Caragh McWhirr

Caragh McWhirr
Senior Consultant Engineer

What does your role cover?
I specialise in field development work and in appraise and concept select phases of projects. This type of work always involves a lot of uncertainty, so being comfortable with and understanding risk is important. I also need to be able to identify what is important and will influence decisions now and what aspects can be dealt with later - which is not always easy. My degree is in electrical & mechanical engineering but a broad understanding of all aspects of oil and gas production is necessary.  I initially worked in technical safety and then in process engineering, so I’ve got a pretty broad base. I work a lot with subsea and flow assurance on field development studies, and have learnt a lot from them over the years.

Best Xodus moment?
XCYC Cairngorms in 2014. We’ve had a few Xodus cycling trips over the years – London to Den Haag, Mallorca, Surrey Hills – and I’ve been on all of them. My favourite was the loop of the Cairngorms we did in 2014. I’d picked the route, and it was fantastic to share some of my favourite cycling routes with other people. There was a great buzz when we got to the Lecht ski centre as well – that climb alone was a big challenge, but everyone managed it absolutely fine. Smiles all around at the top.

Greatest challenge?
Over the last three years I have successfully converted myself from a cyclist into a runner, which I had long thought would be impossible. I was born with my feet turned over at 90 degrees, and although it was fixed when I was a baby, it led to a lot of knee problems and poor mechanics for running as an adult. Understanding how to run and how to build up the miles without injury has been a really big challenge, with many failed attempts over the years. However, I have at last cracked it. An ongoing challenge is fitting in structured training around work and the rest of life in general, and I reckon I’ve gotten pretty good at managing that too. I’ve had some decent race results this year, and I’m keen to see how much faster I can get while the novice effect still outweighs getting older!

Why Xodus?
The work can be very varied, and that variety is a big motivator. I’ve had opportunities to do lots of different types of work over the years. A focus on quality is also important to me – with both my running and work, I want to get the best results. There has always been opportunity and support for social activities such as XCYC as well.