Employee Spotlight: Kevin Robinson Shares His Evolutionary Career Journey at Weeks Marine
In a Weeks Marine employee spotlight Q&A, Kevin Robinson, Project Manager and former Northeast Area Business Development Lead, shared how his career with Weeks evolved since it began in 2007 and what he is most proud of working on in his time with Weeks, among other topics.
When did you start working at Weeks and in what role?
I started working for Weeks in 2007 as a Staff Engineer in the Construction Division’s engineering department. One of my first assignments was supporting the design, fabrication, and assembly of the Weeks 571, which was our newest crane barge at the time, including the hanging leads pile driver system, a smaller version of what had been developed for the Weeks 526.
Early in my career with Weeks Marine I had the opportunity to travel to New Brunswick in Canada to deliver parts for the main generator for one of our cranes at a project in Canaport. Despite the parts causing a bit of confusion as I went through airport security, I was able to make it to the job and ended up staying for about a week, getting involved with some modifications to one of our cranes. Experiencing a large-scale project in a true ‘marine’ environment like the Bay of Fundy was impactful and was a driver for me stepping out of the office and spending the next phase of my career in the field.
How has your role at Weeks Marine evolved since you started?
My role at Weeks has changed a lot over the past 16 years. I have worked in operations on a wide range of diverse projects including a new ship berth for an oil terminal on the Delaware River, the Willis Ave. Bridge, upgrades to FDNY homeport for Marine 9, and a pier replacement for the Coast Guard at their Training Facility in Cape May. In addition to my time spent in Operations, I worked in our Greenville Yard with the equipment group, and worked in the Cranford office with the estimating department, eventually being tasked with leading the Northeast Business Development for our Construction Division. More recently, I have returned to Operations working on the Living Breakwaters project.
What is your favorite part about working for Weeks Marine?
My favorite part about working for Weeks is that every job is different. We are always faced with new challenges that require us to leverage our experience but also think outside the box and come up with creative new ways to deliver the job. This is true during all phases of the project’s life cycle, from developing the opportunity and preparing the bid proposal to preconstruction planning with engineering and equipment mobilization, and throughout project execution.
What are you most proud of in your career with Weeks Marine so far?
I have been fortunate to be involved with a number of successful projects over the years, which is only possible when surrounded by a strong team and through the contributions made by others. Overall, I am most proud of my time leading the Northeast Business Development group for Weeks’ Construction Division. This was a new position that had been created to support the estimating department with lead generation, client relationships, capture planning, and assisting with bid proposals. It took time to get the ball rolling, develop relationships with clients and engineers, and allow long-lead pursuits to come to fruition. Finally seeing that effort pay off, and winning jobs that I had a hand in developing was rewarding.
What was the most challenging project you’ve worked on at Weeks Marine?
Most of the work that we undertake is challenging by its nature. One job that stands out, in particular, is a pipeline project that was located three miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean. Weeks Marine was a key subcontractor supporting the pipe lay operations and the horizontal direction drilling (HDD) shoreline crossing – the portion of the pipeline that crosses underneath the beach and ties in with the onshore segment. The location of the job made every aspect of the work more challenging, and during the 1-mile pull-back, the pipe string became stuck a few hundred feet from the finish line.
Our team had to quickly shift from marine support to assist with the design and leading the construction of an on-shore cofferdam to support the 50-foot excavation for pipeline recovery and tie-in, which ran through the middle of a golf course. We completed the design-assist and preconstruction and mobilized in less than three months, and with teams working around the clock we were able to install a cofferdam including an 80-foot steel sheet piling, two tiers of internal bracing, perform excavation and dredging, install a tremie slab and dewater in just two months. The pipeline was completed and the site was restored shortly after.
How would you describe our company culture?
Weeks company culture is a melting pot. We have people from different generations and backgrounds – maritime, equipment, construction, engineering, and more – all from different parts of the U.S. and world coming together to deliver our work, with a strong emphasis on safety and personal relationships.
What do you want prospective employees to know about working at Weeks Marine? Why should someone consider a career with us?
As a Weeks employee, you will get to wear many different hats, and be given opportunities to forge your own path as you develop your career. Weeks Marine builds just about any type of coastal infrastructure, and no two jobs are the same. If you are looking for a fast-paced, dynamic environment, and working as part of a team to overcome challenges, I would strongly consider a career with Weeks Marine.