In the latest instalment of our Meet the Team series, we shine the spotlight on Aberdeen-based Catherine Campbell, who joined Rovco earlier this year as Senior Contracts Specialist. A mother of two young boys and a lover of travel in her converted campervan, Catherine is a key member of our commercial team, ensuring that Rovco is always compliant and aware of any potential project risks. We recently caught up with her to learn more about her career background, including why she made the move into the offshore renewables sector, and what attracted her to join the company.
Tell us a bit about what your role as a Senior Contracts Specialist involves?
I look after all of the contracts for the company, up, down and across the supply chain, including customers’ contracts. There are a variety of risks to be aware of, including legal risks, risks of incidents happening at sea, or risks on the commercial side, which are the most common. There can be tussles or negotiations between different parties taking part in projects and the unexpected can – and will – happen, so contracts are put in place to protect Rovco and other parties from any potential risk. We need to be aware of exactly what those risks are and ensure they are balanced between ourselves and the customer. Essentially, I spend my days juggling risks and spinning plates.
What is your career background and how did it prepare you for working at Rovco?
I came to Rovco from a previous career in the oil and gas sector. I have worked in client contracts teams with a global technology company and then a decommissioning specialist, where I looked after the contracts for the different services they provided to customers.
While there are differences in the contracts between oil and gas and marine companies, the similarities meant I knew what to expect in the role. You need to figure out what the risks are and determine how to handle them. I had a good level of knowledge to carry over with me, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t always more to learn.
What attracted you to join Rovco?
There are two reasons that I decided to apply to work at Rovco. One was the focus on renewables; I watched a David Attenborough documentary that inspired me to be greener within my household, and that spilled over into my working life as well. It’s great to work with a company that is really getting involved in renewables.
And on the other hand, I have two young boys, so the hybrid working and family-friendly ethos at Rovco was very appealing. It is great to balance my work with settling my children into new routines – especially with one of the boys starting school.
In your opinion, what makes Rovco stand out from the crowd?
Rovco’s focus on autonomous systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is something that I don’t really see anywhere else. With Rovco’s combination of its technology and survey teams, we can bring some of these fantastic innovations into the real world.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I would have to say the people. The team at Rovco is fantastic – they are really competent, really willing to listen and are very open to implementing new ideas and improving themselves within the company.
What have you learned since you joined the Rovco team?
Rovco was my first step back into full-time work, after freelancing for a few years and starting a family, so there was a lot of personal development in re-entering this world and learning how to work in a hybrid environment.
But professionally, I have learned so much about marine services. The contracts landscape that we are in includes a lot of new things, including offshore wind. With that comes new ideas, new technologies, new rules for operating, and this all means that the way contracts are done hasn’t properly been decided yet. Right now, it’s all about trying to find the best standards to set across the industry, and it is very interesting to be involved with that.
Is there anything you’d want prospective clients to know about the company?
I would tell them about Rovco’s position as a marine robotics specialist. It’s what allows the company to stand out in the sector. I’d also like them to know that we are a rapidly growing but nimble team. With us, you still get that personable service, which can sometimes be lost when working with other global companies within the industry.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the industry today and how can Rovco help address these?
There is a lot of growth planned in the offshore sector, and I think the biggest challenges within that are a lack of skilled people and a lack of vessels. But with our range of autonomous and AI-driven solutions, it means that one skilled person can do a lot more, as technology can take over ‘simpler’ aspects of their work, freeing up that person’s time for the more complex challenges.
What do you like to do in your free time?
My husband and I love a challenge, so we recently bought a van and have converted it into a campervan. This is one of those projects that will never truly be finished, -we will be constantly upgrading it. We took the van out to a music festival during the summer, and we are trying to get out and about with our children in the van before we overhaul and redecorate it for the next season.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is definitely spending too much money on unrequired accessories for the van! I have bought three different inflatable chairs, but none of them are quite the right fit for it.
Follow Catherine on LinkedIn here.