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In Conversation with Josh Mitchell - Senior Survey Engineer

Josh has been associated with Unique Group since 2009 and currently works as a Senior Survey Engineer in Aberdeen

Q1. Please provide a brief summary of your career to date. 

I began working at Unique Group’s UK office way back in 2009 when the company first opened its operations in Aberdeen and that was my first real job. I started off as a trainee and have since progressed to the role of a Senior Survey Engineer. I have now been with the company for just over 11 years which have flown by!

Q2. What is your key area of expertise?

Considering the wide range of equipment we have in the rental pool here in Aberdeen, it’s difficult to mention a particular type of expertise. I have spent quite a lot of time with the Ixblue subsea and surface positioning range of equipment such as GAPS, OCTANS and ROVINS and with the Teledyne TSS 350 and 440 cable survey systems.

Q3. What do you enjoy most about your current role?

The variety of equipment and different job requirements keep work interesting, but I would say I enjoy working the most with my colleagues from the workshop team. We have an excellent team in Aberdeen, and for me, that is one of the key highlights of working here, especially during these COVID times!

Q4. What do you feel is necessary for anyone to excel in a technical / engineering role such as yours?

I think it’s important to have good problem-solving skills because it’s a rare day that you don’t encounter some sort of difficulty, be it with a piece of kit or helping a customer during a mobilisation. Being able to keep calm (or learning to) when the pressure is on would be very handy too.

Q5. How would you describe a typical day for you at Unique Group?

A typical day usually begins with a cup of tea followed by the listing of the day’s priorities, most of which are related to last-minute kit requirements or preparing for any confirmed upcoming jobs. Not to forget the support to customers I offer with any issues they’re experiencing on a particular day!

Q6. Any key highlights to date of working with the company / key project you worked on?

It has been great seeing the company grow since we first began operations in Aberdeen. We’ve made a huge amount of progress ever since and it’s been rewarding to witness the company’s evolution in the UK and Europe. Recently, I assisted the team with various large survey spreads for Saipem. Large scale projects like these are always interesting to work for and the outcomes are gratifying.

Q7. What do you specifically do to maintain the professional/personal life balance? How has this changed since the onslaught of COVID-19?

Keeping the balance isn’t something I’ve struggled with as it’s easy to switch off when at home. I generally keep myself busy with some sort of fun activities such as archery. Being a part of the Scottish National team makes me immensely proud, however, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has obviously had a massive impact making training very arduous. Whilst archery has somewhat taken a backseat, I’ve spent the free time climbing mountains in the Scottish Highlands instead. This has been a fantastic exercise and what more could I have asked for than seeing more of Scotland like never before! The highlight was Ben Nevis as I was lucky enough to climb this mountain on one of the best days of the year and was treated to some magnificent views from the summit.

Q8. What are you looking forward to in 2021, both from a personal as well as career perspective?

Like most people I’d imagine, the prospect of resuming ‘normal’ life is what I’m most looking forward to and I definitely think I’ll have a newfound appreciation of it. I hope to be back training for archery but beyond 2020, I’ll definitely leave more time for adventuring than in the past.
From a career perspective, I’ll certainly be looking to increase my knowledge of our wide range of Survey Equipment which will, in turn, help me offer better technical support to our customers.

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