Technical Assurance and Capability Director


Q&A with Catriona Savage

Cat has been the Deputy Chair of UKNEST since Oct 2020, previously a member of the People Working Group.

Tell us 3 facts about yourself?

I live in Wales,

I have a very boisterous Labrador puppy,

I like to read when I can get enough time to focus.

What does a typical day in your work week look like?

I work from home most of the time but enjoy getting out to meet the teams be it for BMT, UKNEST, RINA or other.  I definitely spend more time on Teams than I should!

What is your greatest strength?

I think its people skills.  I like to be able to put myself in the shoes of others to understand their perspective on a challenge or issue.

What is your biggest weakness?

Getting myself out the door for a run.  I enjoy it once I’m out but taking that first step is the hardest, particularly in the winter!

Tell us about a career highlight of yours so far?

Becoming President of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, not something I ever thought would happen and not something I’d really thought about doing.

What motivates you?

It gives me really personal satisfaction to make a difference whether that’s to a person, a group, a project or an organisation. If I think I’ve added value, I’m happy.

Can you tell us about the best work tradition you have experienced?

BMT Naval Architecture Department Christmas Party Fancy Dress, there’s nothing that compares.

If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would do

I’m an engineer (so is my husband) so there’s no question that the first thing we’d do is sit down and create a monster spreadsheet to work it all out.

What is one piece of advice you would give someone who is interested in a career in naval engineering science and technology?

There is plenty of variety with jobs and career paths that will suit you whatever your interest.  If it doesn’t turn out to be for you, you will have learnt great transferable skills to take elsewhere.

What is your favourite all time quote?

Because I am responsible for Assurance, at the moment, the quote I keep coming back to is Hymen George Rickover’s quote “Responsibility is a unique concept… You may share it with others, but your portion is not diminished. You may delegate it, but it is still with you… If responsibility is rightfully yours, no evasion, or ignorance or passing the blame can shift the burden to someone else. Unless you can point your finger at the man who is responsible when something goes wrong, then you have never had anyone really responsible.” Not necessarily my all time favourite but probably the one I have used most often in talking to people about Assurance and when I was teaching Design Management to Naval Architects and Submarine Designers at UCL.

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