Say hi to 3t Energy Group’s Regional Director for the Americas, Euan Kennedy! Initially joining The Group as Drilling Systems’ Business Development Manager for the Americas, Euan has been an integral part of our evolution and growth for seven years now. With over ten years in the learning and development sector of the energy industry, Euan’s previous experience working offshore where he started his career for SLB, and his expert insight, is helping to drive The Group’s US presence forward.
> What attracted you to join The Group?
I joined Drilling Systems in 2015 when it was acquired by Bluewater before 3t Energy Group was initially formed. Having been part of the industry for some years by the time of the acquisition, I was already familiar with Drilling Systems and was incredibly excited by the simulation technology that they offer, previously hearing great things about the solutions they provide.
Working in a digital learning solutions business before joining the Drilling Systems team, I had prior healthy experience in the use of innovative technologies that have the capabilities to facilitate fully immersive and transformative training. When the time came, it was exciting to see the formation of 3t Energy Group and the addition of these new service lines through the further acquisition of other strategic training businesses.
> Having been part of the industry for over a decade now, how has the transformation and integration of technology impacted training solutions from when you first joined?
We live in an era of rapid technology growth so it’s an exciting time to be involved in a company like 3t Energy Group. Learning technologies that we provide such as the potential of Simulation, VR, and AR have evolved tremendously in the last few years. They are a world apart from where they once were, and we are still only scratching the surface of what we could do with these technologies.
The lower costs of hardware, the increase in the development of software applications, and the advancement and accessibility in internet connectivity have accelerated the capabilities of these learning delivery methods. I’ve seen that first-hand over the years and it has been incredible not just to see, but to be a direct part of too.
Of course, the pandemic naturally had a considerable influence on the world of digital learning and how we are willing to embrace it. With all the Global travel restrictions and varying regulations, our customers had to look at alternatives to what had historically been an in-person activity, attending classrooms and courses in person. Whilst these Global restrictions are mostly gone, the aftermath and change in attitudes have meant that companies have continued down the path of digital learning alternatives, realising that a blended delivery format maximises efficiencies in both training consistency and cost.
> Where do you see 3t Energy Group, as well as your role within Drilling Systems, in the evolving energy industry and how are you meeting changing training needs?
The energy industry is one of the most important industries in the modern world. The generation of power that provides electricity and the provision of fossil fuels, manufacturing almost everything we touch, is essential to 21st-century life. The world will still need hydrocarbons and the critical training associated with these operations for many years to come, but as a business, we have been determined to diversify our service offering to meet the acceleration of the energy transition.
Our training business is one of the largest providers of GWO (Global Wind Organization) training in the world, so we are well-placed to provide these services through our roots in O&G safety training. Our brand is becoming more and more recognised internationally. Geoff Croft, Head of Renewables for 3t, who is based in our US office, is working on numerous consultancy projects with organisations looking to break into these markets through the available federal and state grant funding.
The use of Drilling Systems’ cloud-based simulation software, and 3t Trasforms’ cloud-based training solutions, have been critical to helping many of our customers through the challenges they have all faced during the pandemic, as well as helping them to reduce their carbon footprint through reductions in air travel. Another example of how we are helping to reduce carbon footprint is that the latest version of the Drilling Systems downhole hydraulics model can simulate low carbon emitting Geothermal drilling operations. Some great initial feedback shows that our US academic customers are thrilled to see this go live.
As we move forward, I think technology will have an even greater part to play in facilitating technical training across all industries. The next generation of employees are naturally extremely tech-savvy through their life experiences and surroundings. They are already used to being educated using modern digital learning methodologies so there is great potential for technology to be fully utilised and pushed even further. Technological advancements have allowed us to build high-fidelity, fully immersive digital learning packages that can provide true-to-life experiences of safety-critical field operations from the controlled environment of a simulator or VR headset.
I would say that the Energy Industry has been somewhat laggard in the adoption of learning and training technologies in comparison to other industries. However, the pandemic has put an end to that hesitancy. Companies have since begun to re-evaluate their training strategies, meaning that technology-mediated (blended learning) solutions are most certainly here to stay.
> With previous experience in Business Development roles throughout your career, how does your experience contribute to the development of The Group’s presence in the US?
I have worked in the US for over a decade now. Throughout that time, I have gained some great experience of the market and the challenges our customers face.
We have a wide range of customer types, from Global energy companies to academic institutions and have technology in over 10 countries across North, Central and South America. So, every customer and every culture is different – which is exactly what keeps things fresh and exciting. Industry regulations and compliances differ from country to country, which means that our learning solutions need to be dynamic to adapt to the market where they are used. We have built a strong team to service our local markets and I can only see this growing in the future.
I also have good relations with the UK DIT (Department of International Trade), BABC (British American Business Council), SDI (Scottish Development International), and I recently became a Global Scot. These groups are great opportunities to network and establish new potential markets for 3t Energy Group. The future is exciting, and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of it.
> What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career?
I’ve had some great pieces of advice throughout my career.
Perhaps the best piece of advice was to never stop learning and to always venture out of your comfort zone. The world is changing so fast. If you want to continue to add value, you need to gain new experiences and expand your skill set all the time.