Chris McMenemy is General Manager at Cleanship Solutions Ltd. Chris is based in the company’s Glasgow office but regularly travels to retrofit projects taking place in the Middle East and China.
How did you become interested in the marine environment?
I have always been interested in engineering and from a young age I was fascinated by ships. After completion of my Highers I began looking at university prospectuses to fi nd a suitable course for further study at university. While there were many engineering degrees available it was certainly “Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering” which stuck out the most for me.
What was your entry route?
I studied a BEng in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, a joint course between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde University. While studying there I was also training as an engineering cadet during the summer months, spending one summer completing the college phase at Glasgow Nautical College and another summer in the North Sea as a cade t onboard a dive support vessel with Acergy UK.
How has your career progressed so far?
After deciding that I was not going to pursue a career at sea any further I managed to get a placement during my final summer with Malin Marine Consultants in Glasgow. I spent the summer there working on various engineering tasks for the shipment of the blocks of the UK’s new aircraft carriers. Malin Marine, amongst a consortium of companies, was responsible for transporting all of the blocks from various shipyards around the UK to Rosyth which was certainly very interesting work. While at Malin Marine Consultants I also put forward a proposal to the management to develop a new arm of the company looking at ballast water treatment systems and exhaust gas cleaning systems, which I subsequently graduated from university to spearhead. I also gained lots of experience on-site during various ship conversion projects, eventually developing into project management of some large scale projects.
After two years of developing this arm of the business under Malin Marine Consultants, we decided to start a stand alone company, aptly named Cleanship Solutions, to take further strides into these markets. I am currently general manager of Cleanship Solutions and manage all projects.
What are your main responsibilities/tasks?
My main roles is to continue to develop the company in the ballast water treatment and exhaust gas cleaning markets, dealing with existing and potential clients and handling all quotations and contractual aspects. I also project manage all of our projects which involves a great deal of time both in the once and on site. Our projects tend to involve a great deal of in-house engineering using various software, as well as intensive on-site work with our project management and installation teams. Most recently we carried out a large retrofi t project near Shanghai in China which involved our team being on site for 5 weeks.
What are the main qualities and skills you need to do your job?
A willingness to go out and meet new people and deal with the pressure of managing various aspects of projects, including client expectations. Dedication is certainly required when travelling a lot but the rewards are seeing projects completed successfully.
Where do you see your career heading?
Hopefully we will continue to grow our new company, building up our portfolio of clients and consequently taking on more staff. The opportunity to consecutively manage many projects via our own team would be excellent as would the increase in my own responsibility and role within our Group’s companies.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy dealing with the various challenges involved in vessel retrofit projects; squeezing new equipment into existing ship engine rooms is not an easy task and certainly involves some thinking outside the box.
Do you have any tips for someone considering a similar career to yours?
The most important aspect is gaining as much experience as you can. Identify local marine based companies and offer yourself for any volunteer work, summer placements and work experience. Not only does this increase your own knowledge and confi dence but also helps to build your own network of contacts which is important for future employment opportunities.