Meet our Global Product Application Specialist, John Schakel. John’s day-to-day tasks cover a wide variety of technical and developmental support activities ranging from new products for four-stroke, medium-speed engines to advising customers on engine optimisation.
Name - John Schakel
Job title – Global PAS, Marine and Power
When – The night before a vessel visit
Where – A hotel in a secret location, near one of the UK’s major LNG terminals, in Pembrokeshire
PAS – what does that actually mean John?
Product Application Specialist (PAS) covers a wide range of technical and development support activities. For example, I am working on everything from new product development projects for 4 stroke medium speed engines to supporting customers who want specialist advice to optimise their feed rate or reduce wear rates.
I also work very closely with the major engine manufacturers such as MAN Diesel Turbo (MDT) and Wärtsilä – Having a good relationship with these major players is an important part of the development process in getting the products to market with the necessary approvals. I am very fortunate to be involved in the manufacturers’ new engine development programmes – the lubricant is somewhat considered as a component of the engine!
Favourite part of the job?
I have worked in the Marine industry for more than 30 years. After studying marine engineering I started as an Assistant Engineer onboard “reefer” vesels. After almost 20 years at sea I had the opportunity to join Shell, joining Shell Marine Products in 2004. Although time in the office is a necessity, engines and being onboard the vessels are my real passion.
I love the smell of the engine room and hearing and feeling the engines running. Part of my role is to occasionally carry out engine inspections for the large, slow speed 2 stroke engines. I love being able to see at first hand the performance of the Shell products. It really does make me happy when I can see clean pistons and clean ring packs and being able to deliver this good news to our customer and owners of the vessels.
I don’t have to tell you that vessels move around – a lot! This also includes the vessels that may be trialling Shell’s next generation of lubricant. It is a logistical challenge. Trying to keep a track of these vessels, jump on board for inspections, get data and measurements from the crew on board while also ensuring that all the necessary information is fed back to the lubricants development team and the engine manufacturer. However knowing that I possibly could be looking at the next formulation of Gadinia or Argina and seeing the enhanced benefit is very exciting!
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