C-Job Naval Architects celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. What started as a small naval architectural office 10 years ago has grown into an established and well-respected company. Using various projects and a growing number of in-house disciplines to demonstrate how the company has developed, Managing Director Basjan Faber looks back at some of the most significant moments of the previous decade.
“In terms of vessels, there have been numerous milestones,” says Basjan. “The St. Pierre – a Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger – was probably the first. We provided the concept, basic and detail design for French shipyard STX Lorient. Another memorable project was the cargo vessel Atlantic Dawn. The first steel for this ship was cut just six months after we started, and the finished vessel was nominated for ‘Ship of the Year’.”
More recently, C-Job’s momentum has continued with additional vessels, each of which further cementing the company’s respected position in the maritime sector. “We are very proud to have worked on the initial, concept & basic designs for the Texelstroom,” adds Basjan, referring to the CNG-Electric passenger ferry that won the 2017 Shippax Ferry Award. “And, of course the dredgers that we designed for DEME and Van Oord are also significant vessels.”
With regard to its scope of expertise, C-Job has also exhibited substantial growth over the previous decade. Clients can approach the company for all the major disciplines of ship design. This includes naval architecture and hydromechanics, mechanical engineering and structural engineering. At this point, however, a word must be said about the sheer depth of knowledge in each of these specialist fields. Stability and motion analysis, for instance, are two different aspects of hydrodynamics. And mechanical engineering can be further split into piping, HVAC or other necessary equipment.
“As we have grown, we have consistently looked at the expectations of our clients because, in order to deliver the best service, you have to look at what the client needs. We have developed into a company that has all the in-house skills to design a product with fully integrated mission equipment.”
Ship design is a dynamic field of knowledge, changing over the years as technologies and markets evolve. “Consequently, we have developed our service portfolio in line with these changes. A very relevant example of this is our incorporation of Interior Engineering into our skills set.”
Building a team
On considering the variety of vessels and strength of disciplines displayed by C-Job since its outset, the most significant factor behind the company’s success and subsequent growth has been the input of its personnel. “We have a very dynamic group of professionals working here. And our output – in terms of the vessels we design and the clients we serve – has purely been the result of a team effort.”
That team has grown to a total of over 75 members of staff, working in three locations in the Netherlands; Joure, Rotterdam and the head office in Hoofddorp. “The social aspects of working in an office are crucial. It is for this reason that we have purposely kept the number of people working at each office to a relatively low number – there are many benefits of having smaller teams. Our experience is that there is less hierarchy and individuals have a greater sense of responsibility in a small team. In addition, short and efficient lines of communication are a natural product of small teams. And, adding to the creativity and productivity, team spirit is an extremely important part of working at C-Job.” To this end, social events and team activities are regular occurrences.
The next 10 years
As Basjan looks forward to the coming 10 years, how does he want to see C-Job developing? “Our future growth must be driven by knowledge,” he answers. “It is for this reason that for the last couple of years we have increased our investment into R&D – looking into subjects such as Innovative Processes, Big Data, and Sustainability.”
“Furthermore, we want to increase our international presence. We are going to achieve this by repeating the formula that we have used in our three Dutch offices.” On this subject, he is keen to point out the difference between sales offices and production locations: “For sales purposes, we intend to position ourselves where our clients are located. For production, on the other hand, the most important factor here is the ability to source the best people – to continue to grow an experienced and expert team.”