Meet the team - Arron Jackaman

Meet the team - Arron Jackaman

Arron Jackaman is a senior inspection engineer and ISO 9712/17024 Level 3 non-destructive engineer based in Bidston, nr Liverpool in the UK. 

He joined Brookes Bell in 2016 and has worked in the Heavy Industry sector for 18 years, specialising in marine, offshore and land based heavy plant installations and asset integrity management.  Here he talks a bit about his career and work with Brookes Bell.

My background was originally in electrical engineering.  When I left school, I enrolled on an apprenticeship scheme and qualified as an industrial electrician working around the UK on the installation and commissioning of electrical systems in industrial plants.  I then studied to HNC level planning to build a career as an electrical engineer.  But I also really wanted to travel and when I was offered the opportunity to work offshore, I jumped at it.  That was where I met and worked with metallurgy, materials and welding professionals, I was fascinated by their disciplines and using my knowledge of electrics and electronics I began practicing non-destructive testing (NDT). 

The two disciplines have much more crossover than people think, and although my primary focus was the ultrasonic testing of welds and metal structures, Brookes Bell now specialises in electromagnetics, so I actually feel like my career has come full circle. 

I use my knowledge and experience gained over the different fields to innovate and push the boundaries of non-destructive testing, more than that, being able to create new ways to test materials with electromagnetics is not just a career, it’s a hobby too.

I started working offshore in my early 20’s as an NDT operator.  Initially I was stationed in the North Sea and Norwegian sectors working for various oil and energy majors.  After several years I joined an American inspection and testing company and was sent to Africa and the Middle East – working both on and offshore. It was a good time for oil and gas and the industry was booming and so our work was very diverse.  I got the opportunity to hone my skills in various advanced methods of NDT and ran crews of highly trained NDT technicians offshore for several years.  After a short stint in South America working out of Brazil for my own inspection company, I joined Brookes Bell, and started working as a subject matter expert on various marine casualty and new build investigations. 

This type of work really opened the doors for innovation as the shipping industry historically uses ‘old school’ conventional methods of inspection and testing. This is because of the vast amount of structural steel on commercial ships and the requirement to be prudent and keep costs down. As a result, the industry uses a lot of manpower and cheaper equipment to get vast inspections done fast!  That, and the fact that ship structures aren’t as volatile as oil, gas and petrochemical assets, means that the boundaries don’t get pushed as much in the quest for superior NDT technologies.

What we see here at Brookes Bell though, is the chance to make routine and critical inspections on ships a lot quicker and a lot more accurate.  In the context and setting of a litigation there really is no alternative to a robust easy to visualise set of recordable data – for proving a case by way of evidence.  This is the main driving factor behind our move into eddy current array and pulsed eddy current technology – being able to deliver precisely this kind of data to support our client’s cases.

I’m really excited about the next few years as we continue to innovate and apply new approaches to our work.  We’ll be growing the inspection and testing team reflecting the increasing amount of work in this area and we are all really looking forward to being able to travel more freely as the COVID-19 restrictions start to ease.

My family is from Liverpool originally, but I grew up between the Wirral and Liverpool and was based out of the North West until I was 20 years old.  When I’m not working, I do a lot of gym training and I love city life – Liverpool is a vibrant, buzzing city, so you can guess what that consists of!  Once we come out of lockdown and the travel restrictions ease up, I’m really looking forward to holidaying abroad again and travelling for work – I really do like exploring!

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