ONS Vetasi tech mag safer Theme OGV
PEOPLE IN ENERGY - Kimberley Wallace, Business Improvement Manager, Low-carbon Energy, Offshore Wind

PEOPLE IN ENERGY - Kimberley Wallace, Business Improvement Manager, Low-carbon Energy, Offshore Wind

 

Kimberley has 12 years’ experience in the energy sector and has supported oil and gas and offshore wind projects globally. She’s worked in various roles and has experience leading engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) and operations and maintenance (O&M) contracts. Kimberley’s now focused on strategic growth and is currently a Business Improvement Manager based in Aberdeen.

How did you get into the energy sector, and how long have you been working in it?

Growing up in Aberdeenshire, I had a lot of exposure to the energy industry from an early age. It was inspiring because I could see the career options available and have access to opportunities close by.

My first job was in finance as part of a placement year during university, but I knew this wasn’t for me long term.

Investigating options, I started thinking about a career in supply chain. I chose this because it allows you to work in diverse project teams and build a network in the wider energy industry which appealed to me. I was fortunate to join a graduate scheme with Worley, then known as Amec, and my career has evolved from there. I still work at Worley, and I’m now a Business Improvement Manager for our offshore wind, low-carbon energy sector.   

What does your current role involve?

I lead various operational improvement initiatives that support improved efficiencies and enhanced business performance across our low-carbon energy portfolio. I’m also part of our offshore wind transformation team, working on new customer solutions and expansion into new markets.

We’re already partnering with customers to deliver integrated energy transition projects, so it's an exciting time to be involved in this work.

What are the main challenges for the offshore wind sector, and how can they be addressed?

One of the main challenges is the speed of development. It's a lengthy process to get an offshore wind farm operational. Historically this can take up to ten years to get to first power. We're all working towards net-zero targets, and we don't have the time to wait and require pace to develop clean, reliable energy. But the industry is moving towards this, and I think we’ll see a more streamlined process with supporting policies.

Another key challenge is supply chain capacity and infrastructure. This drives the need for innovation and digital technology to make advancements and progress faster.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The varied roles I’ve had throughout my career. I've worked in supply chain, strategy, operations, and project management and gained exposure to UK and global projects. I take highlights from each role as they each provided me with the opportunity to continuously develop my skill set. This has helped me progress in my career.

But I’ll admit, my current role is a key highlight because we’re directly involved in supporting new projects and helping our customers decarbonise their operations. It's an exciting time to be involved in the energy transition, while supporting our customers build a more sustainable world.

What ambitions have you still got to fulfil professionally in your career?

I'm excited about the opportunities ahead of us in the energy transition. I care about the world we live in, and I want to play my part. I'm also focused on broadening my knowledge in the low-carbon energy space and contributing to more projects within this sector, such as green hydrogen, nuclear or energy storage, and networks. I look forward to seeing where this will take me next.

Who has been the most influential person in your life professionally?

It has to be my former boss and now mentor, Jim Lenton. I can recount numerous conversations where he's encouraged me to take the next step up, he's always there offering invaluable advice, and I appreciate that guidance. I feel very fortunate to be learning from such an inspirational leader.

Over the next ten years, what changes would you like to see in the energy sector with respect to D&I?

The energy industry has made positive improvements, and it is encouraging to see more diversity and inclusion (D&I) at the forefront of agendas. However, with a smaller percentage of women (than men) working in offshore wind globally there's still more to be done.

We need to demonstrate active, inclusive leadership to build an energy sector for the future. Over the next ten years, I'd like to see a more balanced workplace in the industry.

However, diversity isn't just about gender, and I'm proud to work for a company that supports D&I through networks and mentoring schemes. We also have a STEM committee that helps schools inspire the next generation in science, technology, engineering, and maths – and this is where we showcase that anyone can work in the energy industry.  

Given the experience you have now, what advice would you give a graduate just starting their career in the energy sector?

My three pieces of advice would be:

  • Build a network – I know many people say this, but only because it's true. Be proactive and get involved in as much as you can at the start, whether it's workgroups like STEM, D&I, Sustainability, etc. Then find something that interests you and throw yourself into it. You never know who you might meet and where that connection will get you.
  •  Mentorship – another excellent way to develop. There's always room to learn, and that relationship between mentor and mentee is unrivalled for career confidence and development. It's nice to have someone in your corner, backing you and pushing you to achieve more.
  • Take opportunities – even if it throws you entirely out of your comfort zone. You're still at the beginning of your career. Try to keep as many doors open as possible.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 14-06-2022

OGV Energy will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Please let us know all the ways you would like to hear from us:

OGV Magazine 58 wellpro