Anni Hesselholt has traveled to Portugal since 1988 and now she is here again. Among other things, she makes sure to deliver state-of-the-arts quality when Vestas installs and commissions the floating offshore turbine; WindFloat.
She has traveled here more than 50 times since 1988. She has stepped onto the Portuguese land and enjoyed its nature, its people and its warm climate. Sometimes she has been here to work and other times she has been here to visit her extra family – her Portuguese family. One is almost inclined to use the word love when referring to Anni Hesselholt’s relationship to Portugal.
Recently, when we meet Anni we came to talk about her work. She has been working as the Quality Assurance Manager on the WindFloat project, but soon the conversation reveals that she plays many roles on this offshore R&D project.
“I basically have three roles on this project and I actually have three hard hats, which could bear a title each.” She says and points to two of the three red hard hats she owns and which have become symbolic of her responsibility in the humble sized team.
“Since it is a small project I have the role of the H&S Coordinator, the Quality Assurance Manager and finally as the Technical Project Manager. But really, I only travel with one hard hat, because it is really not practical to pack three in a suitcase.” She says with a smile.
In an industry of offshore power, Anni Hesselholt stands out. It would be easy to say it is because she is women – but no the difference lies somewhere else. It lies somewhere which transcends the question of gender. Anni belongs to the generation of Technical Managers who has served the sea and the big ship engines since starting as Marine Engineer Cadet and followed her passion for Mechanical Engineering ever since. For now her passion has taken her to offshore turbines and the first Vestas floating prototype.
“This project stands out from the other projects I have worked on in terms of being able to foresee the quality testing, because we really do not know how the elements will react to the waves. I mean, we know from a theoretical viewpoint how things might affect each other and we know how the floating unit works – but we don’t know how they will work together. We have not previously worked with the test equipment in the floating turbine and how it will react when they tug the Windfloat out of the dry dock and energize it. This adds more excitement to my work – of course it does.” She says looking at her computer screen with pictures of the dry dock where the floating unit is being assembled.
You sense a special attitude in Anni – maybe it is her desire to be fully devoted to a project or maybe it is just her fascination of the piece of engineering which brings energy to thousands of homes. Anni knows that this project is more challenging, because it is difficult to predetermine the installation process – she knows this in all of the three roles she fills out. She knows that she must help her team plan each step in order to ensure that both people and equipment stay safe.
“See now you only asked me about the quality aspect, but there is also a lot to say about the safety aspect. And I could tell you a lot about my two other roles where we also guide the customer and set the bar high for safety.” she says.