A journey from a welder to developing model-based software

Michael Hodgson

Br8WN27cM. Hodgson has worked in the construction industry for over 25 years in various roles, from Fabricator to Draftsman to 3D CAD CAM software solutions supplier. As Technical Manager in Tekla Corporation, he facilitates numerous projects such as the Rayong Oil Refinery in Thailand, and London Heathrow Terminal 5, and is actively involved in the implementation of BIM technology in projects worldwide.


It’s a Sunday morning in early February and it’s finally looking quite nice outside after a month of consistent rain and storms which has given me quite a while to reflect on this Offshore Webinar and the Offshore construction / fabrication industry in general.

I missed the golden years of Offshore Platform Fabrication in the UK which mainly occurred during the 1970’s an old boss of mine however was involved in RIG design in those days and I always remember him telling me nobody had any idea what they were doing and you could pretty much charge what you wanted to for any offshore rig design / detailing work. As we all know those days are long gone and anyone involved in offshore construction finds themselves in a very highly competitive and in many ways ruthless market.

My career started when I left school at 16 being and from an industrial northern UK city almost everyone went into heavy industry, for myself it was to work at a local structural steel fabricators, it was your typical company started just after war with very little investment and no modernisation / investment for decades and a scant regard for health and safety, I started as a welder / fabricator which meant we did everything from running machines to loading trucks for delivery, the company was eventually bought out by a big mining consortium  who put the investment that was so desperately needed for its survival .

During this time I obtained my welding qualifications and had an opportunity to move into the drawing office just as computerisation and automation in the workshop was being introduced , I want back to university in the evening to study diplomas in CAD/CAM while at work, the first 3 dimensional structural steelwork system was implemented (the first in the UK).

Along with a colleague Inevitably we started working for the software company and I was immediately  assigned to an EPC / Offshore Platform project in South East Asia  where I had to demonstrate the capabilities of the software then implement train, integrate to analysis and design software’s and finally link to workshop floor CNC machinery, most of this had never been done before and there was no one to ask for assistance we had to figure most things out by ourselves, I don’t know how many people reading this found themselves in the same situation ?.

From this point I then further qualified on as a C++ certified programmer, MCP, MSCE, MCT and certified professional presenter always in the structural industry.

As we look at today’s offshore industry it’s amazing how far things have moved on even from those pioneering days, with 3 dimensional pipe cutting machines, plate plasma cutting,  workshop simulations and true integrations of software platforms make these fantastic times to be in our industry.

I’m very pleased to be asked to present our webinar.

We will cover an the construction life of an offshore platform all the way from conception to detailing, fabrication and yard assembly, utilising the latest and best tools for the project with all of this is based around our central software offering Tekla Structures where we will show you how Tekla Structures is the main focal point of the whole project.

I hope you enjoy what we have to show and look forward to hearing your feedback register here to secure a place.

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