Senior Project Manager
At R&M since
Project Management, Consulting
R&M Germany, Rostock
The story of Carolin Wanke
Since when are you part of the R&M Group?
More than 20 years ago, I had my first day at the R&M Group in Rostock, which at that time was called "R&M SIA Rostock, Schiffsisolierung und -ausbau GmbH".
What were your first tasks?
At that time, we were producing furnishing systems for ships, build in Rostock. My main task was the engineering. Using AutoCAD, I designed 2D interior design plans, wall and ceiling grid plans as well as all related interior design details and elements. This work is quite demanding, since the plans must comply with regulations, specifications, the wishes of the owner as well as manufacturing specifications in the context of certified products and we always must consider the processes on board.
How did your way continue?
Over time I gained a lot of experience in design and construction, in manufacturing processes as well as knowledge about the processes in the projects and the common practice on board. It is very important to know, how our systems are installed on board of ships and how interfaces of other trades influence our work. The exchange with the fitters and suppliers is also crucial. It's a bit of "learning by doing" because each project is different. You never stop learning, what gives definitely pleasure. Since my tasks became more and more extensive and I wanted to take over more responsibility, there was the vacancy for a project manager. An opportunity, that I immediately accepted and a job that I like till today.
What does your typical workday look like today?
Today, I am mainly responsible for "visual turnkey" projects of the Global class ships, at the shipyards in Wismar and Rostock-Warnemünde. I am also in charge of minor projects at Flensburger Schiffbau-GmbH & Co. KG in Flensburg. The shipyards in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are one of our most important customers and I have been looking after them since I started working in Rostock. We are very pleased about the well-filled order book and the demanding projects.
Tell me about your current project.
Currently, I am responsible for the interior design at the Genting Group’s two passenger ships "Global 1 + 2" with a volume of almost 4,000 square meters per ship, public areas for crew and passengers. These projects are very complex, as they involve a large number of suppliers in all areas.
How is the status of workflows in this project?
In addition to the first operations and inspections on board, we are currently still in the construction phase. At the same time, first cooperation with the shipyard, which goes hand in hand, have already started. As soon as the work on board starts, I will be on site at the shipyard very often. Until then, I will plan everything, as I call it, "up and running" together with my team, so that we can start on time and, above all, finish on time.
What do you particularly appreciate about the atmosphere and culture at R&M?
My colleagues - then and now - always have a sympathetic ear and we support each other when someone needs help or advice. This also works across all R&M Locations around the world. The internal communication is very important. There are many senior manager, and we all can benefit from their knowledge. Additionally, we employ many people with expertise in various disciplines – that is what makes our work so interesting.
What is particularly challenging as "Experts for ship interior."?
Passenger ships of this size require a large number of specialists. There are a lot of discipline coming together - it starts with the engineering and ends with the final installation and commissioning of systems and everything on the highest quality level. As a project manager you are the main interface between suppliers, designers, subcontractors, construction management, shipyard, architects and the shipping company. Due to the large number of trades and companies involved as well as employees, it is the communication between each other, that is the key to success. As a contractor, you always must be flexible. That's one of the biggest challenges.
© Photo: Silje Paul