Engineering for MBNA Thames Clippers
Published: 08 Nov 2016 By Ishan Yahathugoda - Senior Electrical Engineer at MBNA Thames Clippers
MBNA Thames Clippers, part of AEG Europe, is London's leading River Bus service. Their fleet of high speed catamarans provide commuters and sightseers with a unique way to travel around the capital.
With two new boats joining the fleet in 2015 and two more to come in 2017 along with new piers to service, they are growing rapidly. The company needs a strong team of skilled electrical and mechanical engineers to ensure the boats are well maintained and can safely carry over 4 million passengers a year.
Ishan Yahathugoda has been working for MBNA Thames Clippers over 5 years, after leaving the Sri Lankan Navy and was recently promoted to Senior Electrical Engineer.
What type of work does an electrical engineer carry out at MBNA Thames Clippers?
As a part of a highly experienced team, we play a vital role in keeping the fleet running at all times. Most importantly an electrical engineer is responsible for the electrical safety of all electrical systems on-board such as engine and generator control systems, vessel alarms; motors, pumps, AC/DC switchboards, HVAC units, steering controls, navigational equipment, PA/AV equipment and we are also responsible for electrical equipment on some piers.
We carry out daily start up and post operations checks on a routine basis and also carry out planned maintenance checks. We identify any further improvements and modifications as required; and rectify defects, identify trends and recommend remedial action to reduce recurrent defects. We are always looking for new ways to improve reliability and passenger comfort.
We also work closely as a team, thinking about ways we can improve our efficiency as well as that of the fleet. Considering we have 15 high speed catamarans and two new vessels arriving next year to maintain we are an industrious team, always problem solving and continually improving.
What is the most enjoyable part of the job?
The most enjoyable part my job is working in a challenging environment. I am proud to be part of the leading river operator on the Thames and working on the front line. We have to be prepared for any technical or operational problem which could directly affect our services. I enjoy diagnosing and problem solving. We are able to make decisions to rectify defects so that vessels can get back into service promptly.
It is our responsibility to make sure that we have a reliable, efficient, safe and comfortable fleet for our passengers at all times. We are a talented and dedicated team ready for any challenges which may come our way. It is a pleasure to see the boats travelling up and down the river Thames with lots of happy passengers on board.
What skills, experience and behaviours do you need to be an electrical engineer at MBNA Thames Clippers?
A degree in electrical engineering or equivalent qualification is needed, along with previous experience of working in an electrical engineering environment. You do not need to have worked in the marine industry to be able to work here!
You must have a willingness to learn and continually develop your skills and knowledge with changing technology. MBNA Thames Clippers support all your learning and development during your career with them.
You need to enjoy problem solving, be a great team player and be able to manage your time efficiently and effectively.
How would you describe this role to someone you have just met, in five words?
Professional, dedicated, driven, motivated, team
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