Autumn 2018

Under the surface with: Dr Jennie Kevis-Stirling

We meet Dr Jennie Kevis-Stirling, key account manager with James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS).

Jennie is using her background in oceanography and subsea and survey to grow our business with customers in the Oil & Gas and Offshore Wind markets.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My childhood dream was to be one of the RAF’s first female fighter pilots and although I passed the selection panel and won my flying licence at 17, short-sightedness halted those ambitions. So, instead, I angled my geophysics degree course with a view to becoming an astronaut. But once I got involved in the fascinating world of oceans and volcanology I knew I’d have to change career goals.

After a year at Southampton Oceanography Centre, I returned to the University of Leeds to study for a PhD in marine geophysics and subsequently took up research and post-doc positions at leading oceanographic institutions in the UK and US (including at the University of Hawaii) working with emergent subsea survey technologies, as well as acting as a deep-water ROV navigator and data specialist.

After more than a decade in academia I returned to the UK in 2007 to join multinational surveying services company Fugro, spending nine years initially as senior geophysicist involved in the oil and gas/renewables/telecoms sector, specialising in shallow geohazards. For my last year there I moved into a more commercial and business-focussed role involved with project management and business development.

I was brought up in Norfolk and having travelled widely, I’ve settled back there now, living in Norwich with my husband, Akel (who is also a marine geophysicist and a specialist ROV operator) and our two daughters.

How did you come to join JFMS?

After leaving Fugro I spent a year as general manager of EEEGR (East of England Energy Group) representing energy producers and their supply chain. I came across JFMS and became interested in the company’s development and rapid growth. It became clear that my survey background and client focus would be a good fit for developing the subsea division and I was delighted to be offered an opportunity to join the team in 2017.

Tell us a bit about your job?

JFMS aims to provide a single contractual interface to the specialist marine and subsea services provided by the companies within the James Fisher group and my primary role is to work with three of our key clients – Perenco, ENI and London Array – to ensure that our business is meeting their needs and maximising their potential. I’m also involved with developing JFMS’ survey services to the energy and cable industries.

What projects are you working on?

Currently I’m working on the biggest single contract that JFMS has operated, ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia One wind farm, where we are investigating and clearing potential UXO. I’m also developing our subsea survey provision with partners in Taiwan and taking up my role as overall account manager for all services provided to London Array wind farm.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the diversity of projects I’m able to work on and value the support I’m given to pursue new ideas and opportunities I believe to be beneficial to our customers. I’m genuinely enthused about the services we provide, across the group and passionate about bringing them together to offer our clients a first-class complete solution.
I’m also proud to be the 200th member of a RenewableUK Switch List database of women working in the energy sector. The list aims to highlight the pool of female talent driving change across the entire energy sector and to make it easier for those organising industry events to identify women thought leaders, it’s exciting being a woman in what has very traditionally been a man’s world.

What does the future hold?

This is an exciting time of growth for the renewables sector and I’m delighted to be able to take part at the forefront of the energy industry as a whole, and to be playing an integral role with JFMS as we develop innovative solutions to meet the challenges of our customers.


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