Get to know our Subsea Robotics Manager, Gordon Low, as he takes the spotlight in our latest staff profile interview.
Based in Aberdeen, Gordon has been instrumental in the company’s recent growth and success since joining the team in August 2020. An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience in his field of expertise, we know that our Subsea Robotics department is safe in his hands!
Can you provide some insight into your role at Rovco?
I’m the Subsea Robotics Manager at Rovco, and I am responsible for all of the subsea robotics equipment and personnel that we utilise during the project lifecycle. It’s quite a varied position; a typical day on the job would see me doing anything from assisting the tendering team with potential project planning, to planning and executing vessel mobilisations, putting together maintenance plans and schedules, managing equipment repair and supply, and managing inventory levels. Additionally, I am often involved in liaising with vessel agents and owners, and I offer operational and technical advice during the execution of our projects.
Tell us a bit about your background and how you arrived at Rovco?
Following my apprenticeship as a Fitter/Turner, I moved into a maintenance engineering role, where I worked for around 5 years. After that, I became a Trainee ROV Pilot Tech with Halliburton Subsea (which latterly became Subsea 7), where I progressed through the ranks to become a Remote Technology Specialist/ROV Superintendent, and eventually Country Manager working as the sole Subsea 7 representative in Equatorial Guinea.
After 14 years, I left Subsea 7 to work as an Offshore Project Manager for ROVOP, a start-up at the time. Moving on, I then joined Bourbon DNT as ROV Superintendent, eventually becoming their Crewing and Operations Manager, working on rotation between my home and Ravenna, Italy. I’ve been fortunate in that my career has taken me all over the world and has seen me working in places such as Brazil, India, South Korea, the US, and quite a few West African nations, to mention a few.
What attracted you to join Rovco?
I was drawn to Rovco because I liked the idea of contributing to its growth; I had a similar experience in previous roles and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I got the interview for Rovco, I realised that it was going to be a slightly more involved role than I had expected, so that challenge in itself was a big attraction, as I do like to get outside of my comfort zone sometimes!
That, alongside learning about Rovco’s industry-leading technology, presented a very attractive place to work and somewhere that I could apply my experience and knowledge to help influence and shape the future of subsea robotic operations. Having worked with ROVs for most of my career, I am genuinely excited to see what the future brings.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
The most challenging aspect is ensuring that our ROV systems are constantly operational and ready for work – that is, making sure that the maintenance is being performed, that any spare parts have been ordered, and that any necessary repairs have been carried out to the standard required. In a nutshell, keeping everything ticking over. There are so many things – both during the mobilisation phase or the project execution phase – that can go wrong, so being proactive and ensuring that the correct planning has been done to prevent this is key.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I really enjoy the variety of work that my job presents, as well as the fact that every day on the job is very much different – from assisting with the tendering one day, to planning a mobilisation the next. It can be very fast-paced and subject to last minute changes, but I enjoy a challenge!
What is your proudest achievement since working here?
Since joining in 2020, my proudest achievement has been establishing, developing and running Rovco’s Subsea Robotics department. There wasn’t a great deal in place when I originally started working at the company, so getting my department up and running was a priority and remains an ever-evolving work in progress with improvements being implemented all the time.
Are there any changes on the horizon?
Rovco is currently going through a period of tremendous growth – to be honest, the business has been growing rapidly since I joined, but it now appears to be entering a stage where the growth is truly accelerating. This will no doubt present many new changes and challenges, but we are very well positioned to cope with that.
Our technology offering is constantly evolving too, so it’s an extremely exciting time to be part of the company!
What is the best thing about Rovco’s company culture?
The culture here is fantastic; it’s a very open culture in which everyone is very approachable. You are able to approach and speak to anyone, including the CEO.
Despite the fact that everyone has been working remotely from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, communication between teams has remained excellent — you can practically call anyone at the drop of a hat and they will be happy to answer any questions or help you with any difficulties you may have. Similarly, if somebody phones me with any issue, I am always happy to help.
Is there anything you would want prospective clients to know?
I would want clients to know about the phenomenal technology we are bringing to the market – it is radically changing how subsea inspections are performed, and it’s what we see as the future of subsea inspections.
As well as that, we are all specialists in our fields and we are continuing to build an exceptionally strong team of personnel both onshore and offshore. We strive to recruit experts in their respective fields for the offshore execution of projects.
If you could switch roles with anyone in the company, who would that be and why?
I’m genuinely very happy in my job and wouldn’t want to switch places with anyone! I’m quite technically minded and enjoy the technical aspect of my role. That being said, everyone across the business in their own individual department is doing an incredible job.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I enjoy hillwalking when I find the time, and my wife also runs a home boarding business for dogs – we are a family of dog lovers, so we’re always looking after dogs and taking them for walks. That, and looking after the garden, consumes most of my spare time. My two kids are pretty much grown up now, so I very much have my own time back again, which is great!
Follow Gordon on LinkedIn here