Podcast episode 29, 1st October 2020. This week SUT CEO Steve Hall interviews Alastair McKie, Director of Remote Operations for Europe and Africa at Fugro. Alastair explains that advances in digital communication & control technology now enables operators of offshore systems, & their associated seafloor infrastructure, to bring staff onshore, and that ultimately almost all staff who currently need to work onboard offshore platforms may be able to work from a remote operations centre on land. By having a global network of remote operations centres, you can hand over operations from a Scottish centre to a US or Australian centre providing 24/7 coverage and backup in case a centre goes offline. Onshore operations are also expected to help diversify the workforce in the sector, providing a working environment that is more conducive to work/life balance and family commitments.
The technology today is mainly applied in an offshore energy context, to include hydrocarbons and renewables, but is suited to future industries such as offshore hydrogen, carbon capture & storage operations, and perhaps defence operations. Challenges include the continued requirement to repair and maintain systems, and new risks need to be mitigated such as cyber-attack on digital systems.
Find out more about Fugro at https://www.fugro.com/
Contact Steve Hall if you would like to be featured in a future episode - also we want to make a Christmas Special based on questions asked by our listeners, going back to previous guests or to new voices who can answer your questions about all aspects of underwater technology.
Thanks to Emily Boddy for the podcast artwork and for composing & performing the podcast theme music. Thanks to Zapsplat.com for ambient ocean sounds.