A career in offshore oil and gas engineering
Matthew’s engineering career began at 21, when he started an ECITB apprenticeship with the ECITB for two years then transferring for the final year at the Heerama Group, a firm that specialises in the offshore oil and gas industry construction of offshore platforms. After completing his apprenticeship, he focused on gaining a variety of experience, working on a variety of sites from power stations and petrochemical facilities through to offshore fabrication yards and mixed offshore installations.
He took his first supervisor role at 27, moving to an onshore construction support engineer role aged 30, which is when he put together a 10-year education plan. This time was well supported both academically and with experience / skills gained working for Aker Solutions.
You’re never too old to learn
Matthew has a thirst for learning and has continued to study throughout his career. In part this is because growing up he’d struggled at school and “engineering offered me a glimpse of hope that life is about learning and that you’re never too old to learn,” he enthuses. The main attraction within engineering construction is that it is so diverse, meeting so many different people with so many stories to tell of the vast engineering projects that they have worked on, no day is the same and you just never know where you will end up working in the world.
After completing his apprenticeship, he attended college part-time in order to complete his first HNC. At 33 deciding to take things to the next level by putting together an action plan to work towards a master’s degree in Engineering / Safety.
Since then, Matthew’s continued to work and learn in tandem. He aims to complete his Mechanical HND this summer and start an Open University BEng course in the autumn.
You don’t need a degree to achieve IEng
Matthew first began to think about Professional Registration a few years ago, when the IET held a meeting at the Aker Solutions, Aberdeen.
“I remember the speaker explained what I could achieve and I realised I had a chance to become an Incorporated Engineer (IEng). Until then I thought it was only for a certain group of people; like graduates or lead engineers.”
He liked the idea of gaining Professional Registration as it would bring together all his experience and achievements into a common, industry-respected standard. But it was when he first heard from the IET’s Registration Engagement Manager, Lucy Byrne, that things really started moving, as she provided him with the bespoke support he needed to progress with his IEng application.