Claudene Sharp is the Director of Vetting and Audits Europe & Asia for Phillips 66 Ltd. Claudene joined Phillips 66 Ltd last year but has been in the marine industry for over 20 years from Cadet to Chief Engineer and ashore. Claudene is based in London but has lived and worked globally.
How did you become interested in the marine environment?
My siblings and I were brought up at sea as my father is a Master Mariner and historically all the men in my family for generations went to sea. On our trips with our father he taught us the normal navigational things e.g. taking bearings and steering etc, but we were also sent down into the engine room.
During these periods in the engine room and growing up pulling apart marine diesel engines and auxiliary equipment I decided at 13 I would become a Marine Engineer.
What was your entry route?
Whilst at high school in Australia we have a compulsory period where we go out and work in our chosen fields doing work experience. I worked for 2 weeks with what was then the Maritime Water Board Sydney on the Sydney harbour tugs and ferries. After which I applied for a cadetship with shipping companies in Australia and obtained a cadetship with BHP Transport. After I completed my cadetship with BHP Transport I came out of college with a degree in Marine Engineering and enough seatime to obtain my Watchkeepers qualification. It was about this time that the Australian shipping industry collapsed and most of us went over seas to other shipping companies.
How has your career progressed so far?
I was fortunate enough to join Shell and then BP for 12 years. During my time with BP I obtained my further tickets cumulating in Combined Chief Engineer Motor and Steam (Oil and Gas). Again I was fortunate to have a mentor who not only saw potential in me, he also could have those difficult conversations with me.
I am now Director of Vetting and Audits for Europe and Asia with Phillips 66, an oil company.
What are your main responsibilities/tasks?
I look after marine risk management for the transportation of our cargoes to and from our berths in Europe and Asia/Pacific. I have a team in both regions that I manage.
What are the main qualities and skills you need to do your job?
The skills required include: management of people, understanding the industry, understanding the legislation governing our industry and being able to view and understand the risks inherent in order to mitigate them and provide a way to reduce or manage these.
Where do you see your career heading?
I have now worked in oil companies, in shipping companies and doing contract work for emergency response and training and salvage of distressed cargo. At this stage I am not sure where I would drive my career as I have been fortunate to already have extensive exposure and experience in so many areas.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I have a great team of well experienced mariners which really makes the job. However the challenges of the trade and the industry and all the complexities provide me situations that I find motivating and enjoy.
Do you have any tips for someone considering a similar career to yours?
The only advice I would give is … just because you’re a marine engineer does not mean you cannot do anything else. Having engineering as a background means there are so many other areas that we can divert into and engineering – especially with seagoing experience – allows a great foundation for so many other opportunities ashore that provide a wealth of knowledge development and self-fulfilment.