Mela Schabrich (26) has always looked beyond her immediate boundaries to gain life experience. After studying Naval Architecture for her BSc. in Hamburg, she completed her studies in Norway with a Masters in Marine Technology. She joined Boskalis in 2019 on her traineeship with the Offshore Energy Division.
Mela began work within SMIT salvage, learning about miscellaneous salvage operations like wreck removal, dewatering, etc. “What impressed me was the variety and scope of activities,” says Mela. “After being in the office the first months I already had a good idea about the theoretical/technical side of the operations, but experiencing the actual size of the casualties and the processes on-site was amazing.”
Meanwhile, Mela has worked within Boskalis Marine Services on a project in Congo and a tender in Russia and is now working within Boskalis Heavy Lifting on a tender for a wind farm installation. “My tasks vary from project to project. As a trainee in Boskalis you have a great opportunity to see a lot of different departments and teams and be involved in many different activities, ranging from rigging design to method statements, safety regulations, and many other processes. I learned a lot from method discussions, which brought the team together to share ideas and proposals, for example for towage operations, foundation installation or mooring-line recovery – which is not as simple as it sounds! I think it’s great that everyone can contribute their ideas, including trainees.”
Making an impact
Working on other tenders and projects has broadened Mela’s experience. “One of the best parts is learning to cooperate with people in other countries. I enjoy meeting people from different cultures, and the chance to see how others work, what they do better, and how we could adapt and develop their methods. I’m excited about what the future may bring,” she says. “Project Engineering attracts me. It’s still mostly a man’s world at the moment – and I appreciate the support I get as a woman in this field in my network at Boskalis. I’d like to be able to support other women in engineering in the future. I’d also like to make my mark by improving our working methods where possible. It doesn’t have to be world-shaking decisions; even small decisions can have a big impact here.”
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