Welcome to the ICoTA Europe Chapter

Craig Hodge - YP Committee

Our Young Professional Committee does a fantastic job getting their industry peers involved in ICoTA Europe.

Craig Hodge OGTC

Each month we profile one of these YP committee members and this time, it's the turn of Craig Hodge, Project Engineer at the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC).

OGTC is ultimately aiming to develop and deliver technology for a net-zero North Sea. Craig's role involves seeking, assessing and managing technology developments that are funded by the OGTC and industry, to help maximise economic recovery from the UKCS. This includes technologies applicable to Wells, from innovative developments to improve drilling efficiency, to new techniques to plug and abandon wells, and everything in between that can maximise production and lower the carbon footprint of operations.

So, how did Craig start in the industry?

"I started my career on Baker Hughes’ Field Engineering program, which gave me incredible experience in many roles, including working on and offshore across Europe for 18 months, plus time working in operations and applications engineering. I then moved into a lead engineering role, and then project management of multiple projects with operators in Norway, meaning weekly commuting to Stavanger for 2 years.

"The variety of different roles enabled me to quickly develop highly transferrable technical, operational, commercial and leadership skills – an invaluable start to my career and enabled me to gain Chartership with the IMechE last year. Earlier this year I joined the OGTC, keen to pursue my passion in the energy transition and to help the North Sea become net-zero within the next 3 decades."

And what was it about the energy industry that first piqued Craig's interest?

"I studied for a Masters in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, a last-minute decision because I was good at maths and loved the city of Edinburgh. I believe that studying a joint degree is a good option, as it is has opened up more job opportunities as a result. Studying a Masters at Edinburgh meant that I undertook a 6-month placement in 4th year where I worked with Oceaneering, giving me my first insight of the exciting and huge number of opportunities in the oil and gas industry.

"The opportunities for young people in the energy industry are exciting and broadening – even more so than when I joined. The oil and gas industry will be a significant enabler to meet the UK’s legally binding 2050 net-zero target (Scotland 2045). Many oil and gas companies are already transitioning to energy companies with growing ambitions to integrate with offshore wind, produce blue and green hydrogen, sequester CO2, and produce oil and gas with a net-zero carbon footprint.

"My advice would be to get an internship or work experience as early as you can. Even if it is not with your dream company, it will give you loads to talk about at interview and on your CV. Get involved with extracurricular activities at school and university/ college, such as a sports club or a society. Again it gives you more to talk about and will develop all kinds of skills that you may not expect."

With all the experience that Craig has gained, it has inevitably come with some lessons.

"Grasp the right opportunities to learn and grow. At the early stages of your career – grasp everything. Once known, be vocal with your career aspirations and keen areas of interest. If colleagues and managers know what these are then more opportunities will come your way.

"And don’t be afraid to turn down an opportunity if you know it is not right for you. Opportunities come and go and sometimes it takes time to find the one that is right for you.

"Oh! And one more – a good work-life balance is essential!"

We're delighted to have Craig on board as an ICoTA YP member, and Craig is also seeing the benefit of being part of the association.

"Being a young member of ICoTA has been excellent for networking with other like-minded members and for gaining a broader understanding of what is going on across the industry. The lunch and learns are always interesting and it is a very active organisation with regular events."

Looking to find out more about joining the ICoTA Europe YP Committee? Contact us for more details.

Remember - if you're aged 30 and under, you can become an ICoTA member for free!

Visit our membership page for more information.