‘A day in the life’ at Elomatic

Chloe Farrell, Junior Naval Architect

As a Junior Naval Architect, I have spent the last year and a half on secondment with Elomatic from Seaspan Vancouver Shipyard, in Canada. Since joining the Elomatic team in Turku, Finland, I have been working on the Polar Icebreaker Project, focusing specifically on the General Arrangement Drawing (GA), which is essentially a technical drawing that shows the layout of a vessel. I’ve also been working on a lot of safety systems drawings for the Icebreaker. These arrangements include, the fire zone arrangement, escape plan, as well as hazardous areas. I’ve also been working with the team that are focused on noise and vibration work for the Polar Icebreaker, so I feel like I’ve had some great exposure to some interesting areas.

I graduated in 2022, despite having completed a number of internships with Seaspan during my studies, I still consider myself to be relatively new to the industry. I’ve been interested in engineering from a young age and was drawn to naval architecture due to the mix of being able to use my artistic talents and creativity, whilst also utilising my background in maths and science.

Growing up in Newfoundland, I’d always enjoyed being around the ocean, and my grandfather was also a captain, so I’ve always been interested in ships, and naval architecture seemed like an interesting area of study for me. I’d say that the key characteristics that are needed to make a good naval architect is a passion for problem solving and a talent for critical thinking, as well as a keen attention to detail.

When I was completing my last internship with Seaspan, it just so happened that the completion of my studies coincided with the Polar Icebreaker Project, and I was excited about the opportunity to join the team. Soon after, I was presented the opportunity to go on secondment with Elomatic, at their Turku office, in Finland. Thus far, the experience has been incredibly rewarding both professionally and personally speaking – I have been very well supported by my colleagues.

A highlight of my secondment to Elomatic has been gaining experience regarding how the yard operates from the sub-contractor perspective, as well as increased familiarity with design aspects. At Seaspan, my focus had been on the shipyard side of operations. Having knowledge and perspective of how other teams operate will be a huge benefit and I look forward to bringing this knowledge back to Canada.

The secondment has been the perfect opportunity for me to network and it has been fascinating to hear about my colleagues’ backgrounds and what kind of projects they’ve worked on within the industry. That insight has opened up my perspective in terms of where I can continue to progress within my career, it has made me realise how many specialties there are in the industry that I was not even aware of. There are many focus areas and disciplines within engineering, and networking with others is an imperative step in better understanding how these pieces fit together when working on a large international project. I’ve always believed that it’s important to stay curious and to keep learning, and I am grateful for the strong connections and mentorship I have received.

To speak from the standpoint of a woman in a statistically male dominated field, there are sometimes barriers and challenges that women within the maritime industry face. It is a necessity for young women entering the field to embrace confidence and be willing to push beyond their comfort zones, while also being open and willing to learn from their peers. Addressing underrepresentation is a key focus within the industry and I look forward to playing my part in supporting this positive change. Employers play a vital role by creating work environments that are inclusive and promote diversity. Throughout my early career, I’ve been fortunate to have had strong female mentors and to have worked with companies that value diversity. I have had many colleagues who have helped me feel supported in my role as a young female engineer. It is an incredibly rewarding profession, and I would encourage other women to pursue engineering of all disciplines.

I would absolutely recommend Elomatic as a place to work. Others on similar placements as myself have all spoken highly of the working environment that Elomatic cultivates. It’s very professional but not intimidating. You can tell the minute you get here that people work very efficiently during the working day. The work / life balance that Elomatic promotes, both inside and outside of the office is really positive. There’s also a focus on work social events which are helpful in getting to know your colleagues better.

There’s a real atmosphere of common purpose at Elomatic, with everybody working together to achieve the same goal. At the same time, you get a clear sense that the company really does care about its employees, which is really great.

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