Minnie – Civil/Structural Group Manager


Location: Woking

Year joined in: 2012


Can you tell us about your job?

I’m the Group Manager for the Civil/Structural Group in Petrofac’s Woking office, responsible for managing a team of civil/structural engineers, architects, geotechnical engineers and designers. My responsibilities include:

  • Producing Cost, Time and Resource (CTR) and man-hour estimates for proposals and projects
  • Discipline resource management
  • Developing discipline procedures, work methods and technical standards
  • Monitoring and overseeing discipline performance on all projects
  • Staff training, development and appraisal

I’m also the lead civil/structural engineer on projects, directly responsible for the delivery of civil/structural deliverables on those projects.

What excites you about the work you are doing now?

I love the variety of my work which combines technical problem solving on projects as well as people management of my team. Every project has its unique challenges either requiring innovative technical solutions, a tight schedule, or logistic limitations. So discussing with the team and colleagues, working with the client and supplier to resolve various issues and get every project successfully delivered gives me a lot of job satisfaction.

I also like seeing the younger generation of engineers grow. Graduates are given opportunities to work on a variety of projects, develop both technical and management skills, then take on more responsibilities to progress their career development. I’m pleased that we are making contribution to developing our next generation of engineers which this industry desperately needs.

What has been the highlight of your time at Petrofac?

I’m very proud of extending the civil/structural team’s capability in Woking and steering the team’s focus to suit the market requirement. During the five years that I’ve been with Petrofac, I’ve helped the team to develop an in-depth offshore structural capability, geotechnical, marine analysis, Finite Element analysis, advanced structural analysis (fatigue, dynamic etc.) capabilities and make us a truly one-stop shop for civil/structural solutions.

During the last few years of challenging market conditions, I managed to extend our capabilities into various new fields and industries for example wind farms, structural integrity management/assessment, and decommissioning.

How has Petrofac supported your ongoing development?

Petrofac gives me opportunities to venture into business development activities which I have had some previous experience of in past jobs. This has helped to secure project work for the team over the past few years.

What have been your key learnings during your career and at Petrofac?

I had more than 15 years of civil/structural engineering and management consultant experience prior to joining Petrofac. Most of my knowledge was gained from the building, tunnelling, highway and bridge sectors with some oil and gas experience.

Since joining Petrofac, I am fortunate to have some excellent technical experts in the team whom I regard as my mentors. I learn from them constantly which helps me to extend my knowledge and experience in the oil and gas industry.

What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?

Decommissioning is a huge market in the future and a key driver for Petrofac in the mature UKCS basin. My aspiration is to become a decommissioning focal point for structural engineering solutions in Petrofac, supporting the Company to secure decom projects, and leading a team to deliver the project at execution phase.

You’re also a mother of two children. How do you balance motherhood and a successful career, and is there any advice you would share?

I have two sons and I always joke that I wish I had 48 hours in a day! My best advice for working parents has to be ‘delegation’ - only do those things that you have to do yourself, both at home and at work.

The boys have been trained to be independent and to look after themselves from a very young age. They organise their next day’s activities, pack their own bags, and make their own sandwich when they get home from school – they even bake me cakes from time to time to give me a treat! Giving them a big hug, kissing them good night and tucking them in bed is always the most treasured moment of my day.