5 QUESTIONS - Client Representative

Atlas Professional Gordon Foot

Why this position, and why this industry?

“The multiple challenges that this senior position provides allow me to continuously develop and hone my skills. It also offers the opportunity for me to use my many years of experience and to use tact, diplomacy and technical awareness on projects to achieve the best results from cross-functional project teams in an ever-evolving international environment. This level of seniority and experience has been achieved by prior service in submarines in the UK Royal Navy and many years spent as staff with service companies such as TTS, Racal, Thales Geosolutions and Fugro. The combined 30+ years enables me to apply my knowledge and experience to a wide audience on diverse projects globally for oil majors and renewables clients.”

How would you describe your job?

“The role of client representative involves risk management, oversight and HSEQ adherence in a variety of vessels from 30m to 200+m LOA and from a client’s project engineering and survey perspective involves complete oversight of scope of work, ACoPs and compliance to client company specifications, production levels and reporting. This starts at mobilization and calibration and invariably does not conclude until completion certificates are signed and the vessels have left the field. Both before and after all these events a great many contractual and procedural meetings and procedures are administered. You are interacting daily on a variety of levels from the chef right up to the vessel master and includes OIM’s, service company OM’s and shore project and technical managers so personality counts and diplomacy whilst pressing the clients aims is a must. It’s all about maintaining flexibility and managing challenges and expectations daily. Those that consider it an easy role to undertake should understand it is not quite your average 12 hour shift!”

And the Offshore Survey & Construction industry?

“This industry is buoyant, challenging and it presents many opportunities to those willing to embrace the hardships that overseas working involves. Being away from one’s family means the quest for work life balance is always on-going. Travelling globally also allows me to promote my local community charitable aims. West African youth in particular have benefited from my youth community football equipment donation. A very satisfying opportunity, in a small way, to be a force for good in a globalized industry. The children’s smiles are a great tonic in a hectic work schedule.”

Thinking of progressing your career?

“I currently operate in one of the most senior offshore positions. When I get too old and tired to bob about on vessels, I’d like to move on to a senior role in risk, emergency, and disaster planning in the oil, gas, renewables sector, or a similar role within aspects of critical infrastructure security in the maritime domain.”

What have the highlights been so far?

“Operating globally has given me the opportunity to work in some of the most beautiful places on the planet like Alaska and Brazil, as well as more remote places such as the Aleutian and Ascension Islands, and challenging places like Nigeria and the Congo. Most of all it has provided me with opportunities to work with every nationality, culture, religion and sense of humour known to man. It’s the camaraderie and the ‘all working together to achieve an aim’ that provides my buzz.”