Caroline Roberts Haritonov
It was fun while it lasted! Hope you all enjoy the rest of the event! And I hope some of you students have been inspired into a career in engineering! Bye for now - maybe I'll meet some of you when you come through the other side of uni!
Sponsored by the Ministry of Defence through university, then worked in a number of Consultancies: Atkins, Andrew Palmer & Associates, Penspen, Boreas Consultants, Atkins (again) and now a director of my own company, Astrimar.
Principal reliability consultant (mechanical engineering) and director of my own company with 2 other co-directors, specialising in reliability engineering and analysis
I am a chartered mechanical engineer and director of a specialist reliability engineering consultancy focussing on helping oil and gas production equipment installed subsea to operate more reliably and safely
When oil and gas is extracted from below the seabed, it is necessary to control the flow of the oil and gas with valves placed on the sea bed. Electronics are needed to open and close the valve remotely from the surface. The technology needed to control the oil and gas is changing quickly, because the oil and gas reservoirs are getting harder to reach. But this means that the equipment is harder to reach if it breaks down. Sometimes this equipment is in deep sea (deeper than 2000m – that is 6 Eiffel Towers on top of each other!). This means that it can take a very long time to repair if it does break down (remember the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico?). In my work, I investigate how the equipment might stop working and what might make that happen and look to improve the way it is designed and how it is looked after to make it last better without breaking down.
This is an image of a simple example subsea oil/gas production system.
My Typical Day
My day can include meeting senior managers in oil and gas companies, analysing engineering drawings and designs with design engineers, statistical analysis of how equipment has performed, planning project costs and schedules and writing reports
I don’t have a typical day! As a director of a company some days I am focussed totally on the legal side of running a company – accountants and lawyers, other days I am totally focussed on trying to get new work in, other days trying to recruit new members to the team, other days I am buried in engineering drawings trying to understand how systems work, what might cause them to break down and what the result of that would be, and other days I am in meetings with Senior managers of international oil companies helping them change the way they do engineering to ensure systems work as they should.
What I'd do with the money
Donate it to the local Science Centre to develop a new interactive engineering exhibit to capture the imagination of chilidren visiting the centre
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Motivated, creative, technical
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Dive with turtles in Indonesia
What did you want to be after you left school?
Either a chef or an Engineer – I decided I could cook for pleasure and be paid more for being an engineer!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
I pretended that I didn’t need to wear glasses any more – which was OK until I had to go to the opticians in the middle of the school day – then I got found out!
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Show how millions of dollars can be saved in lost oil production, by small but important design improvements
Tell us a joke.
Two snowmen are standing next to each other, one turns to the other and says “funny, I smell carrots too”!
Sometimes this oil and gas production equipment is in deep sea (deeper than 2000m) and can be very difficult to get to, to repair, so it is essential that it is as reliable as possible.
I have an office in a Business Centre, with office facilities for new companies, situated in rural Aberdeenshire.