In our special column this month, we are glad to host an interview with Mia Elg, R&D Manager, Deltamarin, who wishes the industry to make the transition to sustainable shipping more efficient. In that regard, the interesting challenge would really be to influence in the behavior of entire systems, Mrs Elg notes, highlighting that there are many ways to optimize both environmental and economical performance in shipping.
urthermore, Mrs Elg mentions that the hard work in combination with interesting discussions, arguments and the mutual appreciation of each person’s individual strengths can help push us forward as professionals.
SAFETY4SEA: How did it come about that you joined shipping industry and your field of expertise specifically?
Mia Elg: When I was searching for a Master’s thesis position at the end of my studies, I was actually originally prepared to be pursuing a career in land-based powerplants, but then Deltamarin was searching for a thesis worker for developing heat recovery and energy saving solutions for ships. I immediately felt some connection to the sea side, applied and got the job and still going strong.
S4S: What about your current job/ role most excites you and why?
M.E.: It is still the search for new solutions and improvements that makes the ships more efficient and environmental… that’s for me number one. At Deltamarin we design all kinds of ships and I’ve always had a great autonomy for developing our team, tools and projects, so it is highly motivating for a development-minded person!
S4S: When you think of the word successful who’s the first person who comes to mind and why?
M.E.: I guess the reason for naming Steve Jobs here is because I just happened to see a quotation from him on LinkedIn.. I really admire the combination of beauty, design and technology in creating the Apple products. There is something about the way he saw beyond the technology what people would “need” or perhaps, actually “want”. I hope that similar energy could be harnessed for creating something sustainable for our planet… Having said this, I must also mention a Finnish lady Annu Nieminen who is the founder of the Upright Oy, a company that has a huge ambitious goal to rank companies based on their net impact. The whole work aims to answer to a question: “How should we allocate our scarce resources to maximize the likelihood of survival and a thriving future for humanity?”. To me this is in many ways a true inspiration and a success story that I hope to see more in the future.
S4S: Who is/was the most influential person/mentor to you & why?
M.E.: I’m actually not sure if I can name any specific person, since I have always had a large amount of colleagues from both work and the research side to support me, some with substance knowledge, some with career development. Nevertheless, I have to say that I have mostly been influenced during my career by those fantastic team members that we have developed our products and offering with. I believe this is what has enabled me to develop my thinking most, since we have always had a very skilled team consisting of strong-minded individuals. The interesting discussions, debates, sometimes almost arguments and the mutual appreciation of each person’s individual strengths and the hard work in general has definitely pushed me forward most.
S4S: What is the most worthwhile career investment (in energy, time, money) you’ve ever made?
M.E.: Well, of course I hope that there’s quite much career still ahead of me and actually I cannot yet entirely say where this takes me, but still I must say that my best (and hardest) career investment so far has been my doctoral studies (which still are not finished). During the past years the studies have enabled me to develop my own technical skills, but also the whole team and through this our company has benefitted from these topics. Examples of these are the energy simulations where everything started, but also some optimization and machine learning related studies which originally were not at all a part of my plan. The biggest bonus in this has still without a doubt been meeting many fantastic colleagues and making new friends in the process. After all, it’s all about people I think.
S4S: If you could give a piece of advice to your 18-year-old-self one thing, what would it be and why? What piece of advice should you ignore?
M.E.: Probably just to encourage to trust and believe in myself. I cannot really now remember many very bad advice gotten ever, but I would definitely ignore any advice of people saying when certain things should be done or especially learned or else it’s too late.
S4S: In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your business life?
M.E.: I’m not sure if my colleagues would 100% agree but I at least hope that I have become a better listener.
S4S: What would you like to change in the current maritime landscape and your area of expertise specifically and why?
M.E.: Since I have always been driven by somehow making the world a better place, and especially regarding the environmental aspects, I would really like to see us as an industry to even better being able to make the transition to sustainable shipping more efficient. The interesting challenge would really be to influence in the behavior of entire systems. As a practical example of something what I mean is the Blue Visby solution, where the purpose is to reduce shipping GHG emissions (in addition to certain other benefits) in a collaborative way, including sharing operational data etc. There are quite many ways to optimize both environmental and economical performance in shipping.
S4S: What is your personal motto?
M.E.: Hmm… perhaps the best way to translate it from my two home languages is to say: Life is good
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.