A pioneer of ROV (remotely-operated vehicle) technology in the subsea sector was honoured at the industry awards last night.
Richard Marsh, founder and former managing director of underwater technology specialists Tritech, was given the Outstanding Contribution honour at the Subsea UK event.
Mr Marsh was described as “one of the most charismatic characters and early proponents” of the subsea sector, however he was not present at the awards last night due to a recent knee operation.
His career has taken him from the skies to the bottom of the sea floor.
Starting out at British Aerospace where he was part of the Concorde design team between 1974-77, overseeing 1,500 technicians and engineers, he then moved on to guided weapons work before transferring to a project to create one of the first ROVs Consub 2.
Part of his drive to develop the technology was the number of diver accidents in the North Sea.
The engineer then came to Aberdeen in 1979, founding Bennico – a company which specialised in supplying ROVs to the offshore industry.
Tritech International was created in 1990 as a two-man operation with the aim of producing a range of subsea products.
It is now an acknowledged world-leader in the sector, and among the most decorated small and medium-sized enterprise in the North Sea industry.
The awards last night took place at the AECC as part of Subsea Expo, the largest conference for the sector in Europe, to celebrate the achievements of firms and individuals in the industry.
County Durham-based Tekmar Energy picked up Company of the Year, which has experienced expansion in the last five years despite the oil downturn.
Since starting out as a small family-owned business in 1985, Tekmar now has over 4,000 protection systems operating around the globe, protecting billions of pounds worth of subsea assets.
Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “The past two years have been extremely challenging for the subsea sector, however we have continued to see an unwavering commitment from companies of all sizes to drive a real change across our industry.
“Once again, we received an incredible standard of entries for this year’s awards, demonstrating the greatest attributes of the UK subsea sector.
“Despite the ongoing challenges we face, it’s vital that we continue to celebrate and recognise the finest talent, leadership and contributions as we adapt to this new environment in the coming years.”
Other winners included Maritime Developments Ltd, which won the Innovation and Technology award.
In its 18-year history the company has diversified away from the fishing industry and now designs, manufactures and delivers back-deck equipment for the oil and gas and renewables sectors.
This year also saw the launch of the David Pridden Young Emerging Talent Award, named after the first Subsea UK chief executive who passed away last year.
The honour went to Arnold Grundy of Oceaneering who is responsible for the manufacture and deployment of subsea cables.
London-headquartered AgileTek was named Small Company of the Year, while The Underwater Centre received the Innovation for Safety accolade for the second year running.
The Global Exports honour went to STATS Group for its expansion into international markets, and Bristol-based Rovco won the New Enterprise award.