Coffee break with Kasper Juul, Electrical Engineer, Offshore Wind:
How do we work in Semco Maritime, Offshore Wind? What makes it meaningful to work in Semco Maritime and what do you thrive doing? Andreas Kjærnø sat down with one of our electrical engineers working with LV Power systems on our Offshore Substations, to talk about his daily work and constantly pushing the boundaries for better unique solutions whilst meeting tight deadlines.
Hi Kasper, tell me about your position within Semco Maritime?
Well, I am working as an electrical engineer in the LV department. This means that I am designing LV systems on offshore substation projects for the wind industry. I am also responsible for the installation of the LV systems.
What are you working on right now?
I am completing the LV installations on the world’s first Reactive Compensation Station (RCS). This substation is part of the Hornsea 1 wind farm, which, once fully commissioned, will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm.
I know that you are currently following a project to its offshore phase working. Could you tell us a little about what it actually involves?
Working offshore and being responsible for the LV of a project like the one I am currently involved in, is a somewhat special experience and involves several fields of work.
I act as a link between the Semco Maritime project team and the client. This means that I am responsible for the day-to-day planning of tasks.
In addition to working as a link between Semco Maritime and the client, I also provide support to our foremen and electricians. This means that if our foremen are having some challenges with the installation of a given system, it is my job, together with the team, to find an acceptable solution based on the standards we are using. Once we have found a solution it is my job to document the corrections to a given system.
What other challenges are you facing in your daily work?
Since I am working offshore, my biggest challenge is that I have to look several days ahead. I need to have particular and constant focus on materials versus various tasks as there is no day-to-day delivery of materials offshore. Besides, planning of tasks is also one of the things that challenge me as the weather and other tasks have a great impact on our work offshore.
What is important to you when putting together a good team and creating an exciting working culture?
When I am selecting a team, it is important that the foremen who will be responsible for the installation of the systems will be relatively capable of independent action and not be afraid of questioning a given design. The reason why I find this so important is that sometimes the “road” from a piece of paper to the real world may seem a little long.
Have you learned something new about yourself when working on this project – and, if so, what?
This is a very good question and I have really given it some thought these past days. This project has taught me very much – both personally and professionally. For instance, I have become better at thinking several days ahead. Besides, the project has also taught me how many tasks I am able to keep in the air at the same time. Professionally I have learned how important good teamwork is and how giving sparring with others can be.
What is the best thing about being a LV power specialist in Semco Maritime?
It is definitely that I am not only a LV specialist. LV integrates with so many other systems, and you therefore need to be a little familiar with or have some knowledge of these as well. Besides, LV is also constantly evolving, especially with a view to doing things smarter and more effectively.
Let’s go back in time, how did you end up in Semco Maritime?
My history with Semco Maritime goes far back to when I started as an apprentice electrician. Having completed my apprenticeship, I was briefly employed as a qualified electrician until I found another job. However, it did not last long until I was back in Semco Maritime.
During my second period in Semco Maritime I travelled a lot, both onshore and offshore, in connection with various projects in Norway, Singapore and Denmark – mainly within the oil & gas industry. I did so for quite a number of years until I started a bachelor’s programme in Technology Management and Marine Engineering.
When it was time for an internship during my 6th semester, and for writing my bachelor thesis, I contacted Semco Maritime. Having delivered my bachelor thesis, I was briefly employed in the electrical workshop at Semco Maritime to help them repair an EXD panel since the workshop was a little short of manpower.
2 or 3 days later, a project manager from Semco Maritime called me, and suddenly, on the 2nd of January, I found myself in a permanent job with Semco Maritime again – now on site in Aalborg :).
What is the funniest thing about your work in Semco Maritime?
Hardly 2 days are the same!
A last question, what potential do you see in the offshore wind industry?
This is not an easy question, but given the way the world looks today, I would say that offshore wind has great potential. Besides, it provides work far into the future, and new countries are constantly committing themselves to “the green wave”. Having said that, I also see an industry that still has great potential for further development as far as the design of offshore substations is concerned.
Thank you for a great talk, Kasper!