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Leading Lights of the UK Subsea Sector Unveiled

10 February 2011

The British subsea industry last night (Wednesday, February 9) recognised the outstanding organisations and individuals who are driving the sector.

The winners were announced during Subsea UK’s annual awards dinner, sponsored by Forum Energy Technologies, at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

More than 700 business leaders attended the fifth annual dinner which celebrated the innovation, hard work and exceptional achievements across the subsea sector.

The evening’s top honour, subsea company of the year, went to Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD). This award was sponsored by Brewin Dolphin.

As one of the world’s leading subsea engineering companies, specialising in the design and manufacturing of remotely operated vehicle systems, SMD has seen its annual turn over rise from £12.5million to £42.8million in just five years.

Continued investment in the organisation as well as its diversification into complementary markets has allowed the company to attract a worldwide customer base.

The Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Fugro Subsea Services, has been won by Stuart Holley, a senior product manager at GE Oil & Gas. Stuart has rapidly climbed the chain of command since joining the organisation in 2001 and has been instrumental in the design, development and launch of SemStar5, GE Oil & Gas’ award-winning subsea electronics module.

Viper Subsea was rewarded for its rapid growth with the New Enterprise Award, sponsored by Technip. Pinpointing a niche in the subsea market in 2007, Viper Subsea now provides a host of leading clients in the oil and gas and renewables industries with the design and supply of subsea distribution systems and equipment.

The Subsea Innovation and Technology Award, sponsored by Simmons & Company International went to Tritech for its game-changing multi-beam imaging sonar.

This technology offers a high-frequency, real-time underwater imaging solution to subsea operations. Traditionally a time-consuming process which often produces a distorted image, the Gemini 720i Multibeam Imaging Sonar revolutionises underwater imaging through the clarity of its images and the speed at which it allows underwater tasks to be completed – operating at 130 times the speed of traditional sonar units.

The Subsea Global Exports Award, sponsored by Scottish Enterprise, went to Andrew Palmer and Associates / Penspen.

The company has grown its exports by 90% to £75million over a three year period following key acquisitions and internal development. Now operating in four principle regions of the world (the Americas, Europe / North Africa, Middle East / Caspian and Asia Pacific) the group has seen a 400% increase in sales in the last five years.

The Safety Leadership Award, sponsored by OPITO, recognised RBG for demonstrating leadership throughout their organisation with a positive and proactive safety culture. The company has launched its first global safety initiative – REACH – which seeks to create a single, global culture by building on positive messaging that motivates, unites and empowers employees.

Mel Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of Subsea 7, was honoured for his out-standing contribution to the subsea sector. Involved in the oil and gas industry since 1974, Mel has held a number of management positions including UK vice president for Halliburton’s Energy Services.

Subsea UK chief executive, Alistair Birnie, said: “Every year it is a great privilege to recognise the pioneering organisations and individuals that are leading the way in the subsea sector. This year was as tough as any to distinguish a winner among the finalists. This truly underlines the dynamism, determination and innovation of our subsea community against a backdrop of global economic uncertainty in 2010.”