Russian cadet engineers a career with SCF Group



It is heartening to hear of young people who know exactly what they want to do with their lives.

One such individual, maritime cadet Evgeny Butyaev, was a special guest at the naming ceremony of SCF Group (Sovcomflot)'s 3,000-dwt icebreaker Gennadiy Nevelskoy (built 2017) at Arctech Helsinki Shipyard.

Butyaev is in his fifth year of studies in electrical engineering at the Admiral Nevelskoy State Maritime University (MSUN), Vladivostok, in Russia's Far East. The university and the ship are named in honour of the Russian navigator and polar explorer Gennady Nevelskoy (1813-1876).

Butyaev is following in the footsteps of SCF Group chief executive Sergey Frank, who also attended MSUN and serves as its honorary president.

Butyaev enrolled at MSUN after finishing school in his home city of Ussuriysk, about 100 kilometres north of Vladivostok. He said: "Like any other school leaver, I was faced with a choice of profession, from many possibilities."

Butyaev's father chose a similar path, graduating from MSUN (then known as the Far Eastern Higher Marine Engineering College) in 1993 to become an electrical engineer.

Butyaev says his decision was also influenced by his success in an international essay contest run by MSUN in 2010.

"I have never for a moment regretted my choice," he said. "It is proving to be the correct one with every passing day."

In 2016, Butyaev was selected for the dedicated education and training programme sponsored by Sovcomflot. He undertook practical training last summer onboard the company's 101,018-dwt ice-class aframax shuttle tanker Victor Konetsky (built 2005) servicing the Sakhalin 1 project.

"The training left a very good impression on me, especially when it came to the way work was organised onboard," Butyaev said.

He was mentored by MSUN graduate Sergey Khalisov, who "shared his invaluable experience, which is essential when working with electrical equipment".

Butyaev says Khalisov's knowledge of organisational matters associated with lengthy voyages was also very helpful, including keeping in good health.

The young cadet has been at sea again since the beginning of February, this time undertaking his pre-graduation practice onboard the Yuri Senkevich, a sistership of the Victor Konetsky. Following that he will defend his graduation diploma project examining the Azipod propulsion system.

"I will then graduate and go on to work at Sovcomflot. If all goes according to plan, this will be as a second electrical officer onboard an Aleksey Chirikov-type platform supply vessel, hopefully on the Gennadiy Nevelskoy," Butyaev said.

He mentions that while studying at MSUN's electromechanical department, he often heard about the challenges of working as a ship's electrical engineer.

"Despite the fact that the electrical officer is often a 'one-of-a-kind' member of the crew, I can confidently say I am not afraid of working at sea alone," he said.

He cited experience, steady hands and a love for the sea as other qualities needed in his chosen profession.

No doubt Admiral Nevelskoy would have given the nod to that.