What drove you to pursue a career in chemical manufacturing?
“I’ve always had a passion for science, but I originally wanted to pursue a biology-related career, hence why I did a Bachelor of Science in Zoology at Glasgow University. However, I quickly discovered that, at the time, Zoology degrees actually had significantly low direct employability opportunities which, of course, was not ideal!
“After moving to Aberdeenshire in 2011, I had the brilliant opportunity to complete my Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET) and gained experience working as an Offshore General Assistant. I thoroughly enjoyed this offshore time and this initial taste of the industry, which sparked my interest in pursuing a career within this area.
“In 2012, after talking with friends and family, I decided to go back to University and undertake a Master of Science degree in Instrumental Analytical Science with Oilfield Chemistry at Robert Gordon University. This then led to my first role in the industry which was as a Product Development Chemist at Aubin!”
How has your role evolved since first joining the organisation in 2013?
“My first role, as a Product Development Chemist, was heavily focused on a well integrity project based within some of the decommissioning applications that Aubin had been looking at. After almost three years in this position, I took on health and safety-based responsibilities from 2016 where I would take up the role of Group Chemical and Facility Safety Officer.
“I’d act as a representative for Aubin’s lab team, reporting and investigating HSE concerns or incidents, while engaging with staff and management to ensure regulatory compliance was followed through the use of training and active promotion of safety culture.
“By 2018, I had then taken the opportunity to become Aubin’s Health, Safety, Environment and Quality (HSEQ) Manager. Although I enjoyed the role, I felt I had drifted from the technical challenges that really appealed to me about the industry, so after some discussions with the Senior Team, I was able to take on Project Management responsibilities for our Pipeline Product range. From here I moved into my latest position as Technical Sales Manager for Global Pipeline Business. Picking up this exciting and fulfilling role in 2021 under the Aubin Group brand, I have since continued this under Italmatch Chemicals following the acquisition.
“Over my 10 years at Aubin / Italmatch, you could definitely say that I’ve worn a number of hats! But no matter what the role has been, I’ve absolutely loved getting stuck into each of them and learning about the various aspects of the industry.”
Could you talk us through the key responsibilities of your current role, as the Technical Sales Manager for Global Pipelines Business?
“Essentially, I’m the principal point of contact for any of our customers around the world who are interested in Aubin’s branded pipeline range of products. This includes everything from Aubin® EVO-Pigs to pipeline gels, as well as some of our integrity and decommissioning products like Aubin® Axi-lokk and Aubin® Tort.
“I strive to give customers the best experience I can throughout their entire collaboration with Italmatch by providing them with technical knowledge and helping with their queries. I’ll continuously maintain a clear line of communication from enquiry and quotation through to delivery and deployment.
“Aside from these responsibilities, I still have a hand in maintaining the standards of our healthy and safety practices and I’m currently project managing our office move from Ellon to our new site in Bridge of Don, Aberdeen.
“Of course, with the new role there are days where I miss some of the activities associated with working in the lab and workshop, but luckily because of my technical role, there is still ample opportunity for me to have regular interaction with the lab team and to help out when required.”
What makes you so passionate about your work, and what do you enjoy most about the role?
“For me, it’s being able to solve a client’s problem through the use of technical solutions. My technical background and understanding of our product portfolio really helps me break down the issues facing our customers, while finding the safest, cost-effective solution.
“Another aspect that I thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to meet and speak with a broad range of customers from all around the world. The Technical Sales Manager role allows me to have a multitude of customer-facing responsibilities where I can learn about an endless list of organisations within the industry of all shapes and sizes, while solving the pipeline issues they have been facing.”
Is there a standout project or highlight from your time at the organisation?
“A number of projects come to mind that I feel particularly proud of, but the thing I find most rewarding about my time at Aubin and Italmatch is the variety of roles that I’ve been able to take on. I believe it’s quite rare to have the opportunities like I’ve enjoyed at the organisation, as I have been able to deliver a broad range of functions from my time as a Product Development Chemist, to my health and safety-based roles, and now to my latest customer-facing position as a Technical Sales Manager.”
Have you noticed any significant changes in your role since the acquisition by Italmatch?
“Absolutely - an example of this is my involvement in our office move from Ellon to Aberdeen, as this isn’t something that would have been a part of my day-to-day beforehand.
“The acquisition by Italmatch still feels relatively fresh, but I can already see an array of opportunities on the horizon thanks to the range of new products within my remit as well as the broadening of customers that I’m able to work with. As well as this, the combined experience of the teams behind both Aubin and Italmatch promises to be a fruitful collaboration where we can achieve some really great things together.”
For Aubin, what are the benefits of being acquired by Italmatch? What opportunities does this open up to the business as a whole, or your department in particular?
“At Aubin, we already had strong brand recognition and a brilliant spread of clientele across our services, but with Italmatch’s acquisition there is a better opportunity to leverage these aspects further.
“Now operating as part of a much larger organisation, the acquisition brings a list of advantages such as an expanded supply chain with established networks, a broadening of experience and knowledge where both parties can take learnings from one another, and of course Aubin’s range of legacy products can now be delivered to further reaches of the globe thanks to Italmatch’s connections - this is a particular benefit for my role as the Technical Sales Manager.
“Of course, the acquisition has been really beneficial for both businesses as Italmatch has been able to adopt Aubin’s suite of products and services that they previously weren’t able to offer their customers. From my experience, the entire process of the acquisition has been pretty seamless with very little bumps in the road - everybody seems to be very aligned with the direction of the organisation.”
What do you see in Italmatch’s future over the next 3 to 5 years?
“I think the standout for our Aubin® Pipeline Product range will be the newfound ability to support a wider global market, such as the Middle East, which is thanks to Italmatch’s established connections within these regions. I can see a lot of potential for growth within the organisation’s plug and abandonment / decommissioning portfolio which have strengthened thanks to the addition of products and solutions such as Aubin® TORT.
“In terms of our suite of pipeline products, Aubin® EVO-Pigs and pipeline gels have always been massively popular with our legacy customers, and I believe the same demand will be reflected when we are communicating with Italmatch’s established customers. The acquisition has meant that we have existing relations to this clientele with Italmatch having boots on the ground in many geographies that weren’t previously available to Aubin.”
Why do you think people choose Italmatch?
“I think across the organisation, the strength of technical competence and the quality of the products and services being provided is unmatched. There’s a fantastic team behind our offering that is filled with experience, meaning that our customers - no matter which product or service they require - get the same level of service time after time.
“The acquisition has seen a merging of two amazing, experienced teams that have been able to learn from one another. I think the benefits that we are seeing internally will also be reflected on the experience received by our customers - they’ll not only have access to a broader range of best-in-class chemical products and services, but they will get to collaborate with a team that has expansive technical expertise who will be able to solve a broad range of problems that they may be facing.”