As the Director, Facilities and Maintenance, Rob and his team play a key role in maintaining the most modern shipyard in North America. From his involvement in the massive Halifax Shipyard Modernization project to overseeing day-to-day maintenance of our facilities and equipment, Rob helps ensure our 1,800 shipbuilders have tools, equipment, and facilities required to build Canada's future Naval fleet.
While pursuing his Engineering degree at Dalhousie University, Rob completed two work-terms with Irving Shipbuilding sister company Irving Pulp and Paper. He enjoyed his experience with the company so much, that during his final year he jumped at the chance apply for a Junior Mechanical Engineer position at another J.D. Irving, Limited company, Irving Paper in New Brunswick.
For Rob, it was ideal that he could pursue a career in his chosen field while remaining in Atlantic Canada, close to his family and friends. He worked with a mentor in the organization to complete his Engineer in Training hours and gain his professional engineer certification.
Rob benefitted from joining an organization with a strong focus on developing young engineers. Irving Paper took the time to teach the new engineers project management skills, organizational skills, introductions to working with contractors, and other basic foundational skills for a successful engineer. Through his work he was able to get his Professional Project Management Certification.
Early in his career with Irving Paper, Rob had the opportunity to be involved in the first phase of the modernization of Paper Machine #1, a $225 million project over four years. During this time, he gained valuable firsthand knowledge working alongside senior project engineers. As the project progressed into the second phase, Rob was given the opportunity to grow with it by taking ownership over parts of the project and managing $20 million in capital work.
“It’s very exciting to be from the Maritimes and work for a company that is Maritime based and can compete nationally and internationally. We get opportunities to work on projects in Atlantic Canada that most people think you need to move away to do. That is not the case. In the course of my career I have worked on a breadth of projects that have allowed me to grow and learn exponentially.”
As the project wound down, Rob was selected to participate in the first class of the J.D. Irving, Limited Executive Masters of Business program at the University of Western Ontario. The program allowed Rob to meet and learn from senior executives from across the company. He transitioned to a job shadow arrangement with a senior operations engineer in the company and continued to develop.
In 2012, a Facilities Manager position at Irving Shipbuilding allowed Rob to come back to Halifax while staying in the J.D. Irving, Limited organization. With the $360 million Halifax Shipyard Modernization Project just beginning, it was an exciting time to join the company as they worked to establish Halifax Shipyard as a center of excellence for shipbuilding and in-service support for navy vessels.
Since becoming a Director in 2016, Rob has taken the opportunity to mirror his experience with J.D. Irving, Limited and further develop young talent in-house. Rob takes great satisfaction in watching engineers he has recruited and developed blossom and grow in the company. He also works as a mentor with Engineer’s Nova Scotia’s Engineer in Training program.
Rob continues to enjoy a rewarding career while raising his young family in his home province.
Learn more about the rewarding careers available with Irving Shipbuilding at ShipsforCanada.ca/Careers