Women leading change: Dr Liane Smith
Dr Liane Smith today tells us about being a ‘serial specialist’ and keeping things simple. Liane founded Intetech in 1991, which became part of Wood Group in 2013. As managing director of Wood Group Intetech, she is responsible for driving forward the asset integrity business.
"My career began at Shell; in the UK for five years and then the Netherlands for five years. I did my first offshore work related to the commissioning of the Brent platforms whilst doing my industry-based PhD on laser welding.
"In Den Haag, I selected the materials for the Troll platform and for the 300 well Groningen gas field tubing replacement. As a 25 year old welding engineer I had four Dutch welding engineers reporting to me and I set up the inspection program for the Emmen sour gas plant, laid three onshore clad pipelines and two offshore duplex stainless pipelines.
"I left Shell to establish Intetech at the age of 30 with two kids under the age of three, and only 20 days’ work lined up. Intetech grew slowly, along with the kids, and when they all reached mid-teens I decided to concentrate on growing the business. Intetech then went through every classic painful phase of business growth, but we became an internationally recognised niche SME and clearly a good acquisition prospect."
Liane advocates passion in what you do if you want to succeed: "Enjoying what you do is the key ingredient to being successful at anything. I’ve been a serial specialist and it worked for me; master each subject before you move on. If you know your business you feel confident
and have good self-esteem and you will be a dependable and respected team player. "In terms of my inspirations, I have to say that the legacy of Margaret Thatcher’s ‘enterprise culture’ opened the door for me to start my own business and my amazingly selfless and supportive husband made it possible. My maiden name was Smith and I married John Smith. Despite having childhood dreams of being an opera singer I was clearly meant to be a metallurgist; I like to keep things simple."