Executive Chair and co-founder of Osbit Ltd, Dr Tony Trapp MBE has been presented with an award for his outstanding contribution to the UK subsea industry.
The Outstanding Contribution to the Subsea Industry Award from Subsea UK recognises the exceptional impact made by an individual to the subsea sector over the course of their career. It was presented to Tony Trapp at the Subsea UK 2020 Awards and Dinner held at the Subsea Expo in Aberdeen on the 12th February.
During his 50-year career as an engineer, entrepreneur and leader in the offshore industry, Tony Trapp has developed multiple pieces of world-first technology and has helped drive the country’s engineering economy through supporting the development of hundreds of engineers and engineering supply-chain businesses.
He has also been instrumental in setting up and leading three globally significant engineering companies to success. He was a founder of Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD), IHC Engineering Business (formerly The Engineering Business) and, more recently, Osbit Ltd, established in 2000.
Early in his career, Tony applied his knowledge of soil mechanics to help develop the world’s first subsea ploughs, which have revolutionised telecoms, oil and gas and, more recently, the offshore wind market. He personally led the development of the world’s first PLC-based control system for a subsea vehicle, introducing numerous productivity benefits for operators, having taught himself how to code.
As a direct result of the success of that initial research, in which Tony was a key driving force, the North East of England has become the world’s supply hub for pipe and cable burial trenchers.
Bill Edgar, Chairman of Subsea UK said “Dr Tony Trapp has established himself as one of the UK’s leading offshore engineers and Subsea UK is delighted to award him for his outstanding contribution to the industry both as an engineer and an entrepreneur. There is no doubt that Dr Trapp has been an inspirational figure for hundreds of young engineers and companies that have benefitted from his skills and knowledge over the course of his career, particularly in the North East of England.”
Tony’s passion for innovation in enabling technology has extended to other aspects of offshore engineering. Soon after establishing Osbit, Tony and his fellow directors developed a novel solution to combat the dangers of offshore access between crew transfer vessels and offshore wind turbines. The technology was quickly adopted by multiple companies including Siemens and has since been used across the world, including in the Chinese and Japanese offshore wind markets.
Today, Osbit employs over 100 people and staff own 20% of the business. With Tony’s support and guidance, in its first nine years Osbit has invented, manufactured and delivered almost £100m of subsea equipment to international operators from its base in North East England, supporting major offshore wind and oil & gas projects across four continents, for customers in Australia, the Far East, USA and Europe.
Osbit Director Steve Bedford said: “At the heart of Tony’s success lies a drive to develop those who work with him for the benefit of the industry.
“One of his many talents is knowing how to get the best out of young graduates and encouraging them to become excellent, commercially minded engineers who enthusiastically deliver a wide range of subsea and offshore technology to developers, vessel owners and energy customers around the world.”