Winter 2019

Under the surface with: Heather Leadbetter

In this issue we meet Heather Leadbetter who works closely with ScottishPower Renewables delivering a high standard of offshore support services to its East Anglia ONE offshore wind farm.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I consider myself to be ‘properly’ Scottish because I was born and raised on the West Coast of Scotland and studied at the University of Stirling. I also played the bagpipes as part of my school band, which performed at local concerts and festivals.

My degree was in human resources and I assumed that would be an area I’d move into, but on graduating I fell into an operations role with a company called Dawson Energy because they were based close to home and a job as finance assistant came up. However, within six months they’d closed the Oban office and I was re-located to Norfolk as an operations co-ordinator. There my job involved managing multi-skilled offshore wind turbines technicians across installation, commissioning and servicing projects throughout Europe. I loved the role –it was fast-paced and every day was different.

Moving so far away from home was scary but I’ve made friends for life and I bought my first house last December so I’ll not be returning to Scotland any time soon!

How did you come to join the James Fisher group?

After nearly five years with Dawson Energy I’d worked my way up to a team leader role, but I jumped ship to join James Fisher Marine Services (JFMS) in July 2018 when I saw an opening for operations and maintenance project co-ordinator. I was ready for a new challenge and I liked the idea of starting from scratch in a new department and assisting with the setup of new systems and processes. I already knew a few of the team so I was able to settle in to the role well. My job involved co-ordinating the technologies between projects, and managing the various forms of certification required. Then, within a few months of arriving, I’d been asked to take on the management of the Integrated Marine Package (IMP) on East Anglia ONE (EA1) for ScottishPower Renewables (SPR).

Tell us a bit about your job

I’d never worked on marine communications, coordination, and the supply of vessels before so I had a lot to learn. It’s definitely a more challenging role but I enjoy it. Now I spend two days a week on site near Ipswich in Suffolk as an embedded extension of the EA1 team, helping to ensure we’re successfully delivering and meeting our contractual requirements. For the other three days I’m based at JFMS’s office in Lowestoft, Norfolk. Our compliance manager Hannah has recently joined the team, so it’s great to have a bit more girl power here! 

What do you enjoy most about your job

I enjoy having the responsibility for looking after a key part of this huge project. It’s such a great feeling when a customer offers positive feedback on our performance and I’m very proud to have received consistently good feedback from SPR for performance and my relationship with EA1. We have built a good working relationship, which has resulted in JFMS being asked to deliver extra services on top of work contractually agreed. I’d like to think this is partly down to the good service the customer receives from us and it is a great example of how we can add value to our customers in many key areas of any offshore wind farm project.

What does the future hold?

I’m currently working through my APM Project Management Fundamentals course so I’d like to pass this and continue to build my project management experience through the IMP project. I’ve also just completed my global wind organisation training so I’m looking forward to being able to go offshore for the first time, and I’d like to stay on EA1 so hopefully there will be an opportunity to continue on site after the IMP finishes next summer.

My 2020 New Years’ resolution is to start learning the piano or the guitar. I miss having a musical hobby and either of those would be more popular with my friends and neighbours than bagpipes!

 

More information

JFMS has also just won a significant new contract with ScottishPower Renewables on East Anglia ONE. Read the Pelican's stop press story to find out more

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