An essential part of the team at CTS, Maintenance Specialist David McWilliams has the responsibility of ensuring all equipment and facilities are in tip-top shape for visiting delegates.

Find out more about David’s varied career before joining CTS and how no two days are the same.

What was your career background before joining CTS

After leaving school in 1991 I joined Clyde Marine Training, sister company of CTS, as an Engineering Officer Cadet where my time was split between sea-going phases and completing my HNC in Marine Engineering at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies. In 1994 I completed my cadetship with CMT/Mobill Oil with sea time and experience gained while serving onboard a few of their VLCC tankers.

As a serving officer, I remained deep-sea with tankers as 4th Engineer before a move in 1996 to Wartsila Diesel as one of their field service engineers, working on their range of engines, propulsion systems and power generation found onboard ships, oil rigs, FPSO’s, flotels etc.

The opportunity arose to return to a seagoing career in 1997 with Serco (Denholm) as an Engineering Officer, serving at various ranks up to Chief Engineer (limited), on their fleet of MOD & Royal Naval support/training vessels which operated in UK waters and worldwide.

16 years later I decided to take the leap into the Offshore Oil & Gas industry where I put myself through the necessary training & certification (like we provide here at CTS) to allow me to further my career path where I spent 7 years on a variety of fixed platforms & FPSO’s as part of the mechanical maintenance/commissioning department.

In January 2020, after almost 29 years working away from home, it was time to weigh my anchor and settle into an onshore role within the aviation industry where I was involved in the building/servicing of gas turbine engines, mainly for 747 aircraft, with GE Caledonia who are based near Prestwick airport.

My future seemed settled, but just 2 months later…COVID-19 and lockdown struck!

I was placed on furlough from March until October with a very uncertain future ahead. It was while on furlough I was contacted by a recruitment agency to ask if I would be interested in applying for the Maintenance & Facilities position at CTS and after a successful interview, was delighted to accept.

Whilst I’m not sure I would have been actively looking had it not been for circumstances around COVID, I feel very fortunate that my role at CTS became available, and I haven’t looked back with any doubt or regret.

Highlights of my previous employment…Hard to pinpoint just one. Leaving home as a naïve 17-year-old lad and being able to travel and see some parts of the world that most haven’t heard, meeting and working alongside people from a multitude of diverse cultures and backgrounds, gaining valuable lessons in not only my career but in overall life and social aspects. All of these experiences have made me who I am today.

There are far too many memories to mention, and some probably best no to, but to this day I’ve maintained contact with a lot of the colleagues I spent many a day offshore/at sea with (including ex Clyde Marine cadets like myself) and when we see the back of this Pandemic, I’ll look forward to catching up again for a beer.

What are your main tasks and responsibilities at CTS

My main duties/responsibilities at CTS are to keep on top of all thing’s maintenance related to the training centre assets and facilities in order to keep us in steady state of serviceability and productivity.

Upkeep of the MMS (maintenance management system) is fundamental to this, scheduling servicing of equipment in line with current regulations and requirements, fault finding and reactive maintenance, and to be on hand to deal with unforeseen breakdowns/malfunctions.

Regular inspections and testing of on-site equipment which are pertinent to operations and the training services provided here at CTS, this includes: pool/plant, HUET (Helicopter Underwater Escape Training), fire training ground equipment, the fire stack training props along with the general up-keep and maintenance of the buildings and facilities.

I am also part of the safety committee team to help maintain and improve HSEQ matters, update procedures and integrate safe systems of work.

What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

No two days are the same, and I enjoy the unpredictability of that. Although a lot of the equipment and assets on site have been my bread & butter for the majority of my career, there are plenty of aspects to which I still am learning and eager to continue developing the skills and knowledge necessary to be responsible for.

I look forward to seeing things in ‘full swing’, when we are finally through this Covid pandemic, and be part of the team involved in helping the business expand and grow.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you?

One thing that people within the company probably won’t know about me is that I have a small collection of guitars and enjoy playing/singing. CD’s on request (they make good coasters!)