“Every problem has a solution. I’ve learned both from my time at Unique Group and my seafaring journey: It’s a mindset that’s proven itself time and again, and it’s been my guiding light both in engineering and life at sea.”
What sparked your interest in engineering / Subsea tech? Can you describe the moment you realized this was a field you’d like to pursue?
Back in Germany, I was initially studying Business Administration and doing internships at a company that dealt with diesel engines for ships and trains. But something amazing happened during those internships – I found myself way more drawn to the engineering side of things. There’s just this magic in being part of building something real. It hit me then and there – I wanted to be right in the middle of that action. So, that’s when I made up my mind to switch gears and study mechanical engineering. And I’ve never looked back since!
Could you provide insight into your role as a Project Manager with Subsea Tech at Unique Group? What does your daily routine encompass?
The life of a Project Manager is anything but ordinary. As we kick off projects, our days are filled with setting up schedules, defining project budgets, compiling reports, and crafting execution plans. Collaborating with engineering and design teams, we ensure a seamless handover of design scopes. Engaging with every department within the company is crucial. Moreover, we’re in direct communication with clients, suppliers, subcontractors, and third-party surveyors, rendering our role dynamic and engaging. When projects shift into production phase, our presence on the workshop floor amplifies. Working closely with production teams and subcontractors during system construction becomes our focus. As Project Managers we are also problem solvers, stepping in whenever innovative solutions are called for.
Many people imagine engineers sitting in their offices and making calculations all day. What are the biggest misconceptions people have about your job?
There’s a lot more to being an engineer!
Sure, you’ve got the design engineers who craft 3D models, intricate drawings, and tackle those essential design calculations. They’re the backbone of our field, no doubt. But as a project engineer or project manager our days are far from monotonous screen time.
I’m not just glued to a computer screen all day. In fact, half of my time is spent in action. I’m on the workshop floor, getting my hands dirty as systems come to life. I’m liaising with skilled subcontractors, overseeing the system’s construction from the ground up. I’m on the phone and in meetings, collaborating with stakeholders to ensure a seamless project journey.
You’ll find a wide variety of roles within the engineering realm. It’s this very variety that makes our profession an exciting mosaic of possibilities.
Finally, what do you wake up looking forward to? What is the most exciting thing about your job?
Every morning, I wake up with a genuine sense of anticipation. The thrill that keeps me going is the excitement of crafting these incredible diving systems.
What’s next for your career?
As for what’s on the horizon for my career, I’ve recently rejoined the Unique Group family in February after an adventure of over 2 years, living aboard a sailboat with my family. For now, I’m fully engaged and content in my role as a Project Manager. With the successful completion of the Uni-FlowX, our new Controlled Flow Excavation system, I’m eagerly looking forward to embarking on the next remarkable project.
Petra (third from left) with the Uni-FlowX Project Team in Cape Town