Spring 2017

Under the surface with: Tanya Valova

We find out how Tanya Valova, from marine engineering consultancy Maritime Engineers, has been forging links with other James Fisher group companies.

Tanya Valova, 37, design office manager with Maritime Engineers.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Although I grew up in Bulgaria we moved to Germany in my teenage years. I have always been fascinated with the ocean and an avid fan of competitive sailing and this passion culminated in me taking a masters degree in mechanical engineering and naval architecture (ship design). As a student I worked part-time for the ship classification society Germanisher Lloyd, and after graduating I was offered a position as plan approval engineer with the company. Over the next eight years I gathered experience in the hull and outfitting departments which involved a two year stint representing the company in South Korea and China and I found I really enjoyed working with different clients across different cultures.

In 2012 I took the big decision to move to Perth in Western Australia to work with a shipbuilding and marine engineering consultancy. Four years later (in January last year) I joined Maritime Engineers as design office manager in the Perth office (the company has offices in Australia, Singapore and Japan) with a brief to run the design aspect of the business.

What is your current role?

As well as working with the team to try to expand our markets, much of my focus is on growing the business internally by developing successful relationships with our sister companies. In the last year I have been helping to identify where we can share knowledge and expertise with other companies in the James Fisher Group in the hope that we can try to get projects together and work as an expanded team.

As a result we are in the process of strengthening our relationships with sister companies such as Fendercare, Scan Tech, Mojo Maritime and JFD. Because of our expertise in naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering design we are also looking at other Group companies to see where we can help each other; whether that be sharing knowledge, supporting projects or offering advice. I am convinced that together we can be stronger, more efficient and provide our customers with the best possible service.

What projects have you worked on?

When I joined Maritime Engineers, the team had already been working on the Dampier floating wharf project in Australia but I have been involved in the recent redesign to allow the mooring to accommodate larger vessels of up to 90 metres long. We have also been awarded a contract to undertake a feasibility study of the Western Australia Police fleet of vessels – although this will be headed up by my colleague, Mark Sambrailo.

In addition to this, we have supported our Australian clients on a range of smaller projects such as stability assessments and the design of towing equipment and bespoke mooring solutions.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the fact that I am able to mix my technical expertise with project management skills to get a complete overall view of any project, seeing it through from concept design to fabrication, working very closely with the client the whole time. My job is all about finding the best possible solutions not just in terms of suitable design but also in terms of project management and cost control. I’m currently studying for a postgraduate certificate in project management so it’s all very useful.

What other projects are you working on?

We were involved in the tendering process with JFD on the new contract to create a saturation diving system for Shanghai Salvage that will operate up to 500m deep (as featured in the Winter issue of Pelican). The project is fascinating because no one has designed anything capable of reaching these depths. We are hoping to support JFD with the structural design of the frame system and interface with transport vessel.

There is so much to look forward to – these are exciting times for Maritime Engineers.

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