Women share their passion for the maritime industry

We meet two women working in the maritime industry and learn how their work supports offshore wind and oil and gas operations.

Lucie Firman

Lucia Firman has turned her love for the water and the coast into a career she feels “incredibly passionate about”.

Service Delivery Coordinator at Associated British Ports (ABP) Lowestoft for the past six years, she has worked in the maritime industry for 26 years, starting with HM Coastguard dealing with Maydays and 999 calls.

During her varied career, she helped develop the operations room at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm and was Team Leader for Coastal Services at Gardline. Her diverse background has endowed her with so much knowledge that she is sometimes nicknamed “Google”. “When someone wants to know something, people say, ‘Lou will know,’ it’s really, really funny.”

Lucia’s colleagues at ABP nicknamed her “Google” because of her extensive knowledge
– Credit: Stephen Waller

His career could easily have taken another direction. “I applied for the Prison Service and the Coastguard at the same time, I was lucky enough to be offered both jobs and then I had to choose which one I wanted to take and the Coastguard had the looked so amazing I thought that was the road I was going to go down.

After 16 years with HM Coastguard in Great Yarmouth, Lucia moved to Statoil, now Equinor, where she helped develop the Sheringham Shoal wind farm operations room before moving to Gardline and then to ABP five years later where she worked as a service delivery coordinator.

” I have been very lucky. I had the chance to leave a job, to get another one, but I instilled in my children that today, you need qualifications.

“Through the work I did, I met a lot of people. It’s about experience, networking and talking to people, and that’s really what my job at ABP entails.

At ABP, Lucia works alongside some of the company’s largest tenants with the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) bases in Offshore Wind and Oil & Gas.

“My role is so varied; I assist in monitoring customer service on the port with new and existing tenants and ensure that services are provided seamlessly to customers.

“I also help our Operations Manager gather information for events such as the Southern North Sea Conference at the Norfolk Showground in Norwich.

“I like the diversity of my work. I’m involved in so many different projects on the port. I can’t imagine doing anything else, I love working with boats, water and its marine side.

Through ABP, Lucia, 50, gets involved with schools and young people during career and CV days to inspire the next generation.

“I’m so passionate about the industry and ABP. Working with students to give them an idea of ​​the different types of jobs available is amazing.

“ABP is a one-stop shop. We have our own human resources, communications, operations, commercial team and our marina. I can walk into one of the sixth grade classes and when I ask the students what they’re studying, I can show them that we have a department they could apply to.”

With the port receiving charter status, Lucia says she feels the “energy” at the port and wants to help in any way she can.

“I really have fun at ABP. I like the team, I like the dynamic and the way it is progressing. The vision is inspiring and I think it’s a really exciting time.

Sophie Wilson

Sophie Wilson followed two generations of her family to work in the energy industry
– Credit: Clarksons Port Services

Sophie Wilson

Sophie Wilson has been instrumental in ensuring that Clarksons Port Services is at the forefront of offshore wind support services, having been inspired by two generations of her family to pursue a role in the energy industry.

As Business Development Manager, Sophie’s job is to explore new business and support the company’s existing customers, not only in the UK and Europe, but also in the emerging renewable energy sector in the States. States, which is growing at a steady pace.

“The company has over 20 years of offshore wind experience in the UK, starting with the Scroby Sands wind farm just off our coast here. We provide logistics and port agency solutions from point to our customers in the energy sector.

Clarksons Port Services is a division of the global Clarksons Group and specializes in providing port agency services, freight forwarding, bunkering and customs solutions.

Sophie’s role covers offshore business development strategy and the implementation of port and logistics services for clients in the energy sector, using the 19 offices covering the UK and Ireland.

“My role is very customer-focused. I work with new and existing clients to promote our services, find solutions and add efficiencies to clients’ areas of work.

“It gives me the opportunity to travel to different places and countries in order to provide a full service. It also involves managing our marketing and social media channels, as well as organizing and attending networking events. industry.

“As a client account manager, I’m also involved in operations, and not just in the UK. We have also provided support in Europe and Asia with travel agency services, where we work with clients to advise suitable routes, plot port stops for bunkering and provisions and safe havens, using our in-house technology to map times and locations.

Growing up with both parents working in the oil and gas industry for Shell, Sophie lived in Muscat and Singapore before settling in Hopton, near Great Yarmouth.

“It was the best experience of my life. When we lived in Singapore, my father was part of the project team that built a huge floating production, storage and offloading vessel. I always liked to be near, in or on the water; I’ve been a swimmer all my life and have been intrigued by boats from a young age.

“My grandfather had a manufacturing business in Yarmouth, building large structures for offshore oil rigs, so the industry has been in my family for a few generations.”

After completing her A Levels at East Norfolk Sixth Form in Gorleston, Sophie completed a degree in nursing and studied aesthetic therapy before deciding that neither career was right for her.

On the advice of her dad, she created a LinkedIn page stating that she was looking for opportunities in the energy sector. This led to Sophie being offered a part-time position with the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) in marketing, then full-time in marketing and as a membership manager.

“That’s what really developed my base for business and my enthusiasm for the energy industry. Understanding how all of these companies are working together to support huge projects in our waters, organizing events like the south of the North Sea and meeting so many people in the industry was key to establishing my love for her.

Her experience at EEEGR led her to managing business development at Rhenus Offshore Logistics until she was offered a position by Steve Smith, Director at Clarksons, after a chance meeting at Wind Europe in November 2019.
“At this time CPS were looking to grow the business development team and being based in the East of England with experience in offshore wind was the perfect fit.

“For me, networking is key and I would tell anyone looking to get into the industry to create a LinkedIn profile and network, network, network, like I did.

“I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and that my dad was there to help me see the potential in my emerging career in the energy industry.

“I’m not sitting here as a female number – I hope I make a difference.”