MEMBER NEWS: North Star announces James Bradford as chief technology officer

April 25, 2023
MEMBER NEWS: North Star announces James Bradford as chief technology officer

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.”

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AREG is the original energy transition organisation, working on behalf of members to empower the energy supply chain and champion its expertise. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more about membership.

AREG has played an important role in the growth of Scotland’s renewable energy sector, engaging the supply chain and developing the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. However, we are only at the very beginning of the transition that AREG was established to both lead and support so there are still opportunities for companies to get into the constantly evolving renewables supply chain. We look forward to continuing our work together as renewables builds on its place as Scotland’s main source of power, and as we seek to deliver real change in the crucial areas of heat and transport.

Scottish Renewables

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce has worked closely with AREG since its formation. The recent progress in the developments of offshore wind projects by Equinor and Vattenfall are as a result of the work of the group over many years. The north-east is known as the oil and gas capital of Europe. At the Chamber, we believe the region must evolve its position to being recognised as the energy capital. Whilst hydrocarbons will continue to be essential in driving our economy for years to come, the generation of renewable resources will play an increasingly important role in providing cost-effective power, innovative development and economic growth.

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce

The enthusiasm and dedication of the early group that would become AREG was fundamental in us choosing to launch All-Energy in Aberdeen. The first tiny show was held in 2001, and AREG’s Chairman at the time, Jeremy Cresswell, played such an active role that I often describe him in terms such as All-Energy’s ‘midwife’. All-Energy is now the UK’s largest renewable and low carbon energy exhibition and conference in terms of number of attendees, space booked, and number of exhibiting companies. As AREG became firmly established, their presence and support for the event grew spectacularly over the years. We thank them most sincerely for their invaluable input.


Vattenfall has forged a strong working relationship with AREG through the development of the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. AREG has worked tirelessly on behalf of the North East and it can take enormous credit for the growth of sustainable energy in the region and the path it has cleared for the region to capture further investment.


Aberdeen City and Shire is emerging as a key location for renewables by successfully transferring its world-class oil and gas expertise into the sector and AREG has done much to advance this through a broad range of initiatives. It has acted as a catalyst in driving further investment in the local economy by engaging with companies, Government, public bodies and existing projects and we have been pleased to support their efforts. Scottish Enterprise will continue to engage with AREG as we increase Scotland’s use of renewable energy.

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