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Meet the team | Keith Lonsdale

The team at ABL Group shares the passion, vision and values for working in energy and the world’s oceans, de-risking and driving the energy transition. We are driven by the idea that the best work is born from professionalism, diligence… and fun. You know ABL Group, but do you know our team?

Keith Lonsdale CEng, CMarEng, MRINA, MIMarEST, Senior Naval Architect (OSS Package Manager, MWS Renewables) | ABL London

What do you do at ABL?

I work within the offshore renewables marine warranty team at ABL. Currently we are supporting the construction of some of the worlds largest offshore wind farms. Working on behalf of each projects underwriters it’s our job to ensure that the risk involved in any major marine activity is as low as practicable.

I specialise in the transportation and installation (T&I) of offshore structures, primarily WTG foundations and offshore substations. Day-to-day this means that I get to work directly with operators and subcontractors all over the world, helping them to ensure that the engineering, procedures, and equipment (including vessels) they need to carry out various marine operations are suitable and in accordance with the relevant regulations and industry best practice.

It’s a great mix of planning, engineering and operational work that means no two days are ever the same!

What inspired you to go into the field you are in?

I grew up on one of the Scottish Western Isles and that drew me to the maritime sector. I originally joined LOC just after graduating as a Naval Architect and in fact I was one of the first to complete their Graduate Training Scheme. Back then I was fascinated by the size and scope of the projects LOC was involved in. The opportunities I was given to combine engineering theory with practical on-site experience (while traveling the world to do so) were second to none. You never forget the first time you see a structure or operation you engineered used in anger that’s for sure!

I left LOC in 2015 but was tempted back earlier this year when I was offered my current role. I had wanted to make the jump to the renewables sector for some time and ABL gave me the opportunity to combine all my experience to date while still being able to learn and improve as an Engineer.

What do you enjoy about working at ABL?

I worked in various offices when I was a Graduate, but now I work remotely. When I re-joined it felt like coming back to an extended family, I probably spent the first two days just catching up with people!  It’s been great seeing how the group has grown and improved in the last few years.

The breadth of work we get involved in, both as a group and through my MWS role, has always been a big draw for me as well. We are involved in numerous projects, and generally maintain a high-level oversight of each. However, we are also required to be deeply embedded in the specifics of any critical operation. This gives us a unique perspective and means we get to see how different approaches to similar issues work across the industry.  

What is the most exciting aspect of the energy transition for you?

While all the small steps we each take to reduce our carbon footprint are really important the only way to make fast enough progress as a species is on the industrial scale. Getting to see the details of how we are improving and optimising green energy, and how these improvements are being used across the globe, is exciting.

Although, on a more personal level I also love that the renewables industry has not settled into a standard way of doing things. Every problem we tackle has 100 different ways that it could be tackled, and each of these ways generate their own engineering and operational problems for us to solve.  

What do you enjoy in your spare time?

When I’m not working I’m a full time dad to my 2 young daughters. So not sure if I’d really class any time I get as spare! Eventually I’ll convince them that sailing and traveling are as fun as soft play and museums, but it might be a few years yet.