This can be carried out by sponsorships, mentoring, and offering work experiences.
Tell us something about yourself that may surprise everyone?
Caitlin and Erin are not twins, even though everyone in the office and offshore thinks they are!