The life of a young engineer at Add Energy

27 February, 2020 by Trent Cooper

Trent Cooper joined Add Energy’s Houston team in August 2019 as a Junior Engineer. Six months into his role, he reflects back on his experiences so far, and shares insights into what life is like as a Junior Engineer in the energy industry... 

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“When they first told me I’d be going offshore, I thought it was a joke. I knew I’d be going offshore soon, but not this soon. I started my job as a Junior Engineer at Add Energy on Tuesday, August 6. On Wednesday, I got my yellow fever and typhoid vaccinations, Thursday and Friday I began and completed Basic Offshore Training (BOSIET), Saturday I packed my bags, and Sunday I was on a plane to Trinidad with Brendan, a coworker I had known for just a few hours. 

“I learned quickly that Add Energy was a very fast-paced company. I mean, I knew going offshore was part of the job description, but when it came time to go, it all felt very surreal. I don’t think the fact that I was headed to a platform in the middle of the ocean really sunk in until I was in bed that night, on the platform

“Brendan and I were sent to one of five facilities to conduct a physical asset verification for a major oil and gas producer in Trinidad.s We validated on-site equipment and marked up their site drawings in order to update their outdated CMMS database. This would eventually allow us to create a Bill of Materials, saving them time, money, and resources in their maintenance department.

“Luckily, Brendan was a master of the craft, so, by watching him, I was able to pick up on the basic procedures and adjust to offshore life quickly.

“The workdays were long but went quickly due to always staying busy. Brendan helped make the whole trip quite enjoyable; his experience made conducting the physical asset verification go smoothly so I was able to learn a lot, and his witty humor and words of wisdom kept the mood positive and lighthearted. We didn’t run into any severe weather, didn’t experience any emergencies, and were able to finish up our work in the allotted time frame. 

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“We were offshore for 3 weeks, and I could not have asked for a more fruitful first experience. The food was better than expected, someone cleaned our room and made our beds every day, and our laundry was washed for us daily. It was almost like a small vacation, but we also worked really hard every day, and were really productive. 

“However, after being in the middle of the ocean for three weeks straight, I was glad to get back home. My family and I are very close, so it was nice to be with them again. That was short-lived, however, because less than a month later I was on my way back to Trinidad. 

“The purpose of my second trip was to take inventory and conduct an inspection of warehouse stored parts as part of a preservation strategy we created for a client. To help us capture all the necessary information of each piece of equipment, we created a mobile application that made data collection simple and systematic. After being offshore for 3 weeks capturing data by hand on my first trip, I was floored by the efficiency and quality of results we achieved using this electronic method. The amount of data we collected in less than a week was staggering. 

“Upon returning to the office, I proposed the idea of making a similar app that would streamline data collection for a PAV. After about a week of development, I had a prototype of the electronic Physical Asset Verification mobile app, or ePAV as we call it. The vision for this tool was to eliminate the need for post-walkdown data entry, by populating a loadsheet as data is collected in the format of our clients’ choice, thus saving a huge amount of time and promoting accuracy.

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“We ran tests, polished it up, and made it client friendly. We presented it internally to the Houston office and soon learned one of Add Energy’s biggest clients was in dire need of updating their CMMS database. We had ePAV’s first potential client. 

“Never in my life did I expect to be presenting something I created to one of the largest companies in the world. The initial presentation to the client could not have gone better. We held three more meetings after the first and submitted an official proposal during the last. 

“Since I joined Add Energy everything has fallen into place. I am so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing group of intelligent and hard-working people. Add Energy has literally given me the opportunities of a lifetime. I’m so thankful for all the people I’ve met and everything I’ve learned along the way. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store, not just for me, but for Add Energy as a company.” 

Topics: People and Business Updates

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