SMD has been formally presented with a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise by His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent. His Royal Highness presented the Award in the innovation category as part of a visit to SMD's head office and manufacturing facility in Wallsend, North East England.
During the visit His Royal Highness was given a tour of the facility where SMD manufacturers and tests its Work Class Rsubsea remotely oOperated vVehicles (WROVsS). Prince Michael was introduced to SMD's workforce including a group of apprentices who are at varying stages of their training with the company.
His High Royal Highness also witnessed the inspection of a subsea ROV in SMD's onsitelarge testing tanktesting facility and took control of a ROV simulation system as part of a simulated exercise in the company's training suite.
SMD's WROVS remote intervention equipment operates in hazardous environments across the globe e. They are utilised in a number of markets including subsea oil & gas, telecommunications, scientific, nuclear, marine renewable energys and subsea mining.
The company also hosted a reception The visit concluded with a celebration for staff where HRH Prince Michael of Kent presented the Queen's Award for Enterprise to SMD's Chief Executive, Andrew Hodgson.
The event marks a successful 12 months for the company . In 2010 SMD won the industry's largest ever single work- class ROV order for twenty vehicles from Subsea 7, as well as manufacturing the world's largest free stream tidal turbine for Atlantis Resources Corporation. Engineering design work also ramped up on the development of world-first deepwater mining equipment for Nautilus Minerals Inc.
SMD's most recent trenching ROV model, the Q-Trencher, has been utilised by operators in China and Japan, where it has been involved in subsea communications cable repair following the recent earthquake and tsunami.
In addition to its riverside head office and manufacturing facility in Wallsend, and offices in Malton, North Yorkshire, Singapore, Houston, and Macae in Brazil, SMD has expanded its presence in the North East in the past year.
SMD recently added a dedicated design office at the Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside and an additional production facility at the Tyne Tunnel Trading Estate, which will become an ROV Centre of Excellence.
The expansion in facilities, as well as doubling the workforce from 120 to almost 300 staff, enables SMD to meet a growing order book as well as positioning it for further growth. Further recruitment is underway for an additional 30 positions for its North East and Yorkshire operations.
Andrew Hodgson, SMD Chief Executive Officer, said: "It was a real honour to welcome His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent to SMD. His visit is the pinnacle of an exceptional year 18 months at SMD, which has seen the business grow in terms of size, markets, workforce and reputation.
"Prince Michael He was very interested in our technology, its applications and the skilled personnel we employ. His interest in mechanical industryengineering and manufacturing was very evident and I hope he has become another advocate for the globally-renowned North East subsea sector."