Alumni at Work

Stephen Spratt

Stephen “Jack” Spratt  ’93

Major at MMA: BS Nautical Science (’93), MS Logistics Management (’02), and Graduate Maritime Management (’02)
Extracurricular involvement while at MMA: 1993 Class Secretary, Castine Fire Department, Bagaduce Ambulance Corps, Alpha Phi Omega, Sailing Team, Yacht Club
Employer: Assistant Fire Chief to the Castine Fire Department

Where has your career taken you since graduation?

My first job after graduation was to sail as Third Mate and Freshman Training Officer aboard the State of Maine for the ‘93 summer training cruise.

Upon completion of cruise I reported for active duty with the U.S. Navy, and served for 8 years.  During that time I was assigned to USS LABOON (DDG 58) and USS TEMPEST (PC 2).  I then returned to Castine and taught at Maine Maritime Academy and the University of Maine, Orono as part of the NROTC staff.  Upon completion of this assignment I transferred to the Naval Reserve, where I served for another 15 years.  I was recalled to active duty on several occasions, and worked for Naval Special Warfare Development Group.  From 2006 through 2010 I worked as a civil service government employee for the Department of Navy as the Director, Maritime Technical Consulting Team.  In this position I directed a team of industry specialists who provided technical support and consulting to Department of Defense and other governmental agencies.

On the merchant marine side, when not involved with the Navy, I have worked in the offshore oil and gas industry.  I started with GlobalSantaFe Drilling, and am now working for Transocean Deepwater Drilling.  I have worked in various positions within the Marine Department, and am currently serving in the capacity of Senior Dynamic Positioning Officer.

I have been a member of the MMA Alumni Association Board of Directors for the past several years, and this has given me the opportunity to work alongside some of our most dedicated alumni.

I reside year-round in Castine with my family, and serve as the town’s Assistant Fire Chief.  This position gives me a lot of opprtunity to work alongside many current MMA students.  I am very proud of the many MMA students volunteer to give back to both the Academy and the Castine community.

What is your current title and what are your responsibilities?

I am currently serving as the Senior Dynamic Positioning Officer aboard Transocean’s 7th Generation Ultra-Deepwater Drillship Deepwater Invictus.  As such, I stand a 12-hour bridge watch where I am primarily responsible for managing the high-precision dynamic station keeping of the drillship.  However, this is only one aspect of my work on a Drillship.  In addition, my responsibilities include the management and monitoring of the engineering, machinery and Doppler weather RADAR systems.  Also included is the coordination of helicopters, supply vessels and shipping traffic.  I also monitor our fire and gas detection and suppression systems, and serve as part of our emergency management command team.  My duties also include managing and coordination of operations between the ship’s different departments and our client, and I provide logistical coordination for daily task planning by administering the vessel’s Permit to Work system.

What piece of advice would you give to a student going into your field?

Be patient, and be accountable.  Advancement in the oil and gas industry comes in spurts, and right now the industry is in a down turn.  However, it will not last forever, and once things begin to pick up, there will be a lot of opportunity for growth.  MMA students headed for oil and gas will likely need to take an entry level position, where the industry generally watches to see how they will do.  Like anything worth having, you will have to earn your way up the ranks by proving to your supervisors that you are good at your job.  Being accountable for yourself and displaying a high level of integrity will serve you well as you continue to perpetuate MMA’s reputation of not being afraid to get dirty while taking on the tough jobs.

Also, give back.  Take account of the opportunities you have had, and do what you can to make our nation, your community and MMA better through your personal support and involvement.  Seek to help out our newest MMA alumni the same way I am sure someone looked out for you.  Help to perpetuate MMA’s reputation as the “Maine Mafia”, as we look out for our own.

How did the MMA experience prepare you for both your prior positions and your current career focus?

I could not have asked for a better education to prepare me for the things I have done.  The accountability, personal responsibility and work ethic that were imparted upon me at MMA have served me well in all of my different jobs, particularly while in the Navy.  I have come to truly appreciate the education I received, not only academically, but also the leadership and life skills I learned as part of the Regiment of Midshipmen.

What are your goals for the future?

I look forward to continuing to improve my skills and experience in both my seagoing and community activities.  I also hope to continue to remain engaged with Maine Maritime Academy as an active and involved alumnus.