Kenny Rodgers began his career as a trainee metallurgist with a small foundry in 1969 before joining British Steel’s Tubes Division Research Section. During the early part of his career, Kenny took time on a day release basis to obtain a Graduateship of the Institution of Metallurgists before moving to join Babcock Power, where he was introduced to welding engineering. With his background in metallurgy, Kenny spent eight years with Babcock Power split around short spell with Y-ARD.
In 1985, he moved to the north of Scotland, where he worked in offshore fabrication for Brown and Root Highland Fabricators / BARMAC. After 20 years, Kenny was on the move again, this time to Subsea 7, who he remained with until his retirement.
Kenny’s career also saw him join as a graduate Member of the Welding Institute, taking his Membership examinations in 1979, for which he was awarded the CW Hill prize. Although his career had begun as a metallurgist, Kenny decided to join The Welding Institute once he was working at Babcock Power as his move into welding engineering took hold. He explained that this decision was made as he saw Membership as ‘the only relevant way to gain professional recognition.’
With his membership eventually seeing him awarded a Fellowship at The Welding Institute, Kenny says he was enlisted as a volunteer by the late Harry Mackintosh, who, upon awarding Kenny with the CW Hill prize at a Scottish Branch dinner, jokingly stated that there was ‘no such thing as a free lunch.’
Joining the committee of the Scottish Branch as treasurer, Kenny also became involved in the arrangements for the annual dinners. However, his responsibilities as a volunteer would grow when he moved to Tain to work with Highlands Fabricators, where he served for around six years on the Professional Board of The Welding Institute and assisted with the assessment of professional membership applications.
Kenny’s involvement with professional applications grew over time until, when based in Aberdeen with Subsea 7 he was typically conducting around six interviews per year for all grades of Membership and Registration (Member IEng, and CEng). His training for this consisted of presentations and guidance documents as well as observing a number of interviews. His later volunteering experience included auditing CPD records and reviewing applications online.
While Kenny said that the benefits of volunteering differ between individuals, he noted that it was the people you meet and the contacts you make that are perhaps the most beneficial aspect. Of course, volunteering is also good for your own CPD and looks good on your CV.
He also revealed that his volunteering work was always supported and encouraged by his employers, who were keen for him to stay involved. This, Kenny believes, is because a good employer will recognise the benefits to an employee’s involvement through informal contacts with other professionals – including some clients.
As for advice for others who may be considering volunteering, Kenny simply said, ‘go for it,’ adding, ‘if it doesn’t work for you then there is no harm done.’
If you would like to follow in Kenny's footsteps and 'go for it' then contact us today!