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Global Underwater Hub announces appointment of new board

09 May 2022

The Global Underwater Hub (GUH) is pleased to announce the appointment of members of its new board following the recent establishment of the organisation. 

The appointees come from a range of backgrounds across the Blue Economy including defence, aquaculture, and renewable energy sectors, and will bring an impressive array of expertise in guiding the Global Underwater Hub to deliver its strategic objectives. The ten new members will join Global Underwater Hub Chief Executive Neil Gordon and chairman Andrew Hodgson. 

The new board members are:

• Sue Barr, Chair, Marine Energy Council 
• Zander Bruce, Subsea Operations Manager, bp North Sea
• Bill Cattanach OBE, Head of Supply Chain, North Sea Transition Authority
• Sarah Cridland, VP Commercial and Subsea Projects, UK, Med & Caspian – UK Country Manager, TechnipFMC
• Neil Douglas, Director, Viper Innovations Ltd
• Rear Admiral Paul Halton OBE, Director Submarine Support, Royal Navy 
• Heather Jones, CEO Sustainable Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC)
• Mike Jones, Chairman, Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd
• Tim Sheehan, Head of Business Development, Boskalis Subsea Services 
• Benj Sykes, VP UK Offshore, Ørsted

Andrew Hodgson, who took up the role as chairman last year as industry body Subsea UK transitioned into the Global Underwater Hub, said: "We have assembled an exceptionally strong team for the Global Underwater Hub board which reflects the breadth and diversity of both the industry and regions, ensuring the new organisation can deliver value and growth both here in the UK and around the world.”

Neil Gordon, Global Underwater Hub chief executive, also welcomed the new board members: "Each of these appointments bring specific sector experience, knowledge, and a shared passion for the underwater sector. I’m looking forward to working with Andrew and the GUH Board building on the underwater supply chain’s world leading position in the global Blue Economy.”

With a physical presence in Aberdeen, the Global Underwater Hub will also be joined by hubs in Newcastle and Bristol which will promote cross-sector collaboration between companies, organisations, industry bodies, technology and innovation centres, and academia across the length and breadth of the UK. 

The Global Underwater Hub in Aberdeen

Upon taking up his new appointment, Rear Admiral Paul Halton OBE said: "I’m thrilled to be joining the Global Underwater Hub board at such a vibrant time for the sector, where I’m keen to use my 37 years of experience in the underwater environment to contribute to shaping the considerable growth opportunities for the UK as we move towards a high value, Blue Economy. There are significant benefits from industries developing this transformational technological advancement, especially in remote or autonomous maintenance techniques and operational capabilities, bringing financial and time savings, as well as better outcomes.”

Sue Barr, chair of the Marine Energy Council, commented: "I am excited and energised by the opportunity to work with the Global Underwater Hub. We have a long and celebrated heritage in the maritime sector in the UK which should be supported. With the emergence of marine energy as an industry, this is the time to work coherently on strategies which build economic growth and realise our potential. The GUH provides the network and infrastructure to help us unlock this opportunity.”

Heather Jones, SAIC chief executive, said: "Companies that operate underwater touch a wide variety of sectors and have the skills and technology required to unlock new opportunities, not least in aquaculture. I look forward to working with the rest of the Global Underwater Hub board to explore how we can learn from one another and share experiences from our different sectors.”

Benj Sykes, VP UK Offshore, Ørsted added: "I’m delighted to be joining the Global Underwater Hub board.  The accelerating build-out of offshore wind in the UK and globally in response to the climate and cost of energy crises presents a huge opportunity. The UK’s unrivalled expertise in subsea technologies, developed across multiple sectors, puts it in a strong position to drive the advances needed in the offshore renewables sector, not least in floating offshore wind, and I look forward to working with the GUH board and team to realise this potential.” 

GUH chair Andrew Hodgson (left) with GUH CEO Neil Gordon (right)