Meet John McIntyre, Senior Design Manager
Growing up in Elgin, John McIntyre has been a keen follower of Ocean Winds’ investment in the Moray Firth since the beginning.
Now, as Senior Design Manager, he is a proud member of the team working on Ocean Winds’ third large-scale development in the region, Caledonia.
We spoke with John to find out more about his role, why he pursued a career in offshore wind and the lessons he’s learned about the industry.
Tell us how your career journey began.
I discovered my interest in engineering through childhood weekends spent building Lego and complex ‘sand cities’ and flood defences with my brother on family beach days.
Following in my father’s footsteps, I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Aberdeen and in 2011, completed an internship with Ocean Winds (then EDP Renewables) during the early development phase of the Moray East Offshore Wind Farm.
After graduating, I became a subsea design engineer for an Aberdeen-based offshore consultancy where I developed a strong technical base in mechanical and structural design. During this time, I also achieved professional chartership with the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
In 2017, I was given the exciting opportunity to re-join Ocean Winds and deliver Moray East, a project which had essentially started my career in offshore wind.
I went on to have a leading role coordinating the interface and certification activities during the design and construction phases of both the Moray East and Moray West projects. This culminated in my recent promotion to Senior Design Manager for Caledonia.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in offshore wind?
I’m passionate about delivering clean power for future generations and I’m proud to be contributing to achieving a more sustainable future.
As an engineer, offshore wind is an extremely rewarding industry to work in. From a design perspective, site characterisation and infrastructure can hugely differ between projects, meaning there are always interesting technical challenges to solve.
Why did you decide to work with Ocean Winds?
Ocean Winds is an ambitious developer, with a large portfolio of offshore wind projects globally. This means our people are at the forefront of delivering low-cost clean energy, with a company behind us that supports our development and growth – who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?
Tell us about your role.
As Design Manager, I’m responsible for delivering Caledonia’s engineering strategy. This involves leading technical activities to refine and optimise the project design envelope to support the consenting process. I’m also responsible for delivering concept selection, detailed design phases and technical work packages including site layout, turbine selection, foundation concept and structural design, cable routing and development of onshore infrastructure.
What are the key lessons you’ve learned working in offshore wind so far?
There is always a way to refine design and mitigate risks early in development. Of course, it’s important to solve design challenges, but we also need to understand and control how decisions affect the design process and impact commercials, construction, operations and all project stakeholders. Robust management of the interfaces across these packages is key.
Transferring knowledge is also important. Much of the Caledonia team have worked on Moray East and Moray West, meaning we’ve retained experience and have a proven track-record in successfully developing large-scale offshore wind in the Moray Firth.
What do you like doing in your spare time?
I play rugby for a local team in Edinburgh. It’s not quite captaining the Scotland national team like I once dreamed of, but it helps me keep fit and maintain a work-life balance.
Mid-week training is a great way to wind-down during busy periods – and I try to avoid limping into the office on the Monday after a weekend game!