Alexander Zacheshigriva



A-levels: Maths, Physics and IT. Studied in Edinburgh University


2009 -Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Edinburgh University

Work History:

Worked in bars in spain during uni hollidays, had a student placement at the National Engineering Laboratories, since graduation (2009) work at the Rosyth Dockyard.


Babcock International Group

Current Job:

Marine Systems Engineer

Me and my work

I am a young engineer, working in a busy dockyard that builds and repairs ships, mostly navy.

I was born in Russia (USSR back then), at the age of 9 I moved to Spain with my family. After finishing school I went to the university in Scotland after 5 years in Edinburgh I got a masters degree, lots of great friends, a Welsh girlfriend and passion for the sea.

I do a lot of sports: football, touch rugby, sailing and underwater hockey (it’s a great sport!). I am also a qualified dive instructor and often dive and teach with the university diving club.

I work at one of the biggest and busiest dockyards in the country. Our main business traditionally was refitting navy ships. Ships serve for 30-50 years and every few years they need to go to a dry dock to get repaired and upgraded. But now the biggest project for us is the Assembly of the new aircraft carriers. These are the biggest vessels that royal navy ever had, they are build across a few sites around the UK and all the blocks arrive to Rosyth to be assembled into one massive ship. I have worked in different teams that look at different aspects of building this vessels: getting the material on site, transporting the blocks by sea, lifting them with the biggest crane in the UK, providing power for welders that build the ship and others.

Now I work in the marine systems engineering team we deal with great variety of projects not just the carriers but also frigates, destroyers, minesweepers, power stations, oil and gas platforms, etc

My Typical Day

I work in an office with other engineers. I do engineering calculations, write reports, go to the ships to collect data and speak to people that work and live on them.

Every day I drive from Edinburgh to Rosyth over forth road bridge and enjoy the great view of sunrise behind the forth rail bridge. A great engineering masterpiece. I find that this massive, steel, man-made structure really highlights how pretty the scenery itself is.

Once in the yard, I head over to my office, catch up with the team, check emails and make a quick plan for the day. Depending on what work is in I may spend almost the whole day in the office, working at the computer, doing calculations or writing up a report.

But usually a few hours a day are spend in meetings and more often than not I go out on the ships or the workshops that we are doing the design for to see the construction, take measurements or meet up with the people who will be building or using the systems that we design.

I find my work is a good mixture of working on my own and contributing to a larger team. I enjoy working on my own because it gives me a sense of ownership and achievement but I do enjoy working with others because there is always good banter.

The best thing about my work is the variety of projects that we work on, the size of them (in time and money as well as physical size) vary greatly. I do see us as a team of people that provide solutions to any technical problems and this is what makes me feel very useful.

What I'd do with the money

I will help set up an activity day with local schools where children can learn more about ship design by making model boats.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Optimist, curious, different

Who is your favourite singer or band?

Don’t really have one. My choices keep changing.

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Probably, going on exploratory dive trips with my club to remote parts of Scotland… or… La Tomatina in Spain.

What was your favourite subject at school?

PE if we played football or basketball, otherwise computing and physics

What did you want to be after you left school?

What I am actually, student and then an engineer. Wanted to design things and see them being built and work.

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Sometimes, but not a lot. Have been caught for smoking, missing classes, other things. Had a conflict with my french teacher at the 5th grade.

What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?

Concept design of an offshore wind turbine maintenance vessel.

Tell us a joke.

Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the world together.

Other stuff

Work photos:

Unfortunately I can not take pictures at my work as it is a secured site. So I am publishing here some pictures that have already been released in the internet.

myimage1 myimage3