At OWC, our teams are constantly expanding, into more locations, in expertise and in sectors of influence, so that our people can truly drive safety and sustainability across our energy and oceans.
Every month we introduce you to a member of our team, so that you can meet the energy behind change. This month, we invite you to meet a brand-new member of OWC, Lara Lawrie who joined us in December 2023.
Position: Director of Environment and Consents
Office: London (but based mostly at home in Wales)
Hobbies: We have an almost 4 year old and a labrador I so spend a huge amount of time on the beach or in the garden. When I have time for myself I run, and am endlessly trying to get my garden and greenhouse under control.
Favourite movie: Amelie, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched it.
What does your day-to-day look like at OWC?
As yet, no two days have been the same, but I’m only 3 weeks in at the time of writing, and still learning the ropes. Lots of introductions across all the countries OWC operate in and understanding what services, sectors and clients we support. I know lots of the OWC team from working closely with them on Erebus but the company has been through huge growth in the last couple of years and I’m getting up to speed on all the new services. I’ve been in at the deep end with project work as well, but that’s given me a good insight into the teams, how they operate and how we build in consent support going forward.
What inspired you to join your industry?
I grew up in Lyme Regis and spent all my time either on, in or as physically close as possible to the sea. My interest in the coast and interactions between land, sea, people and the natural environment grew from there, and it was an easy choice to study Marine Geography at university. During my studies, I focused on marine renewables and my dissertation looked at a hybrid renewable energy strategy for the Seychelles (I was obviously angling for a site visit!). My first job interview was for a graduate consultant role supporting offshore wind projects but I didn’t make the cut that time and took a more circuitous route into the sector and ended up where I am now. However, that journey gave me huge insight into both the onshore and offshore renewables sector, major infrastructure and planning, EIA and people… which is ultimately one of the best things about working in offshore wind – everyone is passionate, professional and all working towards the same goal (and are lovely to work with!).
Can you tell us about something exciting you are working on right now?
Absolutely, it’s the reason I joined OWC and that’s to develop and grow our new environment and consents team. It’s a fantastic opportunity to build on OWC’s success within renewables and provide critical support to clients as projects progress from concept to operation and through to decommissioning. The team will help OWC’s multi-disciplinary engineering teams to respond to environmental and consenting requirements and manage the project interface between engineering and environment, de-risking the consenting process for clients. I am so excited about the opportunity and having such fantastic support across the OWC team will make the challenge that much easier.
What does the future look like in energy and oceans?
It looks promising, but still a lot for us to learn and balance. There are huge demands on space and even moving further offshore with floating wind there is still a challenge to balance multiple users and key resource areas, while protecting vulnerable habitats and species. It has to be achieved for marine renewables to be sustainable, but requires greater awareness of the spatial influence of marine renewable projects, the interface with the coast and terrestrial environments and the impact of offshore and onshore infrastructure and planning. It will be challenging but we do need to reflect on what we’ve learnt so far and apply more of those lessons to future leasing rounds, new markets and emerging technologies.
If you’d like to know more about how our Environment and Consents team can help with your project, get in touch today.