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Spotlight: Andrew Walker, Lead Mechanical Tech/Maintenance Team Leader at Spirit Energy

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

When I was younger, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I suppose I achieved the marine bit!

Tell us about your career journey so far

I’ve worked in the Oil and Gas industry in both onshore support roles and in offshore operations for 20 years

I began studying engineering at the age of 18 when I became an apprentice mechanical technician completing HNC and NVQ 3 as part of a training program to become an offshore mechanical technician.

After finishing my apprenticeship, I joined the Field Service Group in the Southern North Sea, flying daily to unmanned installations to perform maintenance work on the normally unmanned platforms before returning to the mother platform each day.

I left the role of Mechanical Technician to study mechanical engineering at university, carrying on completing an MSC in Oil and Gas Engineering. This created opportunities for me to work in engineering roles and in 2010 I began working in BP’s headquarters where I began working on a project for their North Sea offshore assets. I progressed on be a Maintenance Engineer supporting the offshore operations teams planning major maintenance activities.

In 2016 I was one of the many who were made redundant after an industry downturn. With I had gained, I was able to find another position as a contractor working where I am now – CPC Morecambe Hub. In 2019 I was offered a staff position.

Oil and Gas is a notoriously unstable industry with regard to job security. Having the right attitude, skills, knowledge, and experience are essential to stand the best chance of long-term employment.

What was your favourite subject in school and why?

Design and Technology was always a favourite of mine. I enjoyed the process of taking a conceptual idea through to a physical product using engineering design principles

What subjects/qualifications are useful in your role?

English – How to read and understand documents is extremely important. Communicating information to others in a clear and concise manner is essential in my role.

Physics – Understanding first principles is the basis of understanding complex machines and processes

Maths – Understanding how to get the information you want from the data you have is very important. A good understanding of how to manipulate data to do this is very useful.

What is your favourite thing about your job?

Working in a team environment. We all must pull together in the same direction daily. That takes sustained effort and patience

What is a normal day in your role like?

Its starts very early! (6am). We follow a weekly maintenance schedule which contains all the planned work activity required to maintain an offshore gas processing facility. I’m responsible for maintenance planning and supervision of the mechanical technicians. Safe and compliant maintenance execution.

Suggest an activity that could be done at home that illustrates an aspect of your work?

Get to know your bike! Meticulously strip, clean and inspect each component and find out what its called, what its made of and what function it performs as part of the complete machine.

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Tel: 01383 626070


Address: 2 Pitreavie Court, Dunfermline, KY11 8UU

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The UK-wide STEM Ambassador programme is managed by STEM Learning Limited, which operates the National STEM Learning Network, alongside other projects supporting STEM education. To find out more please go to the STEM Learning website