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Engineering For The Future

Engineering For The Future


Rob's Blog: Engineering for the future

I first came to Aberdeen as a student 13 years ago - young, optimistic and with a full head of hair. Staying on here to start out in the oil and gas industry was a natural step when I finished my studies in 2008. I had no idea at the time that I was part of a new wave of recruitment that formed part of the company’s growth strategy for the next few years - Scopus was expanding in the volume of work and numbers of personnel, and was soon to add new services to offers its clients, whether in the North Sea or internationally.

Working offshore as a surveyor I gained first-hand experience of the sharp end of the business. The process of extracting oil and gas from a challenging offshore environment is complex and specialised, and depends upon professionals from different companies and disciplines - from engineers to pilots, divers or caterers - working together as a team. After a few years I moved into the office in an operational role and was able to witness a major step change in the history of Scopus as the company took a calculated risk in the market and started carrying out in-house engineering of Repair Orders (ROs). This was initially aimed at the piping discipline, but was soon followed by structural, and has since developed into a full multi-discipline capability for brownfield modifications.

With Scopus joining Amec Foster Wheeler in December 2014, and with the continued development of our engineering capabilities, the timing coincided with a dramatic shift in global oil and gas markets. With supply outstripping demand, the price of the commodities fell and as a result operational budgets and expenditure naturally fell too. Many major engineering projects which would normally have gone ahead were put on hold as operators and suppliers adjusted to the new market conditions. For Scopus, this adjustment provided an opportunity as the company were already targeting efficient delivery of brownfield modifications, allowing it to move seamlessly into position and compete as a ‘tier 2’ engineering & construction provider.

As well as operating in new market conditions and within the newly energised market for brownfield modifications, Scopus also developed a new way of working. With our engineering teams fully empowered to follow a scope through from start to finish, reducing interfaces whilst delivering efficiency and reduced costs, the people and culture developed to have a greater sense of responsibility and hopefully, fulfilment and achievement from their work. Similarly, the ‘fixed price’ commercial model allowed Scopus to cut a niche in the market for delivery to our clients.

I myself moved from operations to business development (where I have been for a few years now). We have a new Managing Director, Neil Brady, joining us and it is an exciting time to see the growth of Scopus continue and build into what will hopefully be a growing industry again. Over the course of my career with Scopus so far I have witnessed many changes, within the company, the market and notably my hairline, I look forward to the what 2017 may bring us as a company, and from a personal point of view - hope some form of hair growth treatment will be included.


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