HEROES (Renewables & Specialties) 2022/2023

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HEROES AT THE FRONTIER OF ENERGY, MARINE & RENEWABLES

2022/2023 RENEWABLES & SPECIALTIES EDITION ISSUE 8

Kung-Wan (Wilson) Lin, Lead Technician, Taiwan

Learning along the way Henk van Dalen, Director Ocean // The Ocean Cleanup

Making big waves for a cleaner future Esli Juliana, Recruiter // Atlas Professionals

Playing the matchmaker Caroline Forster // Seismic Navigator

Steering her life in a man’s world HEROES

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Atlas Professionals are delighted to present to you the new 2022/2023 Renewables and Specialties Edition of the HEROES magazine. The industries have seen a lot of challenges throughout the pandemic and, we are proud to have an organisation that demonstrated commitment and courage at every turn. Now, as we move on, businesses continue to prosper. Atlas Professionals remain the number one choice of our clients and professionals globally. Operating at the frontier of energy, marine and renewables we strive to provide a safe, reliable, competent, and happy workforce in all niches. And this flagship edition reflects that diverse set of voices from our clients, partners, and professionals. In this edition, we shine a light on the growing offshore wind industry in Taiwan and bring forth Kung-Wan (Wilson) Lin and Hsueh-Hui (Rachel) Lai with their job migration journeys. You will also read about The Ocean Cleanup and their awe-inspiring tale of striving to make our oceans a better place and then delve into the subsea world with professionals Caroline Forster and James Stephen. With these stories and more, we want to give you a sneak peek into the beauty of the energy transition and the challenges that lay ahead. Overall, the aim is to initiate you into what will be a vital year for our net-zero ambitions to 2030 and beyond. We would like to extend our heartfelt thank you to all our clients, partners and professionals for their continuous support and contribution. For now, we hope you enjoy reading this issue and look forward to supporting you in the years ahead. Atlas Professionals


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HENK VAN DALEN Making big waves for a cleaner future

NOORTJE STEVENS Swapping jobs is a welcome change


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WILKO DE JONG // HEEREMA MARINE CONTRACTORS GENERAL MANAGER, TAIWAN

Rising through challenges in Taiwan

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HSUEH-HUI (RACHEL) LAI SITE ASSISTANT

A career in offshore wind will never disappoint

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KUNG-WAN (WILSON) LIN LEAD TECHNICIAN

Learning along the way

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HENK VAN DALEN // THE OCEAN CLEANUP DIRECTOR OCEAN

Making big waves for a cleaner future

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WILLIAM BEUCKELAERS // OFFSHOREWIND4KIDS DIRECTOR

Bringing in a wind of change

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MATHILDE HOLLEGIEN // NORDEX PEOPLE & CULTURE (P&C) MANAGER

Keeping an eye on the ball

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NOORTJE STEVENS // NORDEX WIND SERVICE TECHNICIAN

Swapping jobs is a welcome change

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ESLI JULIANA // ATLAS PROFESSIONALS RECRUITER

Playing the matchmaker as a recruiter

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SYLVIA BOER // AYOP DIRECTOR

Connecting Dots: Connecting People

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RALPH SAVAGE & LAURA SMITH GWO & ATLAS PROFESSIONALS

40 ANDRÉ JURRES Fuelling the fuel of the future with green hydrogen

Contents

The warmup to the American energy transition

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EVERT-JAN DUURTSEMA RESOURCE COORDINATOR

Supporting the floating wind industry’s growth

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ANDRÉ JURRES // VISION H2 CO-CEO

Fuelling the fuel of the future with green hydrogen

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CAROLINE FORSTER SEISMIC NAVIGATOR

Steering her life in a man’s world

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JAMES STEPHEN & PAUL HAMPTON // ATLAS PROFESSIONALS AUV EXPERT & SENIOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

A skilled hand with many hats


NG EREMA MARINE CONTRACTORS DE JTAO WILAKLO AN, HE MANAGER, IW GENER

Rising through challenges in Taiwan

Wilko de Jong, General Manager, Taiwan, Heerema Marine Contractors, talks to Atlas about his work and how the job teaches him something new every single day

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After a successful stint in Texas, Houston for four years, it was time for Wilko de Jong to move back to the Netherlands. But as destiny would have it, the moving van was sent packing off to Taiwan. With the offshore wind investments seeing a shift from Europe to Asia, the new fulcrum of offshore opportunities lies in Taiwan. For Heerema, this was an opportunity to send Wilko to the island nation. Currently working on the Greater Changhua offshore wind farm project as a General Manager stationed in Taipei, this is one of the most challenging projects he has worked on. “I have been with the company since 2004 and have been to many different countries. This has been one of the toughest jobs in my career and every day is a new challenge. Taiwan doesn’t have an offshore history, they are at a budding stage and the culture is entirely different,” he shares.

Bridging the gap The Taiwanese government has set the target to source 20 per cent oft electricity from renewables and offshore wind by 2025. Aiming to be a market leader in the APAC region, Taiwan’s booming offshore industry comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. Breaking into the offshore wind industry and navigating cultural challenges on a day-to-day basis means adapting to situations constantly. Wilko is learning to tackle each day with patience striving to deliver his best on time. Having local talent onboard is key in the long run, Wilko shares. “Things in Taiwan are different, and they are not used to our way of working and change is slow. We have hired a lot of Taiwanese people into our team, and they are keen to learn. What I love about this culture is people are quick learners, they are extremely hard-working and have decent English skills. The main obstacle is the experience in offshore industry but that’s a growth process and they are now building onto it.”

A helping hand on-board Supporting Wilko in this journey is Atlas, who he agrees has been with him since day one. From white-collar recruitment to blue-collar

placements – Atlas has provided Offshore Field Engineers, QHSE Site Representatives, Storekeepers and many more positions. He shares, “Atlas was the first recruitment and manning agency that I connected with here in Taiwan and when I arrived, John (Atlas Professionals’ Business Development Manager) was among the first people I met within Taiwan and they have been supporting all of our searches since then. Atlas have delivered a couple of capable candidates — people that we’re very happy to have on our team.” Due to the pandemic, things are slower than usual and having a reliable, local partner has been crucial, “Working in Taiwan requires a lot of patience, and we are happy to have this support. It’s quite easy to talk to Atlas as they understand the ground situation well. The cultural barrier is probably bigger than the language barrier here in Taiwan and we have been trying to bridge that together,” Wilko says.

Riding the wave of change To meet its ambitious goals, Taiwan also needs competent professionals. The dearth of competent human capital is a significant challenge. Accelerating education about the industry is the first step towards overcoming this hiccup. “It’s important to educate people at institutes, universities and colleges to increase popularity about the offshore industry. It’s important to get youngsters curious to study those kinds of subjects, create a community of like-minded people and give them opportunities to meet industry insiders. This will ensure that experience that develops in Taiwan is retained in the country and is not diluted in any way,” he asserts. Atlas Professionals recently delivered a successful lecture at the National Kaohsiung University of Science and Technology (NKUST) about working in wind. We are open to hosting lectures at institutes all over Taiwan. Contact our Business Development Manager for more information by scanning the QR code.

Picture courtesy: Heerema Marine Contractors

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I A L ) L E H C A R ( H-HUI HSUSE ISTANT SITE AS

Rachel Lai transitions into the offshore wind industry in Taiwan

A career in offshore wind will never disappoint, according to site assistant Hsueh-Hui (Rachel) Lai, who works in construction in the renewables industry in Taiwan

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Rachel, who is supporting the construction work of onshore substations for offshore wind farm projects in Taiwan, has an impressive track record. Next to working on the construction of Taiwan’s largest railway, bridges, and factories, she was principally involved with supporting the negotiation process for one major civil work contract with an amount of 3 million euros and more than 120 contracts with sums of more than 6 million euros for a billion-dollar project in India for Apache SEZ Development India Private Limited. When we discuss the low female-to-male ratio on the various group pictures she shows during the interview with Atlas Professionals, she laughs, “To Taiwanese women, the office environment on a construction project is not so appealing!”. Rachel says she has no issues with this as she grew up helping her father out with his forklift and crane rental company. Coming from a family with five children, Rachel has accepted the difficult balance of life as a good student with the duties imposed upon her by the family business. This meant that simple childhood pleasures such as playing with friends had to be sacrificed. If she was not assisting her father with the accounting and the bookkeeping, she would join him driving crane trucks around the country. “I helped my father with his business since Year 6 and my work was not confined to an office desk. For example, I would join him and navigate (without GPS!) when he was delivering the heavy cargo and giant milk tanks to other counties. Therefore, I told my project manager in the interview that I am born for construction,” she says, laughing. She notes that her work as a Site Assistant in the offshore wind industry is relatively new, but she can leverage her previous experience. “The offshore wind industry is very different from the construction projects I’ve participated in. One example is the high level of quality, health, safety, and environmental standards that are observed. This is something we need to continue working on and communicating with our local EPC contractor and sub-contractors, so we talk the same language when it comes to ‘safety first,’ – we mean it and there is absolutely no compromise on that.”

Continuous improvement When Rachel resigned from her job at one of the biggest engineering and construction service companies in Taiwan, some colleagues asked her if she was sure about her decision. She was leaving a stable position after 12 years. Rachel stated that it was because all this time she had focused on continuously improving herself. “People said I was very brave to leave a job at this age, but to me, it was like – what’s the big deal? I am very confident about my ability and have no fear.” This continuous improvement is a common theme in her life. Wherever there is a learning opportunity Rachel takes it with both hands and soaks it up like a sponge. Especially making sure her English does not get rusty is crucial for her. “I have this passion for learning English and continuously improving myself. Constantly being in an English-speaking

environment keeps me from forgetting some vocabulary, expressions and understanding, and there are always new and interesting things to learn!” She also has utilised this passion for English to the benefit of others as a chairperson of the English Study Group of her previous company, organising numerous events and seminars. It does not come as a surprise that focusing on improving in English is her key recommendation to any local that wants to start working in the offshore wind farm industry in Taiwan. “The better your English, the easier the day-to-day communication on the job will be.” She adds that especially in these difficult times with the global COVID-19 pandemic, offshore wind is a very good industry. “Offshore wind is a new industry in Taiwan. However, it’s the future. And it is a bright and clean future. The opportunities are endless if you are starting now. It will never disappoint. We are so lucky to do this work and to have such a good working environment. The Western companies provide a lot of good benefits to their employees.”

Real-time interpretations The combination of her English proficiency, organisational talent and experience in the construction industry make Rachel the perfect candidate for the position of Site Assistant. When asked what the most satisfying aspect of her job is the answer is clear: doing real-time interpretations in the construction field, a skill she is very proud of. “During the meetings or other events my manager gives speeches and I translate them into Chinese for a lot of workers on site to understand with accuracy and fluency. If you would simply translate from English to Chinese without proper terminology, it can lead to misunderstandings. Then it’s just words and the audience may get confused. I wouldn’t let myself do that. It takes skills to do so, it’s mentally tough and it’s very rewarding to see my colleagues being confident, knowing that they are understanding one another”, she says. Rachel is also very proud of a big celebration event she helped to organise as a Site Assistant for the company she is contracted at. “It was a memorable moment. On that day, we handed out more than 600 T-shirts and polo shirts to all the workers and served around 800 breakfast packages. It was the third time we organised such an event. Everybody was so happy.” Rachel points out that organising these events on such a large scale is a new experience for her compared with her prior work experiences. “The previous companies I worked for wouldn’t think about giving away these free meals to the workers of subcontractors. We do it because we want to show the local people that we care about them, and we care about their safety and well-being. These events demonstrate my company’s happiness and gratitude to the workers, for helping to make the workplace a safer one for everyone.”

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LIN ) N O S L I W ( N A KUNGHN-ICW IAN LEAD TEC

Learning along the way as a Lead Technician in Taiwan

For Kung-Wan (Wilson) Lin, a technician in Taiwan – a career in the offshore wind was also about satiating his curiosity, and since then there is no looking back

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For Kung-Wan (Wilson) Lin his first steps into the offshore wind industry were out of sheer curiosity and sure make an interesting story about a smooth transfer of skills. An English graduate, with no technical educational background, today works at one of the world’s leading offshore wind companies, assisting the development of a large-scale offshore wind farms.

Having a yen for learning For most people, the ideal route to a vocation is via education. For Wilson, he learned his skills on the job. At his sales job, Wilson worked with a trading company selling auto control components and gained knowledge about machinery, “This is how I was initiated into the technical world. After selling equipment I also understood a lot about how they work.” Wilson then decided to quit this sales job and took a job as a technician in Japan. “A part of my duty was to assemble and repair LCD producing units, but I was also an interpreter, which meant I learnt a lot more with my language skills,” he elaborates. After his stint in Japan, Wilson chose to head back home to Taiwan and become a part of the growing wind industry. After accruing all the training and certifications necessary he was set to play his part, “The wind industry in Taiwan is booming, and the timing was just right for me to head back home and gain more technical know-how,” he says.

Safety first Wilson works with two teams of technicians in Taiwan. His 12-hour shift starts with making a log for the day for the maintenance and inspection of the offshore wind turbines. “What I love the most about this job is the flexibility, it’s not a standard office job. We have a varied range of work and assist in activities such as cargo lifting and personnel transportation. I also need to keep a tab on the weather because it’s often erratic, and we must change our schedules accordingly.” Communication and teamwork are key, and Wilson learns this on his job every single day, “Though we are working in Taiwan, we have an international team, and we mostly use English to talk to each other when

we are in an international group. You can’t call 911 offshore and we are reliant on our teammates to stay safe,” he shares.

Take your shot Ask him if he misses his office sales job and he laughs, “I’m not an office worker anymore and this gives me so much flexibility. Last year, I had a baby boy and it’s a new stage of life for me. For this period, I spoke to my supervisors, and I was working from home to coordinate, and manage tasks as we still have technicians on the vessel. So, I was tracking the progress and tasks from my computer at home,” he says. In Taiwan, people often shy away from contract jobs due to cultural norms, but Wilson believes that you must push your way forward and always have the hunger to learn more. When Atlas approached Wilson for this role, he knew that he had to give it a try, “It was my shot to chart a new career route and the process was so seamless because of Atlas – they coordinated everything well and it felt secure. My father ran a furniture factory for many years and is now retired. He never really told us to take one career direction, but we were always encouraged to stay curious. I would say if you get a chance, try, and explore the offshore wind sector. Don’t hesitate, and just start with a trial. The most important thing as a technician is to have a sound technical background so I would suggest that people try related career paths like machinery and mechanical vocations,” he asserts. For the future, Wilson aspires to continue gaining more knowledge every day and stay inquisitive, “The wind industry is about more than wind turbines, they are just a small part of this beautiful technical world. There is so much more to discover, and the next stage of my career will be where I learn different things within the sector.” Atlas Professionals opened their Taiwan office in 2020 and since then have been playing an integral role in cultivating local contacts and assisting companies with their workforce needs. Scan the QR code for more information about Atlas Professionals Taiwan and latest vacancies.

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N E L A D N A V K HENOR OCEAN, THE OCEAN CLEANUP DIRECT

Making waves with The Ocean Cleanup

As The Ocean Cleanup continues its mission removing floating ocean plastic – we got behind the scenes to speak to Henk van Dalen, Director Ocean and Atlas Professional Don Kemler, Senior Operations Manager, to fathom the depth of this endeavour

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The work which The Ocean Cleanup performs scarcely needs an introduction, their name says it all. They are on a mission to clean up 90 per cent of floating plastic pollution in our oceans. Sounds like a mammoth task, considering every year millions of tons of plastic enters the oceans. And it is. They are currently tackling this issue with a two-pronged approach. It includes harvesting plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with the help of System 002 – an active propelled capturing system, creating an artificial coastline to collect plastic waste from this accumulation zone. Simultaneously, The Ocean Cleanup is preventing plastic from entering the oceans from rivers by intercepting it at the source. The organisation, driven by its shared passion to make an impact, has evolved since its inception to become a more project-focused, researchbacked institute shares Henk van Dalen, Director Ocean. “Every step we take has been a great learning curve. As we are constantly testing and improving, the R&D aspect has become more predictable because you become more experienced and knowledgeable about the work you’re doing. If you translate all those tests into learnings and thorough risk assessments, what we get into is a process where we are reducing quite a bit of risk before we take the big step out onto the open ocean,” shares Henk. He joined the non-profit organisation to use his years of offshore expertise in combination with his passion to preserve the beauties of the ocean and his desire to surf cleaner waves.

Execution in the sea, help onboard Solving a problem this massive in size means roping in partners globally. Henk believes that having industry expertise and support has been beneficial for their uninterrupted run. “We work closely with offshore companies and get their expertise into the project. It is all about building and leveraging each other’s capabilities. For the operational side of things, we do need skilled people with a maritime and offshore background,” he shares. So, when Atlas approached Henk to lend a helping hand, the group was happy to have someone take note of their blind spots and support them. “As a team, we always try to plan for the best, but there are always these moments when difficulties arise, and one didn’t see it coming. Atlas has been a lifesaver, providing hands-on support with qualified personnel.

Picture courtesy: The Ocean Cleanup

They have been quick on the ball and have been thinking with us about the kind of professionals we require and finding ways to address our needs,” Henk says.

Navigating deep waters together Leading the vessels and acting as a liaison between the onshore and offshore team is Don Kemler. Atlas recently connected Don with The Ocean Cleanup, and since then Don has been working as a Senior Operations Manager with the non-profit organisation. Keen to be using his years of offshore experience for making the world a better place, he says, “I’m now involved in something bigger than myself. Cleaning up the oceans and making it better for everybody’s children. There is a level of dedication involved in this. When you see tonnes of plastic scooped out of the ocean and know that you have had a role to play, it makes the job worthwhile. For me, it was a life-changing career move, and I’m glad Atlas supported me with this role, and I took the plunge. This is a perfect opportunity for me to expand my horizons and test my potential too.”

Small drops in the ocean From a refrigerator to a mannequin doll, The Ocean Cleanup team has seen it all come out of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. It contains about 100 million kilograms of plastic, and the team’s offshore trips are always a worryingly cheerful experience. It’s intense, explains Henk, “When you see the system unload on the deck after a round of harvest, you notice the pile of trash in comparison to a human, it’s overwhelming. Also worrying that this was the result of only a week of towing a relatively small system through the waters there,” he says. Don agrees, “Everyone is doing everything they can to make this project work. When we can see it happen right before our eyes, it’s an exciting time, and emotions are flying everywhere. We love it.” For the coming years, The Ocean Cleanup wants to progressively double their fleet size until they have about eight to ten systems, “Although much is still uncertain, we hope to achieve that in 2025, and then we should be cleaning up the whole garbage patch,” Henk says.

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S R E A L E K C U E B M EWIND4KIDS WILLI,A OFFSHOR DIRECTOR

Bringing in a wind of change with OffshoreWind4Kids

William Beuckelaers, Director, OffshoreWind4Kids, talks about the genesis of his passion project and why kids need to be taught about renewable energy while they are young

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William Beuckelaers, a former Geotechnical Engineer with Jan De Nul, celebrates his birthday in January every year. 2021, however, was special. He turned 29 and wanted something memorable for his pandemic birthday. So, when his parents asked him what he would like as a gift – he said a ‘wind turbine’ so that he could have an apt background for his online work calls. When he started playing around with his new gift, the idea of building a small-scale floating wind turbine struck. “I knew I had some things from my childhood that I could use. Some tubes that I could connect and create a floating structure. I started by building a floating barge using things I had in my attic. I added inflatable water wings (like the ones a child just learning to swim would use) to make it float and, voilà, it was ready for its first test,” William shares. Two weeks later, William was off to the Belgian coast with two supporting structures to test – a monopile and a spar buoy. When a parent asked William if he also does it for kids – he had no response back then. But some months later, he did.

The origin William started OffshoreWind4Kids in April 2021 with the hope to teach young minds more about engineering, technology, and renewable energy. The organisation uses a hands-on approach where children can play with small scale offshore wind turbines, illustrating various aspects of offshore wind energy. Since its conception, he has held multiple demo days all over Europe, including a recent one with Atlas in the Netherlands. With the belief that, “If they experience the same joy as I do, perhaps they might be inspired to consider a future career in engineering?”

Lending a helping hand What started as a LinkedIn post and a buy me a coffee page today witnesses the support of industry leaders, including Atlas Professionals being one of the partner affiliates. With the offshore wind industry developing rapidly, the transfer of knowledge to curious, young minds is crucial and Atlas believes in being proactive and promoting this initiative.

To reach as many children as possible, William plans to use local hubs, “We plan to initially set up hubs in five countries: Belgium, the United Kingdom, Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany. There are some talks at a very nascent stage to take these demo days to international waters as well. It is good to see such an overwhelming response and to know that companies care about these challenges and are ready to invest in the future of wind.”

Challenges ahead With the rapidly growing wind industry, the challenge lies in finding the right skillset. He asserts, “We need a lot of people to join our industry. I often see that it is not easy to find the right people, just because there is a dearth of skilled people out there.” While in university, the gender gap within the classroom made him wonder where all the women in engineering were. “It is important to tackle this problem at an early age and involve parents. I looked up the statistics, and only 17 per cent of engineers were women at my alma mater. We all know that it is not enough. We have a lot of big societal challenges ahead of us, especially around renewable energy, and we need all the skillset available out there,” he says.

Striking a fine balance Managing a full-time job and a passion project meant William needed some assistance. In the initial days of setting up the non-profit organisation, he devoted his holidays, weekends, and evenings after work to set the sails in motion. He recently resigned from his full-time job to be able to focus on OffshoreWind4Kids more. He shares, “I have had good volunteer support, and my brother now manages the marketing – I know I have a long road ahead of me. When kids get interested, and we receive feedback from the parents after the demo, it is all worth it.” So, when a kid asks, “Is there someone sitting inside the turbine controlling it?” William knows the wind of change is here.

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N E I G E L L O H E D MATHCIL AGER, NORDEX N A M ) C & (P E R ULTU PEOPLE &

Keeping an eye on the ball

With booming business and prosperous ventures ahead, Nordex P&C Manager Mathilde Hollegien is in pursuit of setting up a foundation for the right talent

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With a high-level global buzz across all facets of the sector – from research and development to policymaking – working in wind is indeed the future. Reports by The European Technology & Innovation Platform on Wind Energy confirm that as the world gears up to meet its energy demands wind will play a crucial role in delivering Europe’s new climate and energy ambitions. The growing sector is characterised by innovations and upscaling and for Nordex Group, one of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers, it means a busy time at work. The farms are increasing in size; the turbines are becoming larger and the skilled labour challenges are greater than ever. For Mathilde Hollegien, P&C Manager at Nordex, this means managing a bustling schedule.

to settle for solar panels instead. Now that I work in the sector, I am so satisfied to see and be a part of the development up close,” she smiles. Her love for the sector and wind turbines, in general, is palpable. “Did you ever get a chance to stand under a giant wind turbine?” she asks, “I had the chance to be under one recently and I can tell you the feeling is very overwhelming – my heart beats faster and the view is mesmerising. You should try it too.”

Affirmative action

Building the foundation

In the renewable energy sector, wind is leading the pack and the demand for skilled energy professionals with a technical, economic and management background is huge. Mathilde says. “We need a lot of specialised talent from all over the globe and that’s why Atlas is crucial for us. They take care of all the immigration formalities and are well-versed with the local labour laws. It is cost-efficient to have this working relationship with them.”

Atlas Professionals executes white collar recruitment within the renewables sector and found Mathilde to be an ideal choice for Nordex due to a variety in her skillset. Having worked in different industries like rehabilitation, packaging, and pet food in HR roles, moving to the wind industry was a challenging and exciting prospect. “I was put in touch with Nordex via Atlas. The process was smooth and streamlined from their end and after several rounds of tough interviews with Nordex, I was on board with them in the summer of 2021,” she says.

Both within the business and with other sectors there is a lot of competition due to the constant need for skilled personnel. Atlas recognises this and with the next decade being pivotal for the sector, it is essential to get young people enthusiastic about the wind industry. For this Atlas Professionals has developed the Renewables Roadshow and partners with high schools, universities, and colleges to give students a feel of what it is to work in the industry with Wind Experience Days.

Currently, she is preparing to consolidate the functions at the recently moved company headquarters in Zwolle, the Netherlands. “I take care of all the contracts, onboarding and offboarding, setting up a new way of reimbursement and timesheets, revamping our in-house salary structure and much more. With the company expanding, it is important for us to have our elemental processes in place, and it has been a busy year,” she shares.

A step in the right direction Mathilde’s curiosity in the wind industry was piqued earlier in life. She wanted to set up a small-scale wind turbine to generate electricity on top of her roof. Many years later, now that she works in the sector, life has come a full circle she feels. “I wanted a wind turbine for so long and had signed up for a wind energy newsletter, which would provide me with all the news about the trends in the industry. But back then my property owner did not agree, and I had

And Mathilde thinks, this is the need of the hour, “As an industry, we need to educate and partner with technical middle and high schools and universities to spread the word. Let them know that we exist and that there are lucrative career opportunities waiting for talented people. It means opening internship opportunities and retaining talent within the company as well. I’m proud to work for technicians at Nordex.” Nordex believes in taking care of employee retention in several ways. “We try to foster a healthy working environment, have our service points accessible and create an ambience where people would like to work. Employee retention is also an important aspect, and we want to keep our technicians and workers loyal to us. 2022 is an exciting year for us and we are aiming to recruit around 17 people in distinct roles within the company. We like to welcome more technicians to our company. This means we will need Atlas and our in-house expertise to find the right talent.”

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NS E V E T S E J T R O NO VICE TECHNICIAN, NORDEX WIND SER

A welcome change

Noortje Stevens is Nordex Group’s first woman wind service technician in the Netherlands and for the former maritime officer, swapping jobs has been a fun learning experience she cherishes every single day

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What exactly do you do for a living? Do you always have to climb on the top of a wind turbine? And how do you plan your toilet breaks? These are only some of the questions 24-year-old Noortje Stevens often gets asked about her profession. As Nordex’s first woman wind service technician – working for one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers – she knows her job is uncommon and that is something she enjoys the most.

Making the switch Sailing as a maritime officer and chief engineer in her previous job meant that Noortje always had beautiful work views and extended periods away from home. After a year on the water, she decided to change the course and use her maritime skills in the wind industry. The transition was smooth, and it also meant that she could spend more time at home. At Atlas, we believe in the smooth transfer of skills and since both the hard and soft skills for wind are a good match with those in the marine sector, we can put our candidates at ease and show them the opportunities ahead. “I saw a post from Atlas Professionals on LinkedIn, saying that they had an opening for an onshore wind technician. While my expertise was in the maritime industry, some skills were common, and I decided to contact them. The conversation was useful, and they assured me that the transition would be easy. I just had to brush up on some certifications and I am glad I had this guidance,” she reminisces.

Same but different The industry is diverse and having the freedom to do her job her way made working in wind an interesting choice for Noortje, “I currently work in the southern province of the Netherlands, it is closer to where I live. I was not looking for an office job at one location and being a wind technician means I get to visit different areas every week.” She says, “If I look at it, working in wind is really like sailing a ship, isn’t it? While sailing you are busy with the engines or your cargo and planning the

routes. While I do not have to do all of that now, I still have a mechanical part, we troubleshoot things and there is a big electrical part to my work. Sometimes mechanical parts or electrical systems break down and we have to repair them. The same goes for troubleshooting, when we see a turbine is at standstill with a failure, we must figure out how to repair it, for this the IT part plays a big role. After a safety course, a working at height course and some wind park and job specific training I was ready to work with a wind turbine and start learning on the job.”

Climbing on top Noortje’s day starts at a service point, from there on along with her buddy she moves to a wind turbine that needs servicing or maintenance. On a lucky day, she can use the lift, but on some days, it also means climbing to the top. “I like working in the wind industry, and I enjoy the freedom that the profession brings. You work in teams of two, work is always well planned and once you are on the top – it is always so beautiful. What most people think is that we don’t have to climb up, but most of our work is performed on top in the nacelle or the hub,” she laughs.

Plan of action With very few women in the industry, the facilities are still at a developing stage. Her day-to-day life hence must be thoroughly planned and, yes, it includes planning her toilet breaks. “We have to drive over an hour sometimes from the service point to reach the wind turbine. And once you are up there, the work goes fast. The passage is narrow and of course, there are no washrooms. So, if a break is necessary, there is always a fuelling station close by. You must be flexible and get used to it,” she shares. While in the maritime industry, she had some women colleagues. In the wind industry it is different, Noortje feels, “It is also may be because not everyone enjoys working at a height.” Recommending anybody to join the industry, she says, “I gain a lot of technical and IT knowledge every day on the job and that makes it worthwhile. Besides that, I get to click the most beautiful pictures and see things from an eagle-eye view.”

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LIANOFA ESLITIEJR,U SIONALS ATLAS PR ES RECRU

Playing the matchmaker

Esli Juliana, Personnel Coordinator with the renewables team in Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, shares what his job as a recruiter entails

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Ever wondered what it is like to be a recruiter? What does a day look like at work? Esli, who has been with Atlas for over a year now, offers a preview of why he loves his job and how being a people’s person makes it more fun.

What do you love about working for Atlas? As a recruiter, you can be a part of many industries – finance, construction etc., but few companies are working in the renewables or green energy sector. It is a niche market, and this makes my job at Atlas challenging. At the same time, I love that I can make a difference. There are opportunities to grow within the company. We have offices all over the globe and I love that the most – I’m expanding my network every single day.

What does a day in your life as a renewables recruiter look like? If you love interacting with people, you will love this job. A chunk of my day is spent in finding the right people from our wide talent pool. Some days are easier than the others, matching the right candidate, interviewing them, running background checks, ensuring all their certifications are in place and presenting them to a client. We also have daily meetings within our team and with the clients every week. The job also involves finding candidates on job boards, and LinkedIn and spreading the word to find the right people. It involves talking a lot about the renewables industry to others and listening to them – you must be a patient listener and have an eye for detail.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? I guess I love playing the matchmaker. When I help someone find their dream job and see them excel in it – it makes me happy. When the client gives good feedback that is also very motivating. I help many people start a new chapter of their lives and, that’s a very satisfying feeling to go home with.

What is the work culture like at Atlas? I must say we are very open and straightforward. In our team meetings, we are always speaking our minds and learning from each other. We talk about our hardships and our working styles. That helps in building a good team because you get to know people at a personal level. We have people in our team supporting opposing local football teams and, it’s always fun to discuss the match later at work and poke fun at those who lost. I like how we tackle challenges as a team, and everyone is encouraging of each other’s wins and are supportive. At Atlas Professionals, we believe that diversity drives progress and aim to build an inclusive organisation. We are taking steps to create an environment for everyone and foster a culture that helps us stay at the frontier of energy, marine and renewables. If you’re driven to perform, we are waiting to hear from you – irrespective of your religion, sexual orientation, colour, gender, ethnicity, or race – if you have the talent, you fit right in. Scan the QR code to know more.

Like every job, being a recruiter has its fair share of challenges. We are constantly looking for the right candidates and at times it is difficult to find skilled personnel as there is a shortage in the market. We try to overcome this as a team.

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IA BOER SYLV OR, AYOP DIRECT

Connecting Dots: Connecting People

For Sylvia Boer, Director, Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports (AYOP), the future is all about collaborating and creating a smart sustainable network

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As a little girl travelling to maritime trade shows with her father and younger sister who now also works in the business, Sylvia witnessed the charisma of the industry first-hand. And since then, there was no turning back. Her love for the sector and the desire to make a difference in a male-dominated market were her motivation to join this field. After starting her career as Export Manager for Holland Marine Equipment, she progressed to hold key roles with several international maritime companies in the Netherlands. Today, she is the Director of AYOP – an association of companies, regional governments, and knowledge institutions active in offshore oil & gas and wind energy in the North Sea Canal region. Her love for sailing, ships, and social networking is discerning and one recognises that as she offers insights about the offshore industry, the current labour market challenges and more from her houseboat in Amsterdam.

What it takes According to Sylvia, the energy transition presents our industry with the opportunity to do things right. The Dutch Government has some incredible plans when it comes to offshore wind, of course, contributing to the European Climate Goals by intending to produce 16 GW extra by 2030. The initial plan was growing from 7.5 GW to 11.5 GW in 2030 and way more by 2050. “These are enormous numbers and demand a lot of work. Imagine it to be a huge cake and we cannot eat this all by ourselves. The task requires thorough co-operation between all the members and other partners in the supply chain to make this a success,” she says. Proactivity is the way forward and Atlas Professionals is one of the active members of AYOP in the current pool of 115 members. “Companies need each other to successfully lead the energy transition. This is not a task that can be done alone and I’m glad Atlas recognises that,” she shares.

Smart ways of troubleshooting With the arrival of offshore wind farms, the North Sea Canal area gains economic opportunities in the field of offshore wind. The strategic geographical location of AYOP and its strong network of companies form a powerful combination that can support the region, Sylvia feels, “We have a strong ecosystem to tackle challenges of today and tomorrow and together we can supply goods, services, personnel and knowledge. Personnel, innovation and space are the areas we need to coherently work on.”

In terms of space, AYOP is one of the instigators of the new Energy Port (Energiehaven) development, which should be ready by 2025 shares Sylvia, “The sludge depot in the former Averijhaven near IJmuiden is being developed into a new Energy Port. It is an essential move for the region considering that an increasing number of wind farms will be built in our backyard – the North Sea – in the coming years. We already initiated related research back in 2015 and have since been involved with the further refinement of the plans.”

Widening our pool of talent The global labour shortage is a worrying trend and since there is not a lone source or solution for this challenge, it is crucial to remain flexible and open. “If we look at the market trends currently, there is a huge problem. The lack of skilled labour is apparent, and we need to embrace all the talent we have out there. It’s no longer about men or women in the current workforce, it’s also about welcoming people from the LGBTQ+ community, reaching out to people from diverse cultural backgrounds, different ages, and creating a rich pool of talented people,” she affirms. “We need to understand that we are fishing in the same pond and there is a lot of competition within the industry itself,” she continues. To make it more lucrative, Sylvia insists on attracting new talent via smart recruitment strategies, “It also depends a lot on for example the tone of voice one uses in the advertisements, I see Atlas use women and people of colour in their vacancy posts, that itself is setting an example. This not only helps attract and retain a wide pool of talent but also makes for a diverse workforce. But it is also important for companies to open up and give students an opportunity to get to know our industry via internships or traineeships”. We need as many people as possible to get the job done. It means re-schooling people in specific areas to improve their skill set but also making people aware of the industry. Atlas does its part by organising Renewables Roadshows and partnering with colleges and universities to meet young minds and educate them about the industry. “It is a golden triangle between businesses, governments, and knowledge institutes, we are all in this together. It’s about how we leverage on shared opportunities to achieve a collective goal,” Sylvia says.

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TH I M S A R U A L & GE SAVA RALAPTLH NALS AS PROFESSIO GWO &

The warmup to the American energy transition

GWO’s Ralph Savage and Atlas’ Laura Smith share insights into why training the next generation of skilled workforce is the way forward to maximise the potential of the USA offshore wind market From the Atlantic to the Pacific as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes – along North America’s coastlines lie an energy resource with the power to create job opportunities and unmatched economic growth – offshore wind. With the Biden Administration matching the pace of state governments to jumpstart the nascent industry – the USA is currently aiming to develop 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. The U.S. Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that reaching this target will create 83,000 new American offshore wind jobs. The force multiplier of offshore wind energy is evident, and this implies the need for more skilled, competent talent both onshore and offshore to achieve these targets. The journey is full of opportunities and challenges. Tapping into the diverse set of talent and experience already available in the region is key, and this will be one of the main focal points for developers.

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Safety first The challenge now is to train, and in some cases, retrain this workforce appropriately to understand the risks and hazards involved in working on a wind turbine, explains Ralph Savage, Director, Global Development and Stakeholder Relations, at Global Wind Organisation (GWO), “People will in many cases already have the electrical and mechanical skills in demand from wind energy employers. Others may have decades of experience working offshore in an offshore oil and gas environment. These types of profiles will be hugely important for our industry,” he says. That being the case, Ralph emphasises the need to ensure unique safety skills are trained as soon as possible for an employee moving into offshore wind, “It doesn’t matter how good a technician you are, if you can’t carry out your work safely. Wind turbines are a completely different domain, so you will need to understand how to work at heights safely or transfer from the base of an offshore wind turbine onto a boat without injuring yourself or a colleague.”

Collaborating for improvement GWO is a non-profit body founded by leading wind turbine manufacturers and operators. Together with the other members, they share risk information and expertise to create training standards that improve safety and build a competent workforce. According to Ralph, when the offshore sector began to mature in the early 2000s it became clear that the offshore oil and gas training standards, although stringent and built on years of experience, weren’t appropriate to work, for example in a wind turbine due to the different hazards and risks faced on a daily basis by technicians. GWO standards were created to bridge this gap, with the first Basic Safety Training (BST) Standard launched in 2012. “We’ve reached a point now, where the wind industry has its own mature set of standards, and an increasing number of people are moving into renewables. We are collaborating much more closely with other standards bodies, to review and compare one another’s curriculum and constantly improve,” Ralph says. The industry in North America and developers with experience of delivering offshore wind in Northern Europe have spent a long time learning from each other. “It’s been a very positive experience, at least from my point of view, to see how developers and employers in the United States, work closely with State and Federal bodies, regulators and trades

unions to embed a best practice approach. One application of this has been the development of a ready supply of GWO standard training and an acknowledgement by unions that these standards are a sensible step for their members,” Ralph says. Laura Smith, Business Manager at Atlas Professionals, USA, agrees. “In addition to facilitating the transition of oil and gas experienced candidates to the emerging US offshore wind sector, we also have a unique opportunity to support, and work closely with, the highly skilled unionised labour pool based in key regions such as the Northeast, who are more traditionally associated with onshore construction projects but have fantastic apprenticeship programs in place to support a new generation of worker interested in this exciting energy transition.”

Cultivating competent talent With two strategically placed offices in the US, Atlas Boston aims to be the preferred recruitment and HR service provider for both professionals and clients and has positioned itself to serve as a regional hub for the booming renewables industry. Together with the team in Houston, Atlas USA is supporting 13 different offshore niches, including marine crew, offshore survey, QHSE and Management & QC services. Laura says, “We have been fortunate to have already been heavily involved in the geotechnical and geophysical survey campaigns for most of the US projects planned and look forward to supporting the upcoming installation and construction activities also.” The Boston office has a clear plan to support its clients in meeting their offshore wind workforce development needs. “We have an impressive track record providing skilled and competent personnel globally and working with our clients to anticipate the skills shortages, the local content requirements and the training needs to develop an available candidate pool ready to support this exciting industry. The new offshore wind projects will be served by a healthy mixture of homegrown US talent, qualified union labour, transitioned Gulf of Mexico oil and gas professionals with the addition of European expertise,” she shares. Stressing on the importance of having local contacts as well as years of experience from other renewable energy projects, Laura says, “By teaming up with training providers, Atlas is working closely with interested professionals in transferring their existing skillset to suit the renewables sector to support the anticipated number of jobs that will be created. From our European experience, we understand the training groundwork clearly and we are actively transferring this expertise to the USA.”

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Wind Experience Days To show students and technical professionals from other industries the different career opportunities in the wind industry, Atlas Professionals has taken the initiative to organise the Wind Experience Days in collaboration with an educational institute and a renewables client based locally to the event. Interested in co-organising a Wind Experience Day with Atlas Professionals? Please contact our marketing department on marketing@atlasprofessionals.com Photo taken during the Wind Experience Day in IJmuiden, the Netherlands

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SEMA T R U U D N A -J T R EVE OORDINATOR RESOURCE C

Supporting the wind industry’s growth

Evert-Jan Duurtsema started working at the pre-assembly site of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind through Atlas Professionals in Flushing in 2018. Now, he finds himself at the frontier of the renewables industry and has taken his first steps in the incredible world of floating wind

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Diverse job

Floating wind

So far, Evert-Jan has worked as Site Coordinator for offshore wind farms Norther, Northwester 2 and Borssele 3-4. He supported these projects five days a week at the MHI Vestas’ pre-assembly site, located at the BOW terminal in the Port of Flushing.

Mid-2020 Atlas’ client asked Evert-Jan to work on an innovative project for them. “I was really happy that Atlas’ client offered me a position at their pre-assembly site in 2018 and my contact with Atlas has been so good ever since that their client asked me to work on another project, this was definitely, a highlight for me as it is always nice to be appreciated.”

Since July 2021, he started working with the same company as a Resource Coordinator. Evert-Jan’s main objective is to act as an interface between the projects and the vendors supplying resources. This requires communication, planning and administrative skills so the team can efficiently focus on their goal of building wind turbines. There is no such thing as a typical day for Evert-Jan. “I’m kind of helping out anywhere where I can. My line manager said, “‘Be the grease that which keeps things running smoothly’ when I started this project and that’s proven to be solid advice.”

New challenge Evert-Jan comes from a shipping background and is as such not new to the offshore industry. “At school, I had an apprenticeship at a shipping agency. After school I started looking for that kind of work as its variety and alternating between office work and visiting ships was really appealing to me.” After working in shipping and forwarding agencies for 20 years it was time for Evert-Jan to seek a new challenge in the wind industry. Having served various contractors across the wind industry his interest grew. “As I live in Flushing, I have always kept a close eye on the developments of the wind farms in the area and hoped that another challenge would arise for me. When Atlas contacted me for the position of Site Coordinator, I did not hesitate to put forward my application. It matched well with my affinity within the offshore industry, logistical background and curiosity of regulations.”

As such, Evert-Jan supported the first phase of the floating wind farm project Kincardine, which consists of five V164-9.525 MW turbines and one V80-2 MW turbine, each installed on WindFloat® semi-submersible platforms designed by Principle Power. It currently is the largest floating wind farm in the world by nameplate capacity. He split his time working from home and on-site at Maasvlakte Rotterdam, where the MHI Vestas wind turbines were mounted onto the floating foundations and then towed to the installation site some 15 kilometres southeast of Aberdeen.

Work-life balance The Resource Coordinator admits that the regular working hours compared to those in shipping and agency work are a benefit of the job. “The work-life balance as it is now is perfect. You work to live and not the other way around. The employer also understands that.” They also understand safety well, comments Evert-Jan, “The industry we are in has very high standards in safety and I’ve noticed that the HSE teams have a very cooperative approach. They’re not acting as an internal officer, which really stimulates staff to be responsive and act safely.” In all, a successful career switch for Evert-Jan, who looks forward to where the next project will take him and is excited to continue supporting the growth of the innovative renewables industry. Also ready for a change? Scan the QR code for a complete overview of the latest job opportunities at Atlas Professionals.

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É JURRES AND,R VISION H2 CO-CEO

Fuelling the fuel of the future for Vision H2

Atlas Professionals make inroads into green hydrogen with Vision H2

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Atlas knows what it takes to stay ahead of the curve and a successful energy transition means keeping the essential element in the energy value chain – ‘hydrogen’ close to our business. We recently partnered with Belgian Energy Pioneer André Jurres to provide personnel for his new green hydrogen venture Vision H2.The company aims to build multiple clean hydrogen production facilities across Western Europe. Supporting Vision H2 in the initial stages of setting up their plant – Atlas has successfully confirmed an Electrical Engineer, Project Manager and Chief Finance Officer for their Flushing office. Besides assisting Vision H2 with its executive search for key management roles, Atlas is also recruiting skilled engineers and technicians for the next phase of the project.

Future proof Green hydrogen is produced using clean renewable energy sources and offshore wind farms have proven to be crucial in making its production climate neutral. The logistical placement of Vision H2 locations is making the company future ready. André asserts, “Being close to the sea is also interesting for the future. Once we serve smaller ships, barges can also start to use hydrogen instead of only diesel or go hybrid. For example, we could build a jetty or a fuelling station here and then the barges can take on the hydrogen directly from the plant.”

Specialised pool of resources

With its first entry into the hydrogen sector, Atlas has now expanded its support to sustainable businesses to help companies meet their specialist requirements and support clients in leading the energy transition. In a conversation with Atlas, André Jurres discusses the future of green hydrogen and the challenges ahead.

Being specialised with a strong regional and international presence has helped Atlas establish a wide network of skilled personnel to support companies that need knowledgeable and competent professionals. The partnership with Atlas has ensured a smooth transition for Jurres, “Atlas is specialised in technical profiles and this matters to us. It is not easy to be differentiating when there are so many recruitment companies available, but what I like is that Atlas has found a good niche for themselves.”

Location is key

Building up from scratch

With their facilities for hydrogen plants in Flushing and Terneuzen in the Netherlands under development, the company aims to make its scalable electrolyser operational by 2023. The choice of location is a very strategic one – the sites are industrial zones with good infrastructure connections and already have some usage of hydrogen sub knowledge.

In parallel, Vision H2 is focussing on building infrastructure, on the technology and preparing storage facilities, “When you start development in renewables, you know when you start but you don’t know when you’re going to achieve a good result. That’s the reason we have started earlier than the rest – we believe that there’s going to be off-takers and customers who need green hydrogen. With the permits coming in at a rapid rate, the past 12 months have been very interesting for us. We are also looking at other sites in the Netherlands as well as outside of the Netherlands,” Jurres shares.

André explains, “It’s quite logical for us to have the plants in these places because they are in the industrial zone and have good capacity connections. We are close to the sea. We have received the permit for Phase One and will have a 25 MW plant – which in electricity terms seems rather small but in hydrogen terms it’s huge. There is nothing bigger in Europe than this now – in the Benelux region, in France and the UK – we are the first one to receive a permit for such a large industrial installation so it’s very new currently.”

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R E T S R O F E N I L O CAR NAVIGATOR SEISMIC

Steering her life in a man’s world

Seismic Navigator Caroline Forster shares anecdotes with Atlas, from her 20 years of rich offshore experience and why she thinks it’s important to promote women in the industry

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Caroline Forster lives in a small fishing town in the northeast of England, the same place she was born in 43 years ago. While she grew up having some awareness of the oil industry, being a seismic navigator was never on her list when people asked her about career ambitions. Having worked offshore for over 20 years now, she proudly says that she made the right choice by listening to the high school teacher who noticed her love for the outdoors and steered Caroline towards being a land surveyor.

setting, she feels, “The atmosphere offshore is informal and no matter who you are, a good sense of humour and a thick skin can take you a long way. I always feel welcomed as part of the crew and I especially enjoy meeting people from all over the world who have varied lifestyles, interests, and opinions. I have made some lifelong friends through work as you really get the chance to bond with people in that environment.”

Equipped with a degree in land surveying and knowledge about GPS, Caroline soon realised that she would be working in the cold, wet UK and starting on a low salary – an unwelcoming proposition. So, when international offshore companies came up with a job offer, she jumped at the chance.

Vessels are getting newer, nicer and a lot more accommodating for women. “For example, there are often single berth cabins and sometimes separate changing rooms provided, which is very much welcomed,” she affirms. The next step is to make the inroads to the industry more visible. “I met a stewardess on a vessel recently and she was surprised to meet me and my colleague in the seismic department. She never knew there were opportunities to work offshore without being part of the galley or housekeeping team,” Caroline shares.

She shares, “A lot of offshore companies came and said, we need people who know GPS to be surveyors. So, I kind of fell into the offshore industry, tempted by the prospect of worldwide travel. But it wasn’t in seismic, it was doing various roles in dredging and cable laying, construction type of things. I did that for a couple of years before moving into the seismic industry in 2004.” As a seismic navigator, Caroline is responsible for the safe and efficient positioning of the vessel and the towed equipment. She ensures the streamers and sources are placed to collect seismic data as required and that accurate positional data is produced.

Navigating through choices After working with a Houston-based company as their permanent employee for 10 years, Caroline started contracting in 2014 – to be in better control of her schedule and life, she shares, “I usually only work two or three trips per year, which last about six weeks and like working via Atlas as they are accommodating and have appreciated my need to take extended breaks. They have always arranged work when I have wanted and needed, it’s one of the reasons I have stayed with them.”

Being one of the guys As an experienced seismic navigator, positioning herself in a field dominated by men is still a challenge. “I don’t get the same hassle as I did when I was 21 and new to the industry, however, there are still challenges and assumptions to overcome. For instance, when I’m joining a new crew I still get questions like, “Are you a stewardess?”, or “Don’t you want to stay at home and raise a family?”. Having the right attitude, helps in any job

Opening new doors

There are indeed a wide range of opportunities to work offshore without even being technical. It’s just about laying the choices in front of the future workforce. Just like Atlas, who connects with and inspires the future generation of professionals through its Renewables Roadshow, guest lectures and interactive presentations at schools, colleges and universities, Caroline feels responsible for spreading awareness about the offshore industry. “Each year, I go to my local primary school and talk to children about my life offshore because when I was growing up, I only knew of jobs like a banker, a teacher, a doctor – the people you see as a kid – I never knew this profession existed. I tell the girls they can do the same jobs as the guys; I think the only thing that puts them off is when I tell them that you get chocolate only once a week.” Well, the secret is to carry your own stash, just like Caroline does.

Plotting the next course After some challenging projects all over the globe and just getting back from an Atlas assignment in Canada, we ask her what’s next on her radar and she says, “There are still so many things I would like to do and places I would like to visit. My job has taken me all over the world from the Barents Sea to the Tasman Sea, the Gulf of Mexico to Malaysia but I have still not sailed through one of the big canals, Panama or Suez, and I think it would be cool to experience that.”

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N O T P M A H L U A & P PMENT MANAGER N E H P E T S S E JAMPERT & SENIOR BUSINESS DEVELO AUV EX

A man with many hats – meet AUV Professional James Stephen

His role as an offshore worker is a varied one – from a survey technician to an AUV Supervisor, he has done it all. James shares key insights about working in the ever-evolving survey industry with Paul Hampton from Atlas Professionals

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In August 2000, when the Russian submarine Kursk sank, it captured the attention of millions. For James, it was a crucial point of his working life. In his offshore career, now spanning over two decades, he was given the opportunity to utilise his skills to be a part of something historic. James was mobilised as a part of the survey team to rescue the personnel on board the stricken submarine. He shares, “My main responsibility was to assist with the interfacing of the British LR-5 rescue submarine to the vessels subsea positioning system (USBL system) and provide a navigation display to the operators. It was an opportunity to get involved in something new and learn along the way.”

Word to the wise With an expansive range of skills, James has worked on different types of projects like Pipe & Cable Lay support, Rig Moves, Metrology, Pipeline Surveys, Commissioning Projects, Seabed Mapping, Ocean Bottom Node deployment and recovery, to name but a few. In more recent years he has worked as an AUV Technician and occasionally performed as an AUV Supervisor. He shares, “I have been employed at some of the more notable Survey companies during my time; Fugro, DOF & NCS. However, I wanted more flexibility over my personal and professional choices. I eventually took the leap and went freelance in 2017 and set up my limited company in 2018, I have enjoyed every moment of it. The ability to be able to work where you want, when you want and on the types of projects you want, is more rewarding than repeated rig moves etc.” One would assume, James always had his eyes on the waters. But that’s not true. Upon leaving school, James really had no direction, nor a clear path to a career. He says, “I fell into an ONC in Electronics course at the local college and then gained the opportunity to work for one of the market leaders in the Survey industry, as a Trainee Electronics Technician in the workshop. I completed a further HNC Electronics course at the local college on a part-time basis through the employer, where I was then promoted to Junior Survey Technician and then moved to an offshore role”. He attempted to escape the industry altogether and enrolled in a Computer Science degree at the Robert Gordon University, although still working as a Survey Technician in a freelance capacity during the holiday periods, “I completed the degree and attempted to find work in the software development industry but the money on offer and lack of opportunities

forced me back into the offshore world, where I have remained for more than 20 years,” he shares. Over the last few years, James has been freelancing and has worked with Atlas in different survey roles. “Not long after I decided to go down the freelance route, I was approached by Atlas, and they have been an absolute joy to work with. Their clear and open approach to both the professionals they have on their books (freelancers) and their clients, aligns with my personal work ethos of being upfront and honest,” he shares. For those aspirants who want to debut into the offshore surveying industry, he suggests finding a mentor, “In my experience, the best surveyors have all worked with a single mentor until they have gained enough experience to get promoted and work on their own. A level of continuity, working with the same people, learning the same methodology of working on different types of projects is invaluable. I would also recommend trying to get experience in all disciplines i.e., Surveyor, Survey Technician, Data Processor. To effect any one role proficiently you need to know a little bit of each.”

Going strong and thriving Atlas Professionals’ Senior Business Development Manager and seasoned offshore professional himself Paul Hampton couldn’t agree more. Paul started as a surveyor and progressed to become an Offshore Manager. He now utilises his depth of knowledge to bolster Atlas Professionals’ different business entities. His heart, however, stays close to the survey industry, “The sector is an extremely exciting scene to be involved with now and will only become more relevant and crucial as time goes on. With new technologies and methodologies emerging fast, allowing to dive deeper and survey more accurately, we as an offshore personnel provider are continuously challenged to stay on top of our game,” he says. As the subsea world continues evolving rapidly, he believes Atlas is healthily on the mark, “In the foreseeable future, there will continue to be a need for the current level of offshore personnel – if not more due to the surge in renewables projects, raised activity in the APAC region and the potential development of aspects of the oil & gas industry. Next to this, our teams are always on top of the latest developments so we can advise our professionals about relevant training courses and certifications.”

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ALEACRM& ANNA ZERO H

Correct Prioritization Compliance

Communication Continuous Risk assessment

Caring for each other

Safe Behaviour Program | The 7Cs To help ensure safe and efficient work is conducted, Atlas Professionals has produced a safe behaviour program. Following the 7Cs will ensure safe and efficient work is conducted. No paperwork is required to follow the 7Cs – it is all in the mindset.

Coaching/Mentoring Competence

Correct Prioritisation Planning tasks prior to commencing and replanning according to new developments. Compliance Following procedures and using management of change when required.

Safety Cartoons From holiday safety to risk assessments, you may have seen Atlas Professionals' cartoon characters Alec and Anna in some comically exaggerated, yet often very recognisable situations. The main purpose of the safety cartoons, though, is not to amuse you. Their aim is to persuade you to live by Zero Harm too, as there are many ways to get hurt in our industry. Our Zero Harm goal, humorously conveyed by Alec and Anna in the safety cartoons, ensures we are taking the rights steps so that our employees and customers return home in the same condition they arrived – injury free. This also encompasses Zero Harm to the natural environments in which we work and operate. Safety is something we do well, and it is a contributing factor to our business success. Our safety culture framework is designed for future prevention and our people align themselves with our core safety beliefs. By providing our professionals with the understanding that all injuries are preventable, we believe that they will, in turn, be empowered to deliver safety leadership throughout the business. Zero Harm states that knowing safety is not enough, practising it is equally important.

Stay alert, don’t get hurt.

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Communication Talking and listening to each other. Continuous Risk Assessment Thinking ‘What if?’ and having the correct mindset prior to conducting any task. Caring for each other Having the courage to intervene on an unsafe act or omission at any given time. Coaching / Mentoring Using your competence to help and guide others. Competence The ability, skills and knowledge to do something successfully and efficiently. Live by these 7Cs and together we will make the energy, marine and renewables industry a safer working environment.


Would you like to have a Zero Harm calendar at your workplace? Request a free copy with our marketing team (subject to availability). marketing@atlasprofessionals.com

Mental health Look what my son made for me, a paper windmill to remind me of him...

Aww... that's adorable. It's hard being away from home building actual wind farms. Do you want to talk about it? MENTAL HEALTH Ask the question R U OK? Listen with an open mind Encourage action and offer support Ask them to seek professional guidance if you feel they need it Check in, stay in touch and be there for them

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Atlas Professionals is an international leading recruitment company. Since 1982, Atlas has played a major role in the provision of professionals to the energy, marine and renewables industries worldwide. If quality and reliability are key for your business, Atlas Professionals is the partner you need to deliver highly qualified personnel. We create custom-made, comprehensive HR packages, which allows you to focus on the project without any concerns about the workforce. Over the years, Atlas Professionals has grown to become a no-nonsense, dependable HR service provider in the energy, marine and renewables industries with a mission to turn complex personnel challenges into transparent and secure solutions.

Nearshore and Landfall Studies

Project M and Eng

Environmental, Fish & Benthic Studies

Geophysical, Geotechnical & UXO Studies

Found Turbine Survey

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Seabed Inspection and Measurement


Management gineering

Field Service Engineers

Guard & Standby Infield and Export Cable Installation

CTV Support

Multicat

dation and Installation

Foundations, Cable Burial and Remediation Inspections

SOV - Based O&M Services

Rock Dumping

Heavy Lift and Decommissioning

Complete Personnel Service Solution Developing & Consenting • Construction & Installation • Operations & Maintenance • Decommissioning & Removal

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