“WE ARE AT THE START OF
Mitchell Boswell, Electrical and automation engineer at Damen Shipyards Group tells you more about how he contributes to providing greener solutions.“We are at the start of something big"
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“I think we are really at the start of something big. We are moving from traditional reliable systems to using automation and remote connectivity of a vessel”, explains Mitchell Boswell. Mitchell works as the system integrator for electrical automation systems. “There is a lot of battery power and electrical engines involved. An electrical engineer is quite handy in that situation.”
CROSSED THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD
Until 2017 Mitchell was working in the oil and gas industry in Australia, were he comes from. He crossed the other side of the world to start working at Damen Shipyards Group last year. “I was looking to move into the marine industry. In my personal opinion, the oil and gas industry is reaching the end of its era. And I think shipping is going to be around for long time”, he explains. “If I can really contribute to providing better solutions that will create a better future, I think that is more rewarding as a job than working with fossil fuels.”
This is why he started working at Damen Shipyards Group within the engineering department for workboats. “I am glad Damen found me”, he laughs.
Watch the video interview with Mitchell Boswell
“Of course it was a bit scary first, moving to the other side of the world is not something you do every day. But I felt very welcome. Damen is a real family company and that makes is really nice to come to work every day.” In addition, the fact that Damen has many young people working here makes his work also fun according to Mitchell. “We can always joke around and we are all one the same level. There are a lot of social events as well.”
DEVELOPING FULLY ELECTRICAL VESSELS
Working at the head office in Gorinchem, Mitchell can now do what he likes to do: contribute providing greener solutions.
“I work on production support within multidisciplinary teams for new projects and developments that are coming up. At this moment we are looking at developing fully electrical vessels to perform operations all over the world”, he enthusiastically explains. “I work as the system integrator for electrical automation systems. There is a lot of battery power and electrical engines involved. An electrical engineer is quite handy in that situation. I really play a part in the electrical automation role.” As part of the development team there is a lot of brainstorming involved. “We brainstorm with all the disciplines; mechanics, ship builders, research, procurement and product management. We are learning from each other, which is very nice.”
TRYING TO GET PEOPLE ON BOARD
Mitchell explains that the biggest challenge is trying to get the market to accept electrical vessels. “It is the way to go for the near future. If you compare it with the automotive industry, it is developing rapidly. Ports and harbors are already pushing companies to become more sustainable. So the next step is really to try to get people on board and look for more greener solutions in the shipping industry.” How do you handle this? “With our technologies and experiences at Damen we can provide solutions that will offer clients confidence in the new products and in the future.”
That is quite exciting according to the engineer. “The marine industry is just starting to look at automation and fully electrical solutions. I think we are really at the start of something big. We are moving from traditional reliable ‘fossil fuel’ -systems to using automation and the remote connectivity of a vessel. There is a long way to go, but I think that is exciting. We learn about new technologies every day and I really enjoy being part of the transition from fossil fuel to more sustainable energy resources. It is only the beginning and very exciting. Especially for the years to come.”