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Issue #7 | December 2013 | Global Employee Magazine for Energy

transponder Spanish Pioneers An office that’s thriving in the midst of change

Joining Forces in a New Company Introducing four

Building a Future Based on Wind

Directors of Divisions and the CEO

The origins of Garrad Hassan

A New Challenge

Contents Transponder #7 02

A New Challenge in a Small Country


Connected Theo Bosma


Connected Julia Vetromile


24 Hours A Day in the Life of… Jan-Christoph Neuhann


Spanish Pioneers


Recharging your Batteries Jules Clayton and the Community Wind Project


Close Up A Company and its Cakes




About Us


24 Hours A Day in the Life of… Thea Nieberding


Joining Forces in a New Company


Recharging your Batteries Darlene Scruton and her Motorcycle


Origins Building a Future Based on Wind


DNV GL in Brief


A Fresh Perspective

Transponder, the DNV GL - Energy Global Employee Magazine, is published by  DNV GL - Energy Global Communications

Please send your comments to, via Twitter: #dnvkematransponder, via InTouch: InTouch > Support Services >  Marketing & Communications > Printed Materials

With thanks to  Our Editorial Board Concept and design  VA communication by design, Wouter Botman Editorial  DNV GL - Energy Global Communications, Elizabeth Fryman, Caroline Kamerbeek Marlies Hummelen / Teksten - VA communication by design

Text Marlies Hummelen / Teksten, Janine van der Spoel Photography  Front cover, pages 2, 3, 4  Herman van Ommen Photography / pages 10, 11, 13, 14  José Luis de Lara fotoperiodismo / pages 26 - 32  Niek Michel Photography The remaining photos were taken by DNV GL - Energy employees or as indicated under each photo

Print  GVO drukkers & vormgevers We have made every effort to comply with the legal requirements relating to the rights to the illustrations. Any person who is nevertheless of the opinion that they are entitled to certain rights can contact VA communication by design (­

From the Editor


n its relatively short existence in the company, Transponder, like me, has already seen some major changes. Today, we present the first DNV GL version in the new company colours. These are a metaphor for the sea, earth and sky, representing our broader view on the industries in which we operate. Many of you will recognise the dark blue of KEMA, the green of DNV and GL Garrad Hassan’s light blue. I personally think it’s strong imagery that all of us can connect with in some way. Meanwhile, the core goal of Transponder has stayed the same: giving a voice to people from all corners of the company, introducing them to their colleagues worldwide and thus contributing to mutual connections and under­ standing. This issue offers a clear representation of the new company. It’s more colourful than ever, with contributions from all legacy companies. It’s great to get a glimpse of our new colleagues, their cultures and their roots. I see a lot of common ground in our diverse histories: we were all pioneers in our own way, extending the borders of our business, often with sustainability as a driver. You can read more on this in the interviews with the four Directors of Divisions and David Walker. Then there’s an article on the history of Garrad Hassan, explained by one of the founders and pioneers in wind energy, Andrew Garrad. And, talking about extending borders, our merged company will offer even more opportunities for individuals to cross over to other areas of business and expertise, or even literally to cross borders to live and work in another country. Check out Elizabeth Durney’s experiences as an American in the Netherlands.

While we all go through significant changes, it’s wonder­ ful to see this first joint magazine, one of the first tangible examples of our new company. The articles helped me get to know more about our new colleagues and I hope it does the same for you. May Transponder be your magazine so it can quickly become our magazine. Enjoy!

Caroline Kamerbeek Director, Global Communications, Energy

A New Challenge in a Small Country DNV GL - Energy is a truly global company. We have people on virtually every continent and quite a number have moved across borders to meet new challenges. We wondered how they feel about working in a totally different environment. This time we asked a USA national – Elizabeth Durney – for her impressions of working in Arnhem in the Netherlands.


Focus on: Elizabeth Durney, strategy assistant to the CEO Background: Master’s in Organisation Development, Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Political Science

Relocation: Recruited in 2005 in California; based in Arnhem since March 2013 Current job: Develop and update global strategy, monitor markets trends, assist CEO with DNV GL merger



he changed the Californian sun for the rather cool and wet Dutch climate because of a new challenge: a job that seems to be made for her. Since March 2013 Elizabeth Durney has been strategy assistant to David Walker. In her office in the green Business Park in Arnhem Elizabeth talks about her job, her new place of residence and about her involvement with strategy development, people and teams. It was her enthusiasm and affinity with an integral approach to business that made Elizabeth apply for this job far from home.

Ready for a new challenge “I was working in the Sustainable Use business line on issues related to internal organisational ­development, as well as external markets and clients. Together we built up a really strong team, which grew from three to 30 people. It was then that I realised that I love jobs that have a lot of different touch points, working both with employees and customers. I call these crosscutting topics.” Elizabeth decided to complement her degree in Environmental and Political Science with a Master’s degree in Organisation Development. “As I was finishing my Master’s degree, ready for a new challenge, this opportun­ity came up: a job that includes all the aspects that I like – and that I’m ­experienced in.”


Moving more than 5,000 miles away is no small feat. Did she apply spontaneously? Elizabeth: “I was enthusiastic, both about the job and about going to the Netherlands. I’d lived in Germany before, so I had an idea of what it’s like to live abroad. My fiancée and I were looking forward to going abroad again. The first six months I was on my own, but my fiancée is moving here in two weeks. He’s quitting his job as an environmental policy advisor and we will see what opportun­ ities arise in the Netherlands. He’s thinking about working for a US company or organisation which is looking to expand its European operations.” Laughing: “Initially he will be the one cooking our meals...” It will not be his first encounter with Arnhem or with the Dutch way of life. “In the summer he came to visit me in Arnhem and he saw what it was like. We had a great time and then we drove to France like many of the Dutch do! On the French roads we saw all the Dutch campers. NL stickers were everywhere, even in France. It was really funny!”

Artistic surprises in a quiet town Living in Arnhem suited Elizabeth right from the start. Her split-level apartment on the north side of town is not far from the centre. “It’s a perfect place to live: there’s a little corner store, a flower store and a park nearby. It’s really a nice neighbourhood. All the houses are small, which I love: they are designed on a human scale, people-sized.” On the other hand she

had to get used to the Dutch building style. “In houses the steps can be steep; at the beginning I thought I was going to fall!” Elizabeth’s travel has been focused outside the Netherlands so far. “I travel a lot for work: to Hamburg, Oslo, London, Singapore, Beijing and sometimes I stay for a weekend at the end of a trip. But I’ve also done a bit of hiking in one of the National Parks near here and I’ve been to Amsterdam.” As she’s interested in the arts, she was impressed with the artistic side of the town, which has a lot to do with the presence of a prestigious art academy. “I was surprised by the number of nice things you can buy that are made in Arnhem. The Modekwartier (Fashion Quarter) is one of my favourite places. Arnhem seems to be a quiet town, but there is an art and design underlay that is quite inspiring. I was here during the Mode Biennale (Fashion Biennale). In town I saw some ­fantastic works. Culture and arts initiatives clearly underpin society; Arnhem is a lively place to live.”

Accessible country Like most Dutch people Elizabeth’s main means of transportation is a bicycle. “There are so many bikes over here. But no one wears a helmet, while in the US everyone does! I ride my bike to work every day; I don’t use the car very often.” Smiling: “The big test will be riding my bike in the winter!” Yet, driving a car is not a very attractive alternative. “The traffic here is terrible, the roads go around and not through the city, so you can run into traffic jams at many points.” Elizabeth is more positive about the standard of living in the Netherlands. “When it comes to healthcare and housing, the system cares for people. I was surprised to find how easy it is to live here; everything is so accessible. This makes life much less complicated for an expat.” Due to her full schedule, she hasn’t yet started Dutch lessons. “Most people in the Netherlands speak English, which makes it difficult to motivate myself to learn Dutch. But I want to learn the language, absolutely. I learned German and I just love operating in another language. Before the end of the year I will start!” She’s learned a few words from her yoga teacher, however. Yoga lessons provide moments of rest in Elizabeth’s dynamic life. “I’ve been practicing yoga for about seven years. It was really nice to find a studio here in Arnhem. My teacher is American, but she speaks Dutch. So I’m learning a little Dutch via yoga. Words like handen (hands), voeten (feet) and ademen (breathing)...”

Were there any opportunities to meet friends? “I’m slowly building friendships. My landlord’s daughter is one of them; she lives in the same building. I’ve also met some other expats from the US – it’s a short list.” Is it difficult making friends in the Netherlands then? “Some people say it is, but I haven’t really tried. Right now, I’m very busy with my work. Facebook and Google Hangouts give me an opportunity to stay in touch with my partner, family and friends in the US. When my fiancée is here we will definitely start to be more social in our new home town – he’s the ­extrovert!”

No stereotypes, just trends When it comes to cultural differences Elizabeth is careful when talking about “stereotypes”. She prefers to speak about trends. However, she agrees that the Dutch can be pretty direct in the way they communicate. “I think it’s refreshing; people tell you exactly what they’re thinking. So you know where you stand with people.” She knows that the Dutch style of ­decision-making is sometimes the topic of jokes elsewhere in Europe: everyone involved has to be heard. “We work in a team with colleagues and directors from a range of countries, so I can’t really judge if that’s how it works here.” But Elizabeth is interested in the Dutch approach. “In a course called Dynamic Governance a few years ago, I studied a decision making technique that originated in the Netherlands. I appreciate a well-organised consensus-based ­process; it’s in line with my personal philosophy.” Her work as a Strategy Assistant offers her plenty of scope. “I’m internally focused on helping to roll out the new DNV GL organisation. I also assist the CEO in monitoring the market and I look out for market trends in order to update our global strategy on a regular basis.” After finishing formulating the global strategy, she and her team started work on the Energy Business Area Tactical Plan for the new organisation. But what will the future bring for Elizabeth? Is being an expat a kind of lifestyle choice for her? “My current assignment will end in May 2015, but I would be happy to stay on longer, to extend this position, start another one or accept a different expat assignment in another country. I do, however, really like the Netherlands! Being an expat is probably not a long-term lifestyle, as eventually I will move back to California – I think. But we’ll see what happens....” •




In each issue we introduce DNV GL - Energy colleagues working in different countries. They then suggest other people to interview. Not so much a relay race as a handover to an interesting colleague.

Petra de Jonge Zwanetta van Zijl Narottam Aul Jian Zhang

Connected: Theo Bosma

Waisum Cheng Agapi Papadamou Theo Bosma

Next: Ray Hudson

Who Theo Bosma Where Arnhem, the Netherlands Job Programme Director, Power & Electrification Education and career I graduated in Material Science at Delft University and worked for Shell for a short period. From 1996 until 2000 I worked for KEMA. Then I resigned, to travel around the world for a year with my partner. In 2001 I was given the opportunity to work for KEMA again and I’ve worked there ever since. What do you do exactly? We’ve just started a new Research & Innovation Hub in Arnhem, of which I’m programme director. We focus on super grids and smart grids, developing innovative projects in this area for – and with – our business units. Much of my day is devoted to finding the right new employees and cooperations. My team also analyses new technologies and potential research projects. And of course we set up new projects, in close cooperation with our customers and with other specialists in the field.

Agapi Papadamou was wondering how you combine your work with ­current research activities. That’s an important issue. In general, most current research


projects have a short-term scope, for example business unit research, or a mid-term scope like the Global Innovation Projects. Here we deal with long-term research, looking three to five years ahead, but always in close connection with the projects the business units are engaged in. After all, we’re aiming to develop what they want. What do (and don’t) you like? I love working for a company that offers so much diversity in technologies and expertise. It’s great to be able to actually create something new and then to apply this commercially. As for your other question: I don’t like long meetings when there’s no agenda... Special Plenty of choice! Once, I went to Hong Kong to prepare the inspection of around 400 high- voltage masts. It was impossible to climb them all, so we rented a helicopter to see if that would work. As a result, I spent days flying around in a helicopter among the masts. Sometimes, when I couldn’t see enough detail, the pilots flew so close that the blades passed between the lines... Free time I have a partner and two children who I like to spend time with. Travelling is another passion. Should my work ever leave me enough time, there’s a list stuck on the kitchen cupboard with all the places I’d still like to visit, such as Antarctica and the North Pole. Connected I’d like to ask Ray Hudson, a colleague from BEW – now part of the DNV GL global solar team – what the international solar future looks like and what we can contribute.



In each issue we introduce DNV GL - Energy colleagues working in different countries. They then suggest other people to interview. Not so much a relay race as a handover to an interesting colleague.

Graeme Sharp

Connected: Julia Vetromile

Onno Florisson Kristie DeIuliis Jenna Canseco Bente Pretlove

Who Julia Vetromile Where San Francisco (CA), USA Job Principal Engineering Consultant

Bart Adams

Education and career After getting my degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of


California in Berkeley I started a career in the chemical and food industry as a process engineer. This is when I got interested in industrial issues. For a number of years I worked for consulting firms in the environmental area, focusing on radioactive and hazardous waste as well as air pollution. This kindled my interest in energy efficiency. In 2008 I was given an opportunity to work for KEMA on industrial energy efficiency: the perfect combination for me! What do you do exactly? Mostly I’m a project manager in evaluation and research projects. Right now, for instance, we’re developing a measurement & verification protocol for a government programme designed to encourage industry to improve its energy efficiency performance. I’m designing a training course as well as writing the protocol guidance manual for this programme. What do you (and don’t you) like? It’s so rewarding to work with all these interesting, creative and thoughtful people! And the same applies to our clients. I also like working with our junior staff, supporting them in managing their jobs and determining the best way to go. I have to say that I don’t always enjoy the growing pains that come with all the changes in the ­company, but I trust they will pass!

Alan Roark

Julia Vetromile

Bart Adams called you “an excellent networker”. Could you tell us what your secret is? I’m kind of surprised… It seems so simple, what I do! Basically, I try to connect the right people with each other and then just step back. As this is a technically oriented company, most of us here are introverts – we’re even a bit nerdy if you wish. Working here feels very comfortable, as we all understand each other. That makes it easy to connect. Special To me, that’s teamwork. I remember a very difficult project on which we all worked together. Everybody on the team made their own contribution and you could completely rely on them whenever you needed support. We got our deliverables out – and had fun on the way! That was a special experience. Free time San Francisco is an amazing place to live. I love going to the theatre and listening to music, especially classical music. I also love the outdoor life: hiking and bird watching. Connected My next candidate would be Alan Roark, who works for MOC in Philadelphia, for his good client relations and great sense of humour.



A Day in the Life of…


Jan-Christoph Neuhann

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Do you want to share a day in your life? If so, please send an email to

8   05.00 p.m. 

Jan-Christoph Neuhann Integration Manager at Renewables Advisory in Bristol, UK. With legacy GL Group since 2011.

06.45 a.m. Time to get up, make tea, shower, iron a shirt and glance through the news, plus a first look at the emails that have popped up on the Blackberry overnight. It’s Thursday and, as I’m travelling back to Hamburg today, I need to pack my suitcase. 07.30 a.m. I leave my apartment in Bristol – as it’s close to the office, I can walk. But I’m dreading the first snows this winter. 07.45 a.m. I arrive at the office. It’s always quite impressive to see this old building still “asleep”; it certainly is a different setting from other offices I have worked in. As I’m the first to arrive, I unlock the door and turn off the alarm before entering. 08.30 a.m. First conference call of the day to discuss success stories after six weeks of integration. As we’ve worked on many projects already, we need to make the upsides of the merger visible – the speed at which colleagues around the world have started to successfully collaborate shows how much potential we have for growing the business together. 09.00 a.m. Time to go through my e-mails and prioritise – as I’d been out of office for a couple of days, there are quite a few things I need to catch up on. 09.30 a.m. Today, I’m “troubleshooting” two main topics that are causing some uncertainties in the organisation: what’s going to happen with Global Shared Services and is somebody from GSS coming to Bristol to present the overall vision and plan to the management team and affected staff. The second is to give some guidance to a colleague in Brazil with regard to a request she has received about legal entity harmon­isation. I’ll try to get my colleague from GSS in Hamburg on the phone! 10.00 a.m. Meeting with Georgina Bale from the Offshore Wind team to discuss a strategy for moving forward, now that a decision has been made to establish an Offshore Wind Coordination Group that is working across Business Areas (mainly with colleagues from Oil and Gas). I’ve been asked to put together a paper outlining the approach and ­concept

behind this team and how it fits with the Service Line setup. As we discuss the proposal, we realise that both of us worked at Vestas Wind Systems until 2011, prior to joining GL. It’s a small world! 11.30 a.m. The last project I was involved in at GL Noble Denton was the “Way of Working” ­programme – a concerted effort to harmon­ ise the overall Enquiry to Order and Order to Cash processes globally, while improving the commercial skills of all client-facing staff. While in theory the final handover meeting was in Høvik earlier this week, there are still some bits and pieces to be done and today I’m handing over the administration of the e-learning platform and the reporting for the e-learning modules to a colleague at GL Noble Denton. (If you’re interested in learning more about Client Interaction and Commercial Awareness, you can access the modules by registering on 12.00 p.m. I’m joining Philip Taylor in his office as we are dialling into the weekly PMI Energy call where we are informed about merger-related issues and where we provide an update on what we’ve been doing in our division over the last week. Philip provides an update on IT-related topics and I provide a status update on the activities, benefits, concerns and next steps in the Renewables Advisory ­integration. Also, we hear what’s “cooking” in the other divisions. After the meeting, I ­prepare a “merger digest” with the key topics we need to share with our regional managers. 01.00 p.m. Time for lunch – here in Bristol, there are free sandwiches every day. Sometimes colleagues present what they are currently working on or will be presenting at a conference. It’s also a great opportunity to find out what ­colleagues think about the merger, what they are anxious about and which topics we may need to communicate more on. It’s great to see how excited most colleagues are about the merger and how eager everybody is to contribute constructively. 01.45 p.m. Now I join Jane Shapcott, HR manager for Renewables Advisory, in her office to discuss communication with the Works Councils in Germany. We need to make sure they are

kept informed at all times and can exercise their co-determination right where it applies. 02.30 p.m. Time for a cup of tea with colleagues – the English way with milk of course! 03.30 p.m. My taxi is here – like every Thursday, I’m now heading to the airport in Bristol to go back home to Hamburg. 04.15 p.m. Check-in, security, now waiting at the gate. 04.50 p.m. “Boarding completed” – we are leaving 20 minutes ahead of schedule. No wonder bmi considers itself to be “the UK’s most punctual airline”. 05.00 p.m. We have reached cruising altitude, so I get out my laptop and do some more work. 07.10 p.m. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Hamburg, where the local time is 7:10 p.m. We’ve landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule ... We look forward to welcoming you back on a bmi flight very soon.” Yes, I will be going back to Bristol next Monday morning! 07.35 p.m. In the taxi going home, time to answer some last e-mails for the day and for a short call to a colleague in the US – good thing he just got in to the office! 08.00 p.m. I arrive home, where my husband Robert and I cook dinner together. We look forward to a relaxed evening and some quality time together! 11.00 p.m. We are calling it a day – I’ve ambitious plans to get up early tomorrow morning for a work out in the GL Sports club before my day in the Hamburg office starts.



Spanish Pioneers In Spain and Portugal, where very tough economic circumstances are combined with bold energy policy, a small Spanish DNV GL office finds itself right in the middle of a whole series of challenges.



here’s a strong sense of pioneering in the stories of the Spanish colleagues who contributed to this article. In their relatively short history, they have gone through many changes and confronted major challenges, yet they have still managed to see success. Right now, they have a new country manager and, sharing a beautiful new office with local DNV people, they are even more ­enthusiastic about moving forward.

The first years Elena Henríquez was one of the founders of the office in 2008, when KEMA was looking for people to man their new foothold in Spain. Looking back, she remembers: “We started with three people in two rooms and moved to a small office later that year. In 2010 we set up a laboratory in one of the rooms and started testing smart meters.” The smart meter market became the main focus for the office, and for good reason. By 2020 80% of the European households are to be connected to smart meters, as part of European legislation on energy efficiency. Spain, despite its financial crisis, is taking the lead by making it mandatory for all Spanish households to have smart meters by 2018. The country is well on the way towards that target: after three years, six million of its twenty seven million households are already connected. Although the smart meter market looked promising in 2010, those first years were not very easy, says Elena. There was a lot of pressure to deliver good results and, being a small team, they had to do everything themselves. For Elena, who was educated as an industrial engineer, it was a pressure cooker for learning new things, especially about management. That proved to be very valuable experience, when in 2012 their previous country manager “The company’s commitment left the office and she had to take over is an inspiring message, both his role. It took ten months to find a for us and for our customers.” new manager. “KEMA was looking for the perfect person. We needed someone who was very familiar with the market and with our customers, and who really believed in this office,” she explains. “As for myself, I needed someone I could rely on and learn from. I love to learn and grow in my work, yet I found it very difficult to run the office and do all my other work at the same time.” After a long search, they found the right person in Santiago Blanco, an industrial engineer from Uruguay with 20 years of experience in 12

the Spanish energy market. He was appointed country manager in March of this year – leading a very young team that had grown to sixteen people.

New director, new plans Santiago took up the challenge with great ­enthusiasm, drawing up an ambitious new business plan together with his team. The focus of the office is still on the testing and certification of smart meters, its main asset being a well-equipped smart grid certification laboratory. Santiago and his team are very proud of this lab, which over the years has developed into the most competitive in its sector in all of Iberia (Spain and Portugal). “First of all,” he says, “we wish to maintain, consolidate and export our lab services and, in addition, we want to develop and expand our advisory activities, so that we transform our operations into a consultancy for all of Iberia. Over the next two years we want to grow to around thirty people.” The current economic circumstances make this quite a challenging plan. However, Santiago is convinced that the smart meter market in Spain still offers plenty of opportunities. He is very enthusiastic about a move in May to a new office, which is in the same building as DNV Madrid. “They’re on the first floor, we’re on the second,” he says. “That is, of course, a big improvement. We can now share facilities with a much larger office. Even more important though is the ­psychological impact. We see it as a strong indication that the company believes in the Iberian market and in our potential, and has decided to commit to that. That’s an inspiring message, both for us and for our customers.”

The lab From a tiny office room with one testing set-up and two engineers, the laboratory has grown to a modern facility with six different set-ups and six employees. It’s the “home” of Amir Ahmadzadeh, an e­ lectrical engineer who specialises in telecommunication, who started the lab with Elena in 2010. He finds it d ­ ifficult to define his role in terms of a single ­position. Although there are now six people working in the lab, he still has many different tasks and roles. “Elena and I each serve our own customers,” he says. “We’re the people they turn to so, depending on what they need, I’m a consultant, a project manager or a ­testing engineer. This diversity is one of the reasons I like my work so much.” Like Elena, he feels that the ­pioneering years, though perhaps not so easy in terms of b ­ usiness, have given him plenty of opportunities to learn and grow.

Smart meters make it a lot easier for utilities to monitor their customers’ energy use, adjust their supplies and advise customers on energy efficiency. The use of such meters, however, requires a reliable and carefully balanced network of devices and software, from the utilities to the end users. In the lab, both hardware and software can be tested, and it also provides services that make sure that all the different components in the smart meter network connect and communicate properly. The customers are utility companies and smart meter manufacturers, mainly in Spain and Portugal. “We also collaborate on projects with our colleagues in other European offices,” says Amir. “Our lab has ­successfully positioned itself in the Spanish market and we hope to expand our services and attract additional customers from other countries as well.”

Sharing a home Santiago, Elena and Amir all stress the importance of sharing an office with DNV. Although DNV mostly operates in a different sector, they gain a lot of benefit from sharing HR, financial and administrative facilities. For Management Assistant Ainhoa Vidaurreta this is a huge improvement. She joined KEMA in 2011, after working as a communication specialist for companies in the entertainment industry. When she started in the office, she had a variety of tasks (management assistant, communication and administration), but the administrative component has grown and become more complicated over the years. “I don’t have a background in areas like accounting, so I had to learn it as I went along,” she explains. “Being the only one working in administration, it felt a bit lonely sometimes...

“As a managing director, I find transparency particularly important.”

Santiago Blanco Luis Gutiérrez de Soto Ainhoa Vidaurreta

Elena Henríquez

Amir Ahmadzadeh


But now I get a lot of back up from the DNV office. When I need advice, I just go down one floor and ask them. They are really helping me to develop my skills in this area.” And then there’s the building itself. Ainhoa and her colleagues are equally enthusiastic about it. A beautiful, airy new office with plenty of space. “We now have a special room for large meetings and training sessions,” says Ainhoa. “Maybe I’ll be able to put my organisational skills to use there!” It’s also a very open office, with all rooms separated by glass walls. Even the lab wall is transparent. “Our intention was to have a single space for the whole team,” says Santiago. “We can all see each other. As a manager, I find this transparency particularly important.”

Luis Gutiérrez de Soto is managing director of DNV (now DNV GL) Madrid. His office represents the business areas Maritime and Oil & Gas. Business Assurance is also an important activity in Spain and Luis acts as Country Chair. The integration with legacy DNV KEMA, according to Luis, is going extremely well. “The services they offer are very specialised, so we don’t overlap there, but we do have customers in common and that allows us to cooperate sometimes.” The closest collaboration is administrative. Internal requirements and Spanish legislation on Health, Safety & Environment are also an area of mutual interest. The building helps a lot, Luis confirms. “This office makes it very easy to meet one another.” 14

The benefit of two cultures It sounds like the Madrid office has successfully integrated legacy KEMA and DNV. Do they ever experience a difference in culture? “That’s difficult to say,” says Santiago. “I think we have a lot in common – we’re both technically oriented and hence basically speak the same language. What strikes me about DNV is their deeply rooted concern with sustainability. A good example is the WeDo programme, which offers funding and support to individual employees who would like to make their life and home more healthy and sustainable. For instance, the programme helps people to buy more sustainable electrical devices for their home. It even provides pedometers, which show you how far you walk every day. We sometimes used to laugh about it at first, but now we’re competing with other offices!” •

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?

Jules Clayton and the Community Wind Project In his daily work, Jules is involved with very large-scale renewable energy projects, taking a macro point of view and dealing with national governments and multinational com­ panies. Recently, he decided he’d also like to be involved at the opposite end of the scale. He now works as a volunteer for a community wind farm project near where he lives.

What’s the idea behind it? It was set up by the Bristol Energy Cooperative (BEC), a volunteer group promoting and installing renewable energy in the wider Bristol (UK) area. They’ve recently been quite successful with installing solar arrays in various communities, which they financed by selling shares to the inhabitants. These shares were actually over-subscribed! Now they want to take the next step by setting up a community owned wind farm project.

What does this project entail? It will consist of two wind turbines with a combined capacity of 4 to 5.2 Megawatts, built by a developer with the exclusive option for BEC to buy them when they’re finished. We will then start selling shares to our community. Hopefully we’ll raise a lot of money here as well. Additional funding will come from supportive banks. Shareholders will own a piece of the wind farm and get a return on their investment. A community fund will be allocated from the profits, to ­support local projects.

What’s your motivation for doing this? On the one hand, I want to spend time on a good cause and get involved with the local community. On the other

hand, the small scale attracts me as it contrasts nicely with my large-scale work. Hopefully, one day I’ll be able to touch the turbine at the end of the road and say: this is partly my work, I helped to build this!

What is your role? So far, I’ve been helping with financial analyses. In the runup to the planning decision, we’ll have to communicate and explain it to the local people, try to make them e­ nthusiastic and get their support. Community engagement is an ­important part of the whole project. I’ve just started working four days a week in order to be able to really devote enough time to it.

How do your colleagues react? I’ve told various people. They’re usually very interested in this kind of initiative so, when the share offer is promoted, I’m going to advertise it a lot at work!

If they’d like to do something similar, what would be your advice? Just look for any groups or organisations working in your area and see if they need help. Many are short staffed and overworked, and any special skills or experience – or just an extra pair of hands – is always welcome. Jules Clayton, who joined legacy Garrad Hassan 4½ years ago, moved to the Strategy & Policy Services group as a ­consultant in 2011. 15

Seattle September 12, 2013  Location: (WA) , USA, legac y DNV KEMA

A Company and its Cakes How did we celebrate the merger? Well, with c ­ hampagne and cake of course. And all these beautiful blue-and: Austin   Location r 12 , 2013 assan H d ra Septembe ar G , legacy GL (T X ), USA

green cakes together are a good representation of unity in diversity within the new company.

September 12, 2013  Location: Ottawa (ON), Canada, legacy GL Garrad Hassan


September 12, 2013  Location: Portland (OR), USA, legacy GL Garrad Hassan, with ­visitors from Seattle – legacy DNV KEMA

September 12, 2013  Location: Peterborough (NH), legacy GL Garrad Hassan, with visitors from Burlington (MA), USA – legacy DNV KEMA

September 12, 2013  Location: Beijing, China, legac y GL Garrad Hassan

September 12, 2013  Location: Peterborough (NH), USA, legacy GL Garrad Hassan

September 12, 2013  Location: San Diego (CA), USA, legac y GL Garrad Hassa n

September 17, 2013  Location: Arnhem, the Netherlands, legacy DNV KEMA

Julia Vetromile San Francisco (CA), USA

Elizabeth Durney Arnhem, the Netherlands



Jacobien Falk Arnhem, the Netherlands

23 David Walker Arnhem, the Netherlands

Theo Bosma Arnhem, the Netherlands

Team DNV KEMA Seattle (WA), USA



Jacob Fontijne Arnhem, the Netherlands

16 31


Team GL Garrad Hassan Ottawa (ON), Canada



Team GL Garrad Hassan Peterborough (NH), USA

Hugo van 足Nispen Burlington (MA), USA Darlene Scruton Burlington (MA), USA

33 Team GL Garrad Hassan Portland (OR), USA




Team GL Garrad Hassan San Diego (CA), USA

Gabriela 足Vasconcellos Oakland (CA), USA

Team GL Garrad Hassan Austin (TX), USA


Jan-Christoph Neuhann Bristol, UK

08 Jules Clayton Bristol, UK

15 Jeremy Parkes Bristol, UK

23 R.V. Ahilan Bristol, UK 18


Unni Prinsdal Einerkjær Høvik, Norway

20 Signe-Marie Bjerke Hernes Høvik, Norway



Thea Nieberding Hamburg, Germany


Team GL Garrad Hassan Beijing, China

Andreas ­Schroeter Hamburg, Germany



Dr Sanjay ­C ­Kuttan Singapore


Amir ­Ahmadzadeh Madrid, Spain

10 Santiago Blanco Madrid, Spain

10 Elena Henríquez Madrid, Spain

10 Luis Gutiérrez de Soto Madrid, Spain


Graham Slack Melbourne, ­Australia

23 Ainhoa ­Vidaurreta Madrid, Spain



About Us

Who are your new colleagues? How do they feel about their work and their company? We asked a few people from our ­legacy organisations to share their thoughts on this.

Unni Prinsdal Einerkjær Intro

Senior Administrator, Management Team Legacy DNV KEMA, Høvik, Norway

It’s important for me that we take care of people in the new organisation. After all, people are the most important resource for a knowledge enterprise; they are the ones that form the actual value of the new company DNV GL. It is also important to safeguard the ability to enjoy the little things in everyday work. Small things, like a smile or a positive word from your colleague, could be all you need in order to gain more enthusiasm.

As a world-class technical consultancy, we must answer all requests no matter what the topic, the language or the market. Just as an example, for a wind farm project, the developer can be Moroccan, the investor French, the lender German, the manu­facturer Danish and the operator Spanish. That’s why it is said that wind energy is an international business. I would add that it is also a multicultural business. Advising players from different cultures with our consistent high standard quality services is the challenge that makes me happy when I cycle to work every morning.

Khaled KLABI Senior Engineer –

France & North Africa – Renewables Advisory, Legacy GL Garrad Hassan, Paris, France 20

What I love most about legacy KEM collaboration between colleagues A is the throu different regions and business lin ghout es. share the same passion for work We all ing that will contribute to a sustain on projects able future. Porto Olímpico Leste in Rio de Ja neiro illustrate this. We are developing , Brazil, is a good project to a Sustainability Master Plan for a 116,000 m2 community locat ed in This development will serve as th the Port of Rio de Janeiro. eM Olympic Games and will be sold as edia Village during the 2016 commercial and residential space after the Games. The projec t was a result of collaboration between our San Diego, Oakland and pre- and post-Games phases of th Rio offices. It considers the e project and focuses on providing a better quality of life for th e fu while increasing the property value ture residents and occupants, of this development.

Gabriela Vasconcellos, LEED AP BD+C Sust

ainability Professional, Legacy DN KEMA Services, Inc - Oakland (CA V KEMA / ), USA sultant, Hernes  Principal TrainerHøvandik, Con Signe-Marie Bjerke/MO Norway C), Legacy DNV KEMA, Operational Excellence (OPE

ess is to develop a good working I think one of the most important criteria for succas to good management that environment. This applies to social aspects, as wellbest. It is also important to create empowers employees and trusts them to do their has been of special importance a good environment for learning new things. That group we try to use colleagues’ for us when moving into the Energy sector. In our h seminars to share experiences. expertise across departments and we arrange lunc projects helping customers. The best learning, of course, takes place out in real t: the scenery around the Another thing I enjoy about my working environmen for morning kayaking, cycling to Høvik Office is just marvellous! It’s just perfect h break with good colleagues work, ending up with a swim, or just a relaxing lunc on the waterfront on a nice sunny day.

21 21

I hope that DNV GL continues legacy DNV’s commitment to employees to support their desire to make a difference in safeguarding life, property and the environment. The tree planting activity we did last September is an example of this commitment. I am glad the staff voted for this activity as a symbol designed to perpetuate DNV GL’s purpose. DNV KEMA Clean Technology Centre (CTC) and Deepwater Technology Centre (DTC) celebrated the merger with GL by participating in a tree planting session at the East Coast Park on 28 September 2013. The tree planting was done as part of the “1963 Commemorative Tree Planting” event organised by the National Parks Board (NParks). In 1963, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew planted the first tree and set Singapore on its path to become a Garden City. The event was initiated to commemorate 50 years of greening through the planting of 1963 trees from June through November 2013. Our team planted a total of ten trees belonging to three species during this morning event.

Dr Sanjay C Kuttan

SEA Regional Manager / Managing Director
 Legacy DNV KEMA Clean Technology Centre, Singapore


The thing I value very much from legacy DNV KEMA is the opportunity I have in ­growing and transforming into a global, professional organisation. Almost everythin horizons, new knowledge and experiences, new contacts in and outside of the organ and I enjoy it every day! Consultant Learning & Develop

Jacobien Falk

to The most enjoyable aspect of my job is being able ulatwork with like-minded people on technically stim ing ing challenges, talking about ideas, and then mak dly it happen. It’s great to work in a relaxed and frien pride environment while at the same time taking huge sucin a job well done. I am particularly proud of the this cess we have had as a Forecasting team, growing rs new business area from its initial beginnings 10 yea is now. ago to the established and expanding business it

rkesBrisGlobtol,al UKHead of Forecasting, JerecymGLyGarPa rad Hassan, Lega

As an engineer, I get a lot of pleasure from makin g sure that things are designed and built to work safely, efficiently and reliably. As a father, I’ve always been concerned that the job I do helps contribute to maintaining the quality of the environment, so that my kids can grow up to enjoy an unspoiled planet. I figure tha t by helping our clients to develop the best quality and most econ omical renewable energy generating plants, I am helping achieve bot h of those aims.

Graham Slack

Area Manager, Pacific, Legacy GL Garrad Hassan, Melbourne, Australia

my work to learn and develop myself! Over the past years we have been ng has changed because of that. Now I know that change leads to new nisation, new ways of working. For me it is a true enrichment of my work pment, Legacy DNV KEMA, Arnhem, the Netherlands 23


A Day in the Life of…


Thea Nieberding

.    08.30 a.m

  08.30 a.m. 

.    11.00 a.m   08.45 a.m. 

  01.00 p.m. 

  06.30 p.m. 

  03.00 p.m. 


Do you want to share a day in your life? If so, please send an email to

Thea Nieberding Strategy and Integration Manager at Renewables Certification in Hamburg, Germany. With ­legacy GL Group since November 2012.

07.45 a.m. Getting up early is not my strength so, depending on meetings planned for the day, I aim to be at the office between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m... Usually it turns out to be closer to 9 a.m. 08.30 a.m. I leave the flat, take the tube to work and arrive in the “Hafencity” in Hamburg. I enjoy the walk from the tube station to the office building, as it leads along canals and past little bridges. 09.00 a.m. I start work, screen emails, reply to urgent matters. 10.30 a.m. Call with Yngve Hellerud and Philip Taylor, who lead the IT Workstream in our PMI core team. Discuss open points and issues which have been raised by colleagues. I try to find solutions and ways forward. The migration to the VerIT Platform is moving closer every day and there are many things that need to be settled first: will all business-critical ­applications work on the new system and will the workstations needed for important calculations continue to work after the migration? Will existing equipment, such as screens, be compatible with the PCs on offer? 11.00 a.m. Meeting with colleagues from the finance team to go through the current version of the Annual Operational Plan (AOP) for 2014. The Review of the AOP with David Walker is in three days. A lot of work has already been

put into the preparation by many colleagues. Discussion focuses now on how to deliver our message clearly and comprehensibly.

05.00 p.m. Work on changes to the AOP presentations that were discussed in the morning.

01.00 p.m. Lunch break with a colleague in the canteen, enjoying the nice weather. It’s unusually hot for a day in October in Hamburg: 21°C!

06.30 p.m. Leave the office, receive the car from my boyfriend, then drive to my Icelandic horses, which have their home outside of Hamburg in the countryside. I really love spending time outside, getting some fresh air, after a day in the office.

02.00 p.m. Work and respond to emails and prepare the meetings that are taking place in the afternoon. 03.00 p.m. The weekly meeting of the PLM-PM project team (Product Lifecycle Management – Project Manage­ment). This year we have rolled out project management software, which will help our team to manage existing and upcoming projects by offering transparency on project status and introducing work flows. During this regular meeting the status of the implementation is tracked and open issues are solved. Group IT is supporting the software implementation.

09.30 p.m. Back home, I have some food, although I know it’s not healthy to eat so late…. but I can’t just skip dinner.

04.00 p.m. Meeting with our Works Council for Renewables Certification in Hamburg. During the integration, there are a number of topics which are subject to co-determination by the Works Council in Germany. In this meeting we are conferring with them on the level 5 structure of our new organisation. Kim Mørk, Technical Manager for ­Renewables Certification, who is also ­participating. He explains important background for the proposed structure.


Joining Forces in a New Company

The first people to actually join forces in DNV GL - Energy were the members of the Executive Leadership Team. In the premerger planning phase, the ELT played a central role in structuring the new organisation. Who are they? This article focuses on the four Directors of Divisions and the CEO, giving a glimpse of the people behind the new job titles.


From left: Aad van den Bos, Elisabeth Harstad, Jacob Fontijne, Bjørn Tore Markussen, Arno Tuinebreijer, David Walker, Andreas Schroeter, Caroline Kamerbeek, Hugo van Nispen, R.V. Ahilan


“Once people get to

Is there anything that has profoundly ­influenced you, in your work or privately?

know each other, they

The most influential change in my life was having a family. It’s a big responsibility. I wanted to bring up my children in a cleaner world. This is part of the reason why my ideas about energy have changed over the last 10-15 years, moving strongly towards promoting clean energy.

tend to work together more easily.”

How would your friends describe you? As a fairly calm person who is interested in lots of things. That’s why I enjoy traveling, different kinds of food, different people – that’s also why I enjoy this job! I don’t always go very deeply into things, I like to see the big picture, but I can “dive deep” when ­necessary.

Any hobbies? Well, I don’t like golf or whisky, though I guess I should do, being Scottish... I read a lot, particularly about history. I think it’s important to know the history of places, companies and developments in technology. It helps to put things in context.

David Walker

There was a long process preceding this merger. What was the most pleasant ­surprise? My positive feelings are best illustrated


avid Walker is CEO of the new company DNV GL - Energy (as he was of DNV KEMA). He is based in Arnhem and divides his time between there and his family home in London. David was born in Hamilton, near Glasgow in the UK. He is ­married and has twin daughters.

What was your very first job? As a teenager I worked as a waiter at a local restaurant. A job like that teaches you a lot about people and I developed a ­special sympathy for waiters. And your career so far? I studied geology in Edinburgh and at Imperial College in London. Then I worked for several companies in the oil and gas industry, latterly in executive positions. In 2007 I joined DNV Energy and in 2008 I became Chief Strategy Officer for the DNV Group. At that time we were already looking at KEMA, so I was familiar with the company when we finally acquired our controlling interest. In June 2012 I became CEO of DNV KEMA. 28

by the trip I made down the West Coast of the USA to visit several offices: Seattle (GEC, acquired by DNV), Portland (Garrad Hassan), Oakland (KEMA), San Ramon (BEW, acquired by DNV), and San Diego (GH and KEMA). Everywhere I went I met ­enthusiasm for what DNV GL - Energy is all about – ­renewables, energy ­efficiency, smart grids, helping customers and a genuine interest in each other. The people working there have the same passion for their jobs as those in our TIC lab and our certification staff. They want to get things right and make a difference.

As for the upcoming integration, what should we be aware of? I think it’s essential to provide the right settings for people to talk to each other, both virtual and face-to-face. Once people get to know each other, they tend to work together more easily. You can resolve a lot of issues if people know each other personally.

What are you looking forward to in your new position? We’re sure to have more influence in the clean energy space from now on, with more capacity and opportunities. I’m looking forward to meeting people, getting to know their issues and understanding what we’re capable of as a company.


ugo van Nispen is director of the ­division Energy Advisory, which is located in ­Burlington (MA), USA. His previous position was Chief Operating Officer, Division Americas at DNV KEMA. Hugo’s parents were Dutch but, as his father was a diplomat working abroad, he lived in seven or eight ­different countries in his youth. For more than twenty years now he’s been living in the USA with his wife. They have two children.

I worked for a variety of different consultancies, all of which focused on utilities. At the time, KEMA USA didn’t have T&D or management consultancy and I was hired to develop the management consulting business.

Is there anything that has profoundly ­influenced you, in your work or privately?

What was your very first job? When I was 15 or 16, I worked at McDonalds, cooking hamburgers and taking out the trash.

One of the biggest influences was the fact that, as the son of a diplomat, we moved every two or three years. Living in new places, learning new languages, making new friends, getting to understand how to do things in a new world: that shaped my outlook a lot.

And your career so far? I got a Bachelor of

How would your friends describe you?

Science degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, USA, and later an MBA in Finance and Operations at the University of Michigan. Before joining legacy KEMA in 2003,

People often say I’m remarkably comfortable in unfam­iliar settings. I can have a lot of fun when that feels appropriate but, when it’s necessary to be ­serious, I’m serious. I guess that has to do with my formal ­upbringing as a diplomat’s son.

“The best way to keep your spirits up is to stay focused on our clients.”

Any hobbies? I love trap shooting and motor ­ oating. We often go out boating on Lake Michigan, b which is a two-hour drive from where we live. There was a long process preceding this merger. What was the most pleasant ­surprise? I’m very pleased with my new colleagues on the Executive Leadership Team. They’re open, client-focused and businesslike, but at the same time I feel they don’t take themselves too seriously.

As for the upcoming integration, what should we be aware of? There are two broad messages, I think. First of all: remember that for our new colleagues this is as difficult as it was for us ­during the DNV KEMA merger. Just remember your own feelings about “not knowing where to go or who to ask this” and be empathic with them. And secondly: any business changes constantly. The best way to keep your spirits up is to stay focused on our clients. Then we can put aside distractions and act in unison.

Hugo van Nispen

What are you looking forward to in your new position? We have developed some very strong capabilities globally, but they are not yet evenly distributed. I’m ­looking ­forward to bringing more consistency to the capabilities and services available at all offices and thus removing any obstacles to delivery for our clients. 29

“My hardware is German, my software is Latin!”

Business School in Barcelona. In 2011 I joined GL and dived deep into renewables and especially into the project management for certification of wind turbines and offshore wind parks.

Is there anything that has profoundly ­influenced you, in your work or privately? Maybe the most important influence has been my very international youth. I had relatives all over the world who I met regularly, and this taught me at an early age that the way I perceived reality wasn’t always the way other people see it. As a student I volunteered for the international student organisation IAESTE and ­participated in the programme myself, going to the UK and Japan. It’s these experiences that inspired me to work internationally.

How would your friends describe you as a person? They’d probably say I’m ambitious and

Andreas Schroeter

focused, but also with broad interests. My wife is from Colombia and we lived in South America for a long time, so some would say I’m part German, part Latin. Opposites that meet – that’s me.

Any hobbies? I like good movies, and doing sports like running, hiking and skiing, but my main passion is football.


ndreas Schroeter – director of the division Renewables Certification – is based in Hamburg. Before his current position he was managing director of Renewables Certification in GL. Andreas was born in Werne, a small town near Dortmund, the home town of UEFA Champions League finalist Borussia Dortmund, in Germany. It goes without saying that he’s a big football fan! He’s married and has three children.

What was your very first job? As a little boy I set up my own flea market with a friend, selling old toys. We earned 10 pfennig, just enough to buy sweets... My first serious money I earned as a teenager. I was a passionate football player, and my grandfather used to pay me five German Marks for every goal I scored!


There was a long process p ­ receding this merger. What was the most pleasant surprise? The first meeting in March 2013 with the management team of both legacy companies was a very pleasant experience. Although our roles were not yet clear and we were potentially competing for the same positions in the new organisation, the atmosphere was very friendly. We all felt: this is going to be a good match!

As for the upcoming integration, what should we be aware of? This merger will take time and the devil is in the details. We’ll often start something without knowing the outcome, and we’ll find unexpected obstacles as well as solutions along the way. I think being open to change and challenges is the only recipe for success.

And your career so far? I studied Electric

What are you looking forward to in your new position? We are the clear market leader

& Electronic Engineering, specialising as a Telecommunication Engineer. For more than 15 years I worked in telecommunications for firms like Nokia and Siemens, in the meantime getting an MBA at IESE

in Renewables Certification now. That brings great opportunities and a great responsibility too. I’m looking forward to combining the best of the two ­companies.


acob Fontijne – director of the division Power Testing, Inspection and Certification – is based in Arnhem. His previous position was Chief Operating Officer for the Benelux, Middle East and Africa at DNV KEMA. Jacob was born in Utrecht in the Netherlands. He’s married and has three children.

What was your first job? As a teenager I had a range of jobs, from delivering newspapers to picking potatoes; later I worked in catering as a cleaner and bartender.

And your career so far? I studied Chemical Technology at Delft University and did my Master’s degree in Copenhagen. I started my career at Shell. I loved working abroad, so when they gave me the choice between staying in the Netherlands in a highgrade technology job or going abroad and developing a broader, though perhaps less profound knowledge base, I chose the latter. I worked for Shell in many countries, but then resigned in 2000 to do my MBA. After that I worked for various companies, ­focusing on business development in the energy sector. In 2011 I started working for legacy KEMA.

As for the upcoming integration, what should we be aware of? When KEMA merged with DNV, there were few changes here in Arnhem, so perhaps for too long we thought integration would happen automatically – it all appeared to be too easy. We shouldn’t make that mistake this time. We’re now part of a company that employs over 16,000 people, which provides plenty of opportunities for everyone. Things will change in the long run, so make sure you’re part of it!

What are you looking forward to in your new position? The focus on Power TIC and the merging of all of the regions gives us great opportunities for growth and innovation. Labs around the world will be able to collaborate even better, exchanging more information and best practices.

“Things will change in the long run, so make sure you’re part of it!”

Is there anything that has profoundly influenced you, in your work or privately? One person I always remembered was my Russian roommate in Copenhagen. He had left his family in St. Petersburg and as a guest teacher he earned very little. However, he was always positive, he could get head over heels about a cup of coffee or some fresh tobacco! At the same time he was very firm in his ­principles. I admire that combination of living up to your principles and thoroughly enjoying life.

How would your friends describe you? Well, I guess they’d call me an honest and serious person (perhaps a bit too serious ...), but also very enthusiastic and optimistic.

Any hobbies? There are many things I like doing. I am currently renovating my house, and some time ago I completely restored an old Land Rover. My favourite sports are cycling, rowing and skating – last year I skated 50 km with my son. There was a long process preceding this merger. What was the most pleasant ­surprise? We’d been preparing this for such a long

Jacob Fontijne

time that the speed with which it happened came as a rather pleasant surprise for me. I really liked the dynamics of the final process. 31

R.V. Ahilan “My teacher in fluid mechanics taught me how enjoyment can be conveyed.”

GL acquired Noble Denton in 2009 and I continued to work in the merged organisation in the UK and Americas before moving to GL Garrad Hassan in 2012, succeeding Andrew Garrad. Renewables presented me with a whole new challenge, plus a new group of talented and committed people in an industry full of innovation and politics.

Is there anything that profoundly influenced you, in your work or privately? Several things, actually. John Fox, my teacher in Fluid Mechanics at Leeds University, showed me the impact enthusiastic teaching can have: he made me feel it was the only subject worth studying! Then there’s the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. It’s complexity of portrayal, with many shades between black and white, influenced my view of the world. And thirdly, Bertrand Russell’s observation that there are two things worth cherishing: education and love – both of which increase when you give them.

How would your friends describe you as a person? I guess they’d say I’m fun to be with, ­unconventional and even a bit eccentric...

Any hobbies? Family, cricket and fast cars! In Sri Lanka we had a great outdoor life and played a lot of cricket.


.V. Ahilan is director of the division Renewables Advisory, and he’s based in Bristol in the UK. His previous position was president of GL Garrad Hassan. Ahilan was born and raised in Jaffna, in the north of Sri Lanka. At the age of 15 he left for Singapore, where he finished high school. He is married and has two sons.

What was your first job? As a teenager, I worked as a filing clerk in my uncle’s law firm during the summer holidays.

There was a long process preceding this merger. What was the most pleasant surprise? I knew we’d be similar in cultural terms, but the unfailing good nature of my colleagues has surprised me. It makes me moderate my aggressive streak!

As for the upcoming integration, what should we be aware of? Most important: we should keep our clients right at the centre of our t­ hinking. They don’t care about our integration ­process; they’re only looking for the right service. In times of change, adaptability is the key to success, as Darwin taught us long ago.

And your career so far? I studied Civil Engineering at Leeds University and the California Institute of Technology, followed by a PhD at Cambridge University, specialising in fluid mechanics. I joined Noble Denton in 1984, a pioneer marine warranty firm working mainly in the Oil and Gas sector. I held various positions in Noble Denton, the last being managing director for Assurance and Consulting. 32

What are you looking forward to in your new position? So many things! We now have a cross-section of skills that can transform the world’s energy needs and we can shepherd this. When I look ahead five years from now, I hope and expect we will have made a significant contribution to making renewable energy a conventional part of the energy mix.

recharging your batteries

What do you

do in your

free time?

Darlene Scruton and her Motorcycle Darlene had been riding a motorcycle since the late seventies, but always as a passenger. Three years ago, she got tired of riding on the back of her husband’s bike, so she decided to buy one of her own. Her husband rides a Harley and they are both members of the Seacoast Harley Davidson Owners Group (H.O.G.) in New England; her bike got in, too – despite the fact that it’s actually a Can-AM Spyder.

New England... Can you ride your bike there all year round? We ride about nine months a year. When it gets cold, I have heated gear – jacket, pants and gloves – that I can plug in on my bike, like an electric blanket! In the weekends, we tour all over New England and sometimes we make a longer trip. Last summer we rode to see my sister in Ohio, 1800 miles there and back.

Do you often tour with your club? We go for leisure rides in the weekends, and in the summer we participate in Harley Davidson rallies in various states. Every state has one or more H.O.G.’s. With our H.O.G., we also do a lot of charity events. We have meetings regularly and I write our newsletter once a month. So it’s a big social thing for us.

Is it dangerous? Yes, definitely. People often don’t see us. My husband’s been hit three times ... We have reflective vests and we always

use our lights, but people just aren’t aware of motorcycles as much as they should be.

What do you like so much about it? I love the freedom. Not being enclosed, feeling the wind in my face. You can smell the cows, the flowers, the ocean... And yes, perhaps I shouldn’t say it, but I do like the speed!

Do your colleagues know about your ­motorcycle? I brought it to work once and they all came out to look. It’s quite a cool bike! It has two front wheels instead of one, and a lot of technical gadgets like GPS, radio, cruise control and a windscreen that goes up and down. It’s very easy to ride; you don’t need a lot of strength.

What would you advise colleagues who might be thinking of buying a motorcycle? Well, first of all you need a helmet. Then the best thing to do is to go on test rides at local dealers. If you don’t have a license yet, you can often ride in the parking lot. But of course, before you really go out on the road, you need a special motorcycle driver’s licence. When that’s all set, just follow our club motto: “Ride and have fun”! Darlene Scruton has been working at legacy DNV KEMA since 2011. She’s a marketing coordinator in Burlington (MA), USA. 33

Building a Future Based on Wind The merger of DNV and GL doesn’t just mean bringing in more people, more countries and more business. It also means more history. New roots have been added to the company tree. To get an impression of the roots of Garrad Hassan, we talked to one of its founders: Andrew Garrad.

Putting ideals into practice Andrew Garrad and Unsal Hassan built their company on wind. Wind energy, to be more precise. But specialising in this form of renewable energy wasn’t “written in the stars”. After getting his PhD in fluid mechanics in 1979 (subject: fluid dynamics and dolphins), Andrew wondered which direction he should take. “In those days,” he says, “you could obtain a grant to do more or less anything as a PhD, and I hadn’t yet made a clear choice. I had obtained a PhD which had been academically very demanding and interesting, but with no particular goal in view. An opportunity to work for the US Navy and the UK Admiralty made me think about what I wanted and helped me to make a more active choice.” He decided to move into industry and


realised that renewable energy was the next coming thing. His decision to get into renewables was driven by clear ideals about creating a cleaner world. His focus on wind energy, rather than waves, geothermal or tidal, was more or less a random choice – although it turned out to be a winner in retrospect.

­ ccasion, when he had used some complicated maths o to predict a certain wind turbine’s behaviour and Unsal had made extensive measurements for the same project. “The outcomes coincided exactly. I thought: wow, we can actually predict these things extremely precisely.”

For five years he worked for a conventional civil ­engin­eering firm that was building wind turbines. “I had a nice time there, but the heart of the company was not in wind energy. As far as they were concerned, it was just government money. So in 1984 my colleague Unsal Hassan and I decided to start our own wind energy consultancy.” He now calls it the arrogance of youth: leaving a secure job, re-mortgaging his house at the same time as his wife stopped working to have their first child. But they were lucky – at that time the UK government was funding the development of wind energy. They made a deal with the City University in London to do some teaching in return for office accommodation and they set up shop.

GH’s first project was writing a computer model to describe – and predict – the way wind turbines behave. This model, which is still very much alive today, is called Bladed. It is at the root of the company. “I’m very proud of that program,” Andrew says. “It’s grown by many orders of magnitude over the decades. It’s now the industry standard tool – and it’s very profitable. I sincerely hope nothing’s left in the model from what I wrote back then...”

Measuring and predicting Then, as now, there were lots of worries about pollution and the decline in natural resources. However, the main concerns were of a different nature. “Global warming wasn’t yet on the agenda,” explains Andrew, “and wind energy was mainly promoted by New Age types in “smocks and sandals”. People would laugh when they heard what we did.” Others, however, took them seriously. Andrew remembers a cheque worth 500 pounds arriving on pretty much the first day Garrad Hassan was established. It came from the director of a turbine blade manufacturer. “When I asked him what it was for, he just said it was a payment on account, because he was sure he’d become a very good customer... That was a great gesture for a small start-up company and a very good beginning to our business.” While Unsal Hassan focused on measurements, Andrew’s specialty was mathematical modelling. As Andrew puts it: “Unsal did the measuring and I did the predicting. I was more the face of the firm, while he was the back-room wizard. Together we made an excellent team.” The power of their combined ­expertise dawned on Andrew on one

“Go abroad or die” In the 1980s, the general feeling among governments was that wind energy was a bit like aerospace, so they commissioned aerospace companies to build huge wind turbines. “I ­remember going to see the German big wind power system GROWIAN: it was 100 meters tall. Although today this is almost commonplace, in those days climbing to the top was a mind-blowing experience!” At the other end of the scale the real commercial work involved building much smaller wind turbines. It was not until the early 1990s that these two paths met and the two parts of the industry finally came together. This event greatly accelerated both innovation and the expansion of wind energy. From the 1990s onwards, wind farms started to develop in the UK and Garrad Hassan got deeply involved, focusing on measurements of their potential output, monitoring their construction and ­performance, undertaking due diligence for banks and so on. Wind farm development turned out to be a very competitive market that was dominated by one major player in the UK. Their dominance and the fact that they did not need GH’s help forced the small ­company (which employed 15 people at the time) to take a daring step and set up offices in other ­countries. According to Andrew, it was a question of “go abroad or die.” To their surprise, setting up offices abroad proved to be remarkably easy and a very good move. The EU had various renewable energy programmes, which all required international co-­ operation. Says Andrew: “We were a neutral but


expert firm, which made us an ideal choice as a partner for many European companies. This was a decisive stage in the development of the industry towards becoming a very international business with a high level of cross-fertilisation”.

No equity stake “We had one important rule,” Andrew explains. “We took no equity stake in any project we got involved in. So we could stay completely independent. Unlike many consultancies that became manufacturers or owners or project developers, our aim was to be the leading consulting firm. Our independent position also made us a valuable partner for lenders and investors.” The firm expanded steadily and, by 2009, there were 360 employees working in 25 countries. Garrad Hassan was an independent, international firm with a solid reputation. “Consequently, lots of companies were interested in acquiring us,” says Andrew. “Amongst them was GL. We were familiar with GL, as we had often worked with them and we clearly had very similar ideas. In 2009, Garrad Hassan was bought by GL.” Unsal Hassan had retired a few years before. Andrew became president of the newly formed GL Garrad Hassan, which had grown to a company employing around 1,000 people when in October 2012, he stepped down as president. He was still involved in the company as chairman of the board. In the new DNV GL structure he will be a member of the Supervisory Board of N.V. KEMA.

Prolonging the line “I think the future of renewable energy looks very bright,” says Andrew Garrad. Long experience in the business tells him that the current stagnation – due to global economic difficulties – will be temporary. In his view, the sector has been very naive, creating the impression of being the only form of energy to receive a subsidy. “But all energy sources are actually subsidised; it’s just that the other subsidies are hidden. If you look at it this way, wind is already cost-competitive. We now see history repeating itself with solar, tidal and wave energy, which are also part of GL GH’s offering. They start as “fringe” activities and then slowly become bigger and more interesting commercially. Wind energy is now one of the major means of producing electricity. In the UK in the first quarter of 2013 renewables produced 15% of our electricity and nuclear produced 18%. When I look back to 1984, those statistics are mind-boggling! Renewables,” he stresses, “will be a very important part of the future energy mix, for both ideological and commercial ­reasons.” •

This is the 3 MW LS-1 wind turbine on one of the Orkney Islands, which Garrad Hassan worked on in the 1980s. It was the first MW-scale wind turbine in the UK.


DNV GL in Brief Driven by our purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. We provide classification and technical assurance along with software and independent expert advisory services to the maritime, oil and gas, and energy industries. We also provide certification services to customers across a wide range of industries. Operating in more than 100 countries, our 16,000 professionals are dedicated to helping our customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.

In the Energy industry DNV GL delivers world-renowned testing and advisory services to the energy value chain including renewables and energy efficiency. Our expertise spans onshore and offshore wind power, solar, conventional generation, transmission and distribution, smart grids, and sustainable energy use, as well as energy markets and regulations. Our 3,000 energy experts support clients around the globe in delivering a safe, reliable, efficient, and sustainable energy supply.

Betsie McLain, a senior marketing specialist based in Seattle, sent us this photo of herself and some of her colleagues, packed into a limousine. She adds: “We were on our way to Chicago’s O’Hare airport after visiting the WINDPOWER conference last May. It was cheaper to rent one limo for the ten of us than to take a few taxis!” From left: Matt Malkin, Ruth Marsh, Kevin Smith, Ari Bronstein (not in DNV GL - Energy), Dave VanLuvanee, Holly Mullen and Betsie McLain. The photo was taken by Stefanie Bourne.

A Fresh Perspective We’re looking for special, funny, beautiful, striking, surprising, or unusual situations in your daily work. If you come across one, take a photo, add a brief description of when and where it was taken, and send it to This is your chance to participate in making our new back cover!

DNV GL - Energy | Transponder issue #7 | December 2013  

Global Employee Magazine DNV GL - Employee

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