Nikos is a vessel manager at NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK).
Name & Professional Registration
Nikos Gounaris CMarEng
IMarEST Membership Status (Student, Affiliate, Associate, Member or Fellow?)
Role and organisation
Summarise what you do in one sentence
Manage the daily operation of LNG carriers making sure that people, assets and cargoes are safely and efficiently shipped around the world.
Describe a typical workday
My workday involves continuous communication with my vessels and the various shipping stakeholders. I ensure that the ships remain in compliance at all times with the company’s safety management system (SMS) and the international rules and regulations, they operate safely and efficiently, and the cargoes are shipped as per the charter-party.
My role requires giving necessary instructions to ships, guiding and supervising crew; monitoring maintenance management of the fleet; reviewing crew performance; monitoring procurement of parts, stores, fuel and lubricants; ordering and supervision of repair work; negotiations with shipyards and manufacturers of machinery and equipment; budget management; monitoring maintenance management of the fleet; conducting ship inspections, arranging and following up external inspections.
My job involves a lot of travelling, so I might find myself onboard a ship in port, on anchorage, sailing or in a shipyard during repairs.
I attend meetings in or out of the office with colleagues, commercial parties, technical experts, service companies, etc.
Describe your academic/training history and how you got to where you are today.
I started my studies in Merchant Marine Academy in 2002, first sailed as an Engine Cadet in 2003 and continued sailing on board several types and sizes of merchant vessels such as tankers and passenger ships up to the rank of Second Engineer.
During my studies worked on yacht dry-dockings and did an industrial placement in a shipping company managing bulk carriers, and also served in the Hellenic Navy as a Second Engineer onboard auxiliary fleet ships.
Having first obtained ample seagoing experience as a Merchant Navy Engineer Officer I completed my MEng in Marine Engineering at Newcastle University, graduating with a First Class Honours Master’s degree in 2012.
I also hold Second Engineer’s Certificate of Competency having completed the necessary sea service and successfully completing a number of courses in Merchant Marine College.
In 2012 I joined the accredited training programme of BP Shipping, taking part in a wide range of different projects and placements in the UK and overseas, both within BP and in secondments to other parts of the industry, including newbuilding projects, dry-dock refits, etc.
For 2 years I worked in the Gas Fleet Management Team in BP Shipping, assisting a team of Superintendent managing 7 LNG carriers.
In May 2016 I joined NYK LNG Shipmanagement (UK) as a Vessel Manager for the Qatar Project LNG fleet.
During the course of my seagoing and shore career I have completed a large number of courses, seminars and other CPD training that are relevant to engineering and maritime business. In 2015 I was awarded the Chartered Engineer status by IMarESt and the UK Engineering Council.
What skills are required in your position on a day-to-day basis?
Seafarer Management, Risk Management, Incident Investigation, Project Management and Administration, Budget Management, Business Awareness, Customer Focus, Communication, People Management, Problem Solving, Planning and Organisation, Decision Making, Innovation and improvement, Teamwork, Performance Management, Leadership.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The industry and the environment is very dynamic and amazingly interesting. It never get's boring and something new always arises. Ships and terminals use cutting edge technology and I continuously learn and develop myself.
What challenges have you had to overcome?
I had to overcome the career background and the age gap with colleagues from the first steps of my career. I completed higher education studies on time and worked continuously resulting in appointments where I worked with colleagues older than me. And then I worked in different posts and companies always learning new systems,new technologies and adapting to new cultures.
Why did you become a member of the IMarEST - how has it helped you in your career?
I wanted to gain access to larger sources of information, benefit from continual professional development opportunities, gain the exposure to other parts of the marine industry, communicate within a network of marine professionals and all with the aim to become Chartered Engineer.
Being a member helped me develop as an engineer and being Chartered helped me be recognised amongst different disciplines in other industries, companies and countries. In times where I had to work in complicated projects and tasks and it’s important to know you’re working with people who are committed to the same high standards. Professional membership and qualification recognition is far more than what someone does in his/her current role; it is more about what someone achieved overall in the chosen discipline, and proves that he/she have a positive attitude and the drive to succeed within the profession.
Give us an interesting fact about you!
have lived in more than 5 countries around the world and travelled in more than 40!