Tim Highfield

Posted on Tuesday 14th January 2014

Offshore Technology Manager, CB&I
MEng Chemical Engineering with Environmental Management (2000)

Ensure that you understand how things actually work not just the equations.

I graduated in 2000 and joined Kvaerner (different to the company that now goes by that name) as a process engineer. The London Kvaerner office changed hands a few times and eventually became CB&I in 2003. I worked on several projects designing gas and oil platforms and liquified natural gas (LNG) import terminals in all stages of design through to construction. During my time at CB&I I got the opportunity to travel and work in India, the USA and China. I became a Chartered Engineer in 2004. I left CB&I in 2007 and joined a small consulancy company where i stayed until 2013. During this time I carried out studies for the major oil companies largely to enhance production from existing offshore platforms which I had to visit on several occasions. My role with CB&I is now to look technically at all of the offshore projects that the company does globally. To understand the risks involved in terms of engineering, schedule and cost and to make appropriate recommendations to the projects and the Clients.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now? 
To be able to influence the design of some of the worlds largest offshore developments with some of the world's leading energy companies.

What was the best thing about your time as a student here? 
The fellow students. The ability to relax, play sport and have a beer really helped me though the course.

In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations? 
Birmingham was a great city to be a student in. The facilities on campus were good from the department to the sports. The city outside of the university was also great from the bars on Broad Street to Cadbury World.

How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way? 
My time at Birmingham allowed me to understand what I really wanted to do during my career. It taught me that I didn't have to work for one of the big energy companies to do engineering.

What advice would you give to current students? 
Ensure that you understand how things actually work not just the equations. Anyone can look up the equations but not everyone can explain how a piece of equipment works; an understanding is vital.