Brian Newhook

Project Manager

Genoa Design
St. John's, NL

Why did Brian choose this career area?

Brian has always been interested in ships and curious about how things work. A naval architecture career was the obvious choice; he never really considered other work. His high school courses in math and physics helped prepare him for the engineering field.

What’s Brian’s educational background?

Brian graduated from Marine Institute in 2002 with a Diploma in Naval Architecture. Since then, he has taken technical courses and learned a great deal more. He will begin a Masters Certificate in Project Management from York University in the fall.

What’s Brian’s job all about?

Since joining Genoa Design, Brian has worked at a shipyard in Wisconsin, USA. He has also worked with NL shipyards on small fishing boats, often using fiberglass. For the past five years he has focused on steel fabrication, working with shipyards all over North America on tugs, barges, supply boats, tow boats, and ferries. He has designed refit, stability, and hull work.

Brian has recently been promoted to project manager. He makes sure all client information is correct and managed on time. Genoa does some high profile work, including two projects with the US Navy. Brian is currently managing the production design of three different vessels being built in Rhode Island, USA, all from his office here in NL.

Genoa Design produces a “builder’s book” for vessels. They model every piece of steel in 3D and virtually build the vessel on computers. The 3D model produces the data the shipyard needs to build the vessel, thus saving the client time and money.

What are Brian’s working conditions like?

Brian works in a professional office environment in a spacious, comfortable building just outside St. John’s. Most staff work 10-hour days four days a week; they then enjoy three-day weekends. However, even that is flexible. Employees are treated with respect, and personal circumstances are always considered.

Genoa’s work place encourages hard work and creativity. They have a flat screen TV for breaks and a Nintendo Wii for quick, energetic time outs.

While work time can be flexible, employees work co-operatively so that projects are done on time and on budget. Employees share in decision making and meet regularly to exchange ideas.

What benefits are associated with Brian’s job?

Today’s job market means graduates can expect a start salary of approximately $45,000; this can easily reach $100,000 for those who work on contract in the US. Brian’s benefits include medical and dental coverage, good vacation time, family days, profit sharing, and even an RRSP top-up plan. The salary and benefits are great, as is the excitement of working on major projects. There are opportunities to travel for work, but there’s also the benefit of working close to home. Perks include expense-paid Christmas celebrations, promotional clothing, special lunches, and an employee recognition program.

What’s exciting or cool about Brian’s career area?

Brian has worked on cutting-edge projects internationally. As a first-year graduate, he visited companies and shipyards in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, and Norway. He says seeing a ship launched and christened is very rewarding.

Brian thinks his career is a perfect balance of work and family life. He lives exactly where he wants to be: on a quiet pond in the woods, outside of St John’s. The occasional trip to a shipyard for on-site work is great for a change of pace.

What advice would Brian give to people considering a marine transportation career?

Brian says time management is critical for project managers. The role often demands a large volume of work in a limited time, so discipline is required. It’s essential to work efficiently when deadlines must be met.

People with strong time-management skills should consider a career in marine transportation project management.