Get to know the team: Bill Sutherland

Our team reached out to Bill Sutherland, rhi’s operations and lead consultant, to learn more about his experience, achievements and  career advice.

With over 40 years of experience in the energy industry, Bill Sutherland is a driving force behind rhi’s growth and expertise. Bill has worked in a variety of roles in the industry including lead positions within operations, cost and planning, finance and risk management, making him an invaluable asset to the team.

Can you tell us more about your career with rhi?

Throughout my career I have enjoyed a long association with rhi. This goes as far back as 1978 when I was helping Shell develop their offshore estimating norms for the North Sea alongside rhi’s offshore quantity surveying team.

Following a variety of consultancy roles, I joined rhi in 2010 as a cost and schedule risk analyst and planning consultant for our global clients. I am now our operations lead consultant and for the past 5-years have spent a large portion of my time in Norway working closely with our project estimating and risk analysis teams. When I’m back at our headquarters in Aberdeen, I manage work allocation, staff resourcing & development and client relations.

What has made you so successful in the role and what excites you most about it?

I always find it rewarding when clients continue to use our services, although I also really enjoy the challenge of taking on new clients and new projects. There are never two days the same at rhi and the diversity of my role means each project has its own challenges. This forces me to constantly find innovative solutions to problems, learn about the evolving market, and develop as a professional.

It is also incredibly important to understand what the client’s objectives are. We try and put ourselves in their position, help them articulate the ‘problem statement’ and then work with them to find the best solution.

Quite often, our clients know what they want to achieve but may not have the in-house resources, and in some cases the knowledge, to get there –that is where we come in.  Whether it’s carrying out due diligence on a potential acquisition or divestment, developing a new set of norms for a project they’ve not previously undertaken, or evaluating the cost benefit of relocating a refinery halfway round the world, we’ll find the right consultant and the best set of tools for the challenge.

Are there any achievements/learnings from your career you would like to share?

I am genuinely passionate about my job and interested in learning about new systems and processes. Along with software experts, I developed a decommissioning estimating system known as rhiDEMS, in 2017, which is now one of the leading software solutions of its kind. This system is used at the forefront of the decommissioning projects we support and allows clients to build scenarios and test how alternative strategies might impact the cost of their project. Risks can be highlighted, evaluated and where practicable, significantly reduced. Opportunities that may have been missed by conventional methods can also be evaluated as rhiDEMS has the capability to answers questions that in many cases, the client may not even have thought of yet.

I am proud to have been part of developing a system so widely used throughout my field. It is an immensely satisfying feeling knowing you are adding value to rhi and to the industry.

Any career advice for someone looking to further their career within rhi?

The best career advice I could give anyone, would be to get qualified as a quantity surveyor, grasp every opportunity offered to you and show a keenness to learn.  You do not want anything to become a hurdle for you later in your career, which is why I encourage my team to continue their professional development throughout their time at rhi.