Welcome to Meet Our Geoquip, our regular blog series featuring employee insights from across Geoquip Marine. This regular feature is an opportunity for the many diverse voices working in both on offshore and onshore teams to share their story, provide insights into their role in the company and offer advice to those looking to begin or continue their career in geotechnical engineering.
Today’s post features Peter Webster, an Advanced Laboratory Technician working onshore at our state-of-the-art laboratory in Bristol UK. We would like to thank Peter for sharing his story with us.
Can you tell us about your role at Geoquip Marine?
I am currently the Advanced Laboratory Technician in the new onshore laboratory that we set up in 2021. My role within the lab varies from day to day; one day I will be in the advanced lab running more technical testing. These tests underpin the project and give the engineers and design engineers data that aids them in windfarm design and development.
I also quality assess results from the classification testing and advanced testing we do, fix issues within our data input and output system, producing reports and data for the engineers to use. I am also responsible for the training of the more advanced testing methods to offshore engineers to ensure everything is done to the rigorous standard set in the onshore lab, as well as teaching how to calibrate the vessels equipment, verifying calibrations offshore and aid in general maintenance of a vessel’s triaxial equipment.
I also take part in client visits and meetings, mainly to hash out technical questions the client might have as well as setting out the limitations of the lab equipment we have, and ensuring the client gets exactly what they need from us. My role is varied, and no two days are the same, but it’s a great environment to work in.
What inspired you to follow a career path into training and competence, and then into the geotechnical engineering industry?
I have always been passionate about the environment, as well as the pressing issues that surround it. When I joined Geoquip Marine a year ago, I had little knowledge of the geotechnical engineering world, however, over the past year I have become more invested and strive to ensure what I am doing is to the best quality. This role has made me realise that I am definitely in the right career path now, and while it is quite different from what I planned to do!
So don’t be afraid to change the career path that you on. Sometimes you find the right place in a field you never thought you would work in.
What do you enjoy most about working in a laboratory setting?
I have worked in multiple labs in the past and the onshore laboratory at Geoquip Marine is a breath of fresh air. The testing is like nothing I have done before, and I like the challenge it brings me. It requires me to keep learning and adding to the skills I have already have – and with the addition of an ever-expanding selection of testing equipment, it’s a great way to keep yourself engaged and active in the lab. You are constantly thinking of new solutions for the task at hand, so when you leave the lab at the end of the day, you leave having learned something new.
One of the enjoyable bits of the lab setting is the current lab techs and the managers here, who all listen to your advice and opinions and make you feel like a valued team member, as well as always looking out for your potential professional development.
What are the key skills or attributes you need to be successful in a role such as yours?
The key skills you need for this job are a keen eye for detail so you can quickly identify errors in data, a solid understanding of how the tests work and the principles behind them, troubleshooting, being good at Microsoft Excel and understanding how the data should look and what could cause any outliers. Communication is another important skill, ensuring you can clearly update technicians to avoid any potential confusion.
You should also be quick on your feet when troubleshooting, be willing to adapt to new testing methods, possess a good memory, be consistent in all your work, be professional at all times and be able to take constructive criticism and hold up you hand to any errors you have made is key in this line of work.
What advice would you give someone who is considering a career with Geoquip Marine?
Do it, apply for the job! The company is lovely to work for and they really care for their employees. My advice would be to be humble, professional, and driven; the company rewards those who actively push into new skills and have a real passion for the work we do and the world we live in, so we can help reach the net zero goals that we desperately need.
Finally, do you have any hobbies or passions outside of your work? Please tell us about them.
I am a bit of workaholic, often checking emails outside of the office and working hours, but when it’s the weekend, I enjoy going to National Trust houses and walking the grounds with my partner and playing Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons games with my friends as and when I can. I also like to head to the gym and blow off some steam in the morning before work.