Sir David Attenborough Celebrations

A Houlder delegation (pictured below), headed by CEO Rupert Hare with Project Manager David Pugh, attended the RRS Sir David Attenborough naming ceremony on Thursday 26th September. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were guests of honour at the celebrations. Houlder has played a key role in the development of the UK’s new polar research vessel (above) since it was first conceived by the British Antarctic Survey.

As experts in ship construction, and ice class design in particular, Houlder has been a technical consultant to the project for over five years.  Houlder worked with the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) initially through the vessel’s concept design and technical specification. The company went on to provide technical support to the procurement process. Since then, Houlder has provided shipyard supervision and client representation services through a technical support contract. Providing third-party assurance during construction is a role Houlder often undertakes to provide design continuity for owners and operators. For Houlder Naval Architects Chris Bell and Rosa Vilariño, this meant rotating a permanent on-site role at Cammell Laird. Shipyard superintendent Sean Hogarth played a key role at A&P Tyne during the build of the stern section. Throughout, they were joined by a range of specialists from Houlder during the project. Houlder also deployed its personnel further afield, to Norway and Vietnam, for example, to test and accept major equipment from the wider supply chain. Today, engineers Jonathan Hart (pictured), Kyriakos Moschonas and Tony Burleigh are representing the owners during the installation and commissioning of equipment.

Sir David Attenborough

Houlder Project Manager David Pugh commented “Houlder is incredibly proud of our role in supporting one of the country’s most high-profile shipbuilding projects. Working for NERC and BAS and in partnership with Cammell Laird, we have felt part of an important team working towards a fantastic new asset for the UK.”

The naming ceremony marked an opportunity to celebrate a major milestone, however Houlder’s work will continue with a range of builder and owner trials as the RRS Sir David Attenborough moves closer to entering service.


Main Image: British Antarctic Survey

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“Charting a ‘solo’ course through this swirl of uncertainty is close to impossible. That’s why we’re often asked by clients to build their knowledge, evaluate their challenges and assess their options. We work closely with research funds and clean-tech providers by bringing decades of industry experience to bear. Our position is independent, technical ‘client friend’ for the decarbonising decades ahead.”

Rupert Hare, Chief Executive Officer