Shawn Henderson, P.E.
A couple years ago, my wife and I planned a summer vacation for our three kids (ages 4, 2 and 1) to visit my 72 year old father and step-mother in Washington state. We planned to fly from Miami, Florida to Seattle, Washington and then drive over the mountains into central Washington state. The schedule shifted at the last minute. We left Miami with the clothes on our back as our home was tented for bugs, and together my wife and I entertained two kids on an airplane for hours while nursing the third for an ear squeeze. When we finally reached my dad’s house, the kids’ guest room was full of antique toys that were not supposed to be played with, which of course wasn’t a realistic expectation. Even with these unexpected challenges, we had a good vacation and everyone parted ways happy. This had a lot to do with an initial well-crafted plan and adaptable good-intentioned adults.
Project management of diving operations has a lot in common with our family vacation to Washington state. Managing divers, engineering and a client can be tricky. It takes strong willed and innovative people to consistently perform well underwater (rigging, welding, NDE, mechanics) and quickly develop solutions in a challenging environment. These same personal characteristics can also lead to conflict, so a well-crafted, pre-approved dive plan is necessary before a project begins. Using dynamic risk analysis and consistent client communication, effective managers will put in place the right equipment, the right supervisors, professional divers, and a work scope that leads to a favorable outcome from the outset.
We recently assisted a diving contractor, TCD (Texas Commercial Diving), with project management on an ABS non-destructive examination of critical structural areas on a semi-submersible drilling rig. The critical structural areas focused on the transition of the platform columns to pontoons. Texas Commercial Diving spent several months properly certifying divers to conduct VT, MT and UT examination (visual, magnetic particle and ultrasonic). We created professional engineering drawings for the necessary cofferdam and an umbilical management plan for diving in proximity to the active azimuthing thrusters. The project was completed on time, under budget and everyone went home happy.
Like our family vacation to Washington state, the TCD project presented our team with plenty of challenges. However, we spent adequate time on the front end crafting our plan and approached the common goal as a team with levelheaded commitment.
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, Henderson & Associates, PLLC is an ocean engineering services firm specializing in structural refit beneath the waterline including: Professional engineering drawings; dive plans; rigging plans; and project management of welding and diving operations. Shawn Henderson, P.E. began his career as a U.S. Navy deep sea diver and welder and has spent the last 20+ years working with commercial divers. He acts as a professional engineer/diver. Contact me at email@example.com for more information or to set up a consultation.
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