The UK’s leading offshore infrastructure support vessel operator, North Star, has appointed James Bradford as its chief technology officer (CTO) as the organisation scales up its onshore operations for further growth in the offshore wind sector across Europe.
In the newly created role, James will accelerate the company’s ESG and decarbonisation strategies by delivering a technological roadmap to drive performance and innovation investments as the firm progresses towards its fleet decarbonisation target of 2040.
James has more than 30 years’ strategic and operational experience in the maritime sector. He joins from ship management specialist V. Group, where he was global head of technical. Whilst there, he played a key role in the company’s innovation agenda which also redefined the industry’s fleet cell model for technical management.
His other significant tenures include almost five years at Gulf Marine Services where he was general manager (GM) for North West Europe before being promoted to chief operating officer in the United Arab Emirates. Prior to this, James was GM for operations at marine transportation company GulfMark for eight years, and at James Fisher also for eight years, where he climbed the ranks to technical director responsible for its tanker, offshore, and nuclear fuel fleets.
James also has significant seagoing experience. As a chief engineer in his early career, he achieved Class I Unlimited certification, and project managed the ship construction team on a 16 vessel build over a two-year period.
Reporting directly to the firm’s CEO Matthew Gordon, and based in Aberdeen, James said: “It’s a very exciting time to be joining the business as CTO. North Star is an immensely well-respected, steadfast vessel operator with an enduring reputation in the North Sea. Since securing four long-term charters for its new hybrid propulsion service operations vessel design, its prominence has rippled across the offshore wind market, opening up multiple new opportunities for the business and its next fleet.
“Ensuring the business continues to invest in the best innovations to hasten its sustainability goals across its existing ships and implemented into new forthcoming SOV designs, is a very exciting time to join as CTO. I’m looking forward to helping to shape the future of its fleet and leading its technical digitisation strategy.”
North Star Chief exec Matthew Gordon added: “James has an exceptional track record for delivering results across all aspects of new fleet constructions for on time delivery. He is also very tuned in to the latest technical developments which will help guide our executive team to identify and leverage new opportunities to maximise future investment and deliver value to our shareholders.
“His strong leadership and managerial skills will also add another layer of expertise as we expand our team and makes him the perfect fit for our organisation. We look forward to working together.”