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Blog: Corrine’s three-month review of EMEC

Corrine Sinclair joined the EMEC team as our Contracts Manager in August, returning home to Orkney from Glasgow where she’d been working for the last 8 years running her own legal consultancy company working initially with Marine Scotland and subsequently in a variety of legal disciplines.

Corrine shares her first three months experience of EMEC below.

From the start of my legal career I’ve had a keen interest in renewable energy, having grown up in Orkney and seen first-hand the power of the wind and sea.

My ambition was to leave and study law with the aim to influence legislation and provide future development and opportunities to my homeland.

My undergraduate dissertation was on “A Critical and Comparative Evaluation on the Planning for Onshore Wind” and I subsequently started a PhD on the licensing and consenting process for marine renewables.

Upon graduating, I worked with Marine Scotland as I wanted to work in facilitating development within Scotland in the renewables sector.

When the Contracts Manager post at EMEC came up I knew I had to apply for it. I was keen to move home to Orkney, and the post would enable me to utilise my professional qualifications and my interest in the renewables sector.

I had been following EMEC and the progress of marine renewables for some years, but it was only when I started working here that I truly appreciated everything the company is doing to push renewable energy development forward.

What has really impressed me though is EMEC’s positive ethos and culture.

EMEC is the most forward-thinking company I have ever worked for!

All staff are truly valued. The staff are really taken care of and are happy. In turn it is refreshing to see how employees are very focused and productive.

Everyone at EMEC works hard to attain the end goal of the company – a globally successful marine energy industry as part of a clean energy system – which is reiterated regularly.

The culture is spread across the board where every aspect of work is treated positively. Any complaint or issue is handled as they happen with a positive manner and resolved following a coherent process. Complaints are regarded as constructive criticism and improvement opportunities. I must admit this has taken a bit of getting used to as I realise there is no underlying negative feelings when raising any ideas for improvement.

Once something is raised it is dealt with through an internal process and training is provided to help you improve or you are made aware how you could handle a situation better. I’ve never seen this implemented on this level before.

Since starting work here, everyone has been welcoming and I’ve been encouraged to ask questions, as well as share experiences and ideas. At our first staff meeting I was given a huge welcome and I was almost in tears. With over 50 members of staff I really feel part of a team.

The absolute best thing I like about EMEC is that management lead by example. You are discouraged from working late, at weekends or on holiday. Management has mentioned this to me on more than one occasion. I’ve worked in places that say this but in reality, the culture of presenteeism was encouraged even if you didn’t have enough work to do.

Many of the staff in EMEC come from other industries and take a wrath of skills and experience with them. Staff have come from far and wide and EMEC has a real international feel to it.

If you work in an area and have an interest in another and have the workload capacity, EMEC encourage staff to reach out with your comfort zone and explore different interests.

EMEC has a unique approach to business and wants to cultivate progression, not only with its staff but also with the industry itself. The company consults with other testing sites around the world and instead of keeping knowledge a secret the company shares it to progress an industry that EMEC was the very first of its kind in.

I’m delighted to see that EMEC is also diversifying into other sectors, including hydrogen and floating offshore wind, to support the decarbonisation of the full energy system.

Despite the issues with the grid in Orkney reaching capacity, EMEC looked at solutions to this as opposed to allowing this to stint progression. The solutions could be a game changer in energy providing investment is made to progress these technologies (e.g. converting excess renewable energy produced by onshore wind into hydrogen). This reduces waste previously ‘dumped’ by the grid.

I’m so glad I got a job here and love the ethos of the company.

It’s been a strange journey and while it was ill health that took me home to Orkney and changed my career path considerably, I think now that this was ultimately where I was destined to end up anyway.

Corrine Sinclair
Contracts Manager

Corrine Sinclair
















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