The marine industry might not be the first you associate with Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perthshire – but there’s a long history of maritime excellence here, and year on year its presence in the region continues to grow. Pathfinders across the region are involved in projects of all sizes, producing innovative research and developments that are driving the sector forward not just here in Scotland, but across the globe.
Looking to the past, Victoria Drummond became the first female merchant navy marine engineer in Britain, and the first woman to join the Institute of Marine Engineers. Gaining her qualifications at Dundee Technical College, she served at sea on 35 ships between 1922 and 1962 – and showed great courage during World War II, earning the Lloyd’s War Medal for Bravery at Sea and an MBE.
This spirit of trailblazing innovation continues to this day in everything that happens in the bustling marine industry.
Montrose Port, for example, has seen many innovations and developments take place in recent months. With over £20 million invested in the port’s infrastructure over the last decade, it is well-equipped to handle the demands of the maritime industry.
Thanks to this expansion, ChainCo – the world’s largest anchor chain inspection firm, has been able to expand its operations, meaning Montrose is now the Europe’s top port for the industry.
The Port of Dundee, too, was last year confirmed as the assembly site for the Neart na Gaoithe offshore windfarm – a 54 turbine development that brings together the maritime and energy industries. The project will offset over 400,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions each year.
That focus on protecting and observing the environment is present in much of the region’s maritime activity. The University of St Andrews, for example, is currently studying the way that coastal erosion and climate change affects some of the world’s best-known links golf courses.
And one University of Dundee PhD student had got even close to the coast than that… Elizabeth Mills has launched a self-produced nature documentary series on YouTube – when the Tide retreats. Following in the footsteps of great naturalists like David Attenborough, she aims to increase the public’s awareness of the marine life on the coastline around them.
From incredible developments in marine biology to new advances in technologies, Dundee and the surrounding area can certainly hold its own in the marine sector – and long may it continue.