My name is Karolina Malmek and I am freshly out of my studies of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at Chalmers. I am now doing a four months´ training period at TTS Marine as a part of the Lighthouse Trainee Program. During October I had the opportunity to work with one of the TTS site teams in South Korea and i'd like to share some of my experiences from this time.
Since I started at TTS in September I have worked at the department of structural engineering. The first project I got involved in there was to analyze the strength of hoistable cardeck panels for a RoRo-vessel that is to be built in Korea and also a hoistable ramp. It was very interesting trying to figure out how the different mechanisms work and how these large constructions can be designed to be strong, safe and light at the same time. At the shipyard I was able to see the same types of designs in action during commissioning of a similar RoRo-vessel. During my period in Korea I was also assigned with the task of studying the health and safety management on site.
There was quite a difference working in Korea compared to the Swedish office – for starters the office itself. The site-office is only a small space with a few desks fighting for room together with spare parts and tools. Even so the place has a very friendly feeling and a lot of time is of course spent outside. On ground, or rather on ship, the atmosphere is very industrial with several different types of work going on at the same time, such as welding, grinding and painting. Gigantic ship parts are being moved around in the air at different stages of completion. The environment is dusty, noisy and sometimes seemingly disorganized to a visitor, however there is definitely an underlying organization since around 60 to 90 ships are completed there each year.
I enjoyed seeing a lot of onsite problem solving, if there appeared a problem during inspection or installation someone would normally arrive just minutes later to set things right. There is a very close cooperation between TTS personnel and the shipyard and everyone is eager to solve every problem in the best possible way. I was a little bit surprised to see so many women at work in the shipyard, and in different fields ranging from engineering to painting. Most people were still men but I was glad to meet a mix of people in this heavy industry.
Performing tests, such as load testing, was a highlight since it was interesting to see the TTS’s products in action and understand their function. In general, the equipment is very large and loads high which is difficult to fully gasp at home in front of the computer. The ideal work situation, I think, really would be to be able to walk between the two places, i.e., going from the design office to manufacturing and installation and back on a daily basis.
Visiting the yard and seeing the ships with my own eyes sparked some ideas about upcoming changes in vehicle logistics. There are already self-driving cars on the streets of Gothenburg, it can’t be too long until this feature is used to load and unload RoRo-vessels. This might require some new infrastructure, such as detectable paint that cars can recognize easily and also possibilities to increase load capacity and efficiency. Probably increased remote access of cargo equipment, ramps and decks will also be required.
I want to thank all TTS employees that I’ve gotten to know, especially my two co-workers Anders Friberg and Norman Pascal in Korea, for the opportunity of working alongside you. It has been a very interesting period where I have gained a lot of new experiences and lessons learned that I definitely will bring along as I move on with the trainee program.