Staff Profile: Dugald Barclay, Lead Geophysicist

December 15, 2022 Time to read:  min

Learn more about our Lead Geophysicist, Dugald Barclay, as he takes the spotlight in our latest staff profile interview.

We caught up with Dugald to find out what a typical day on the job looks like from a geophysicists’ perspective, what attracted him to his current role at Rovco, and his experience with us so far.

Can you share some insight into how you started your career as a geophysicist?

I largely just fell into marine geophysics by accident, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to stick with it. At school, I had no idea what I wanted to do; maths was one of my stronger subjects, so it made sense for me to study that at university. After a couple of years, I decided that maths wasn’t for me (far too difficult!), but having studied geology alongside for those two years, it was easy to switch my focus to that. After university, I was fortunate to get a summer job at Fugro in Aberdeen, where I helped with acoustic pipeline inspection reporting. Then, after the API season finished, I was offered the opportunity to stay on and train as a geophysicist.

How have your former jobs prepared you for your current role at Rovco?

In my previous job, I worked both on and offshore as a geophysicist on marine geophysical surveys, so it was excellent preparation for the Lead Geophysicist role at Rovco.

What advice would you give your younger self when first starting out in the industry?

The best advice I could give myself before starting out in the industry is to always prepare yourself for a long offshore trip, no matter how short you’re promised it will be!

What do you do as Lead Geophysicist?

At Rovco, it is my responsibility to consider all things relating to the geophysical survey data, from survey planning to data quality control, interpretation, and reporting. I help advise the tendering team on technical proposals relating to side scan sonar, sub-bottom profiler, magnetometer and 2D UHR seismic surveys, and I’m involved in designing survey lineplans. I also plan for the geophysicists on any upcoming surveys, including QC and interpretation strategies, as well as providing support to the offshore geos. And then, once the data is acquired I would continue the interpretation, reporting and creation of client deliverables in the office.

How did you learn about Rovco and what attracted you to join the company?

I was initially approached by a recruiter regarding a different role that didn’t suit me – but it drew my attention to Rovco. I looked a little further into the company and I was really impressed with their philosophy of trying to provide new and innovative solutions to marine survey in the renewable energy industry. And when I discovered that they were looking for a Lead Geophysicist, the idea of being able to design and implement my own strategies for the geos within that environment was one I couldn’t ignore!

Why do you think Rovco is such a forward-thinking company?

A lot of the marine survey techniques within the industry are longstanding and Rovco has introduced itself to the industry by taking a look at the status quo and trying to find areas where they may be able to make improvements. A huge part of that is the success of the SubSLAM technology in improving subsea inspection and infrastructure modelling and by having a dedicated tech arm of the business, where they can guarantee time will always be dedicated to improving existing technology and exploring new ideas.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging part of my job is probably also one of the key things that attracted me to it. Joining as the sole geophysicist in the company (more on the way soon!) I had to broaden my knowledge in order to contribute the geophysicists’ perspective on a wide range of topics, as well as learning more about other parts of the business.

What do you most enjoy about working at Rovco?

There’s a really nice culture that’s been created at Rovco where you are encouraged to be creative and innovate in your approach to work. The team are all friendly, supportive, and understanding and everyone seems to be pulling in the same direction. It’s often difficult to get a good balance of these things but Rovco seem to be making a good job of it!

Is there anything that you would want prospective clients to know about us?

I think Rovco excels at working with clients to achieve a shared goal. We like to take an adaptable, open, and collaborative approach so that the client can maintain a level of confidence in the solutions Rovco is providing throughout the project.

In your opinion, what makes Rovco stand out from the crowd?

Our attitude toward change and technology. We’re always looking to improve and keen to embrace and develop new technologies.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to join the Rovco team?

If you like the sound of working for Rovco then get in touch! The team are all friendly and approachable and happy to answer questions.

If you could switch roles with anyone in the company, who would that be and why?

To be honest I’m more than happy in my current role. I love working with the data and exploring the subsea environment. I also enjoy survey planning as each one is like a little problem-solving puzzle.

What do you get up to when you’re not working?

When I’m not working, I love my sport! I’m obsessed with football and enjoy playing fantasy football as well as watching the games and playing 5-a-sides. I also play golf and tennis when the Scottish weather allows and enjoy walking or cycling in the countryside and taking photos.

Follow Dugald on LinkedIn here

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