Member profile: David McGuire and Chris Dunn, Malin Marine Services

This month David and Chris tell us about their roles at Clyde based Malin Marine Services and the business’s ambitions to take the 200+ year old routes sailing into the future.


“…we look to utilise the established expertise within the team, coupled with cutting edge technology and techniques….”

Who are Malin Marine Services, Where are they based and when did they start?

The Malin Group represents a family of marine focused business units, each built on our core values of integrity, excellence, creativity and impartiality. We can trace our roots as far back as the mid -18th century with involvement in shipping and ship delivery through the successful years of ship construction and trade on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

More recently, we have grown and diversified – and over the last 15 years we have given life to a number of additional, specialist companies, cementing our place as one of the most comprehensive providers of end to end marine solutions in the world. These range from Malin Abram, heavy lift specialists, Malin Marine Equipment and Malin Marine Services, to Malin Newbuild who specialise in the fabrication and outfit of complex marine equipment, structures and vessels including a full range of pontoons and workboats (16, 17, 18, 18.3m and multicat variants), as well as a hydrogen bunker and transport ship. We also have Malin Augustea, a joint venture with an internationally renowned tug and barge owner; this partnership will bring a converted semi-submersible barge, one of the largest in Europe, to Glasgow later this year. That’s not to mention our vision for the Scottish Marine Technology Park (SMTP), which once complete will include a large fabrication facility and a deep-water jetty with a 1,100 tonne ship hoist – the largest of its kind in Europe. The Group represents an innovative, vibrant company, but one based on a solid heritage and understanding of the history and needs of the market.

What are your roles within the company?

Chris is a Principal Naval Architect, with David a Sales Engineer.

Chris provides technical guidance to many of the projects across the group, in particular acting as a link between the business units. This critical role is to ensure, as an organisation, we best utilise the diverse technical talent found across our colleagues. He is spearheading company efforts to develop expertise in high efficiency, low emission marine vessel systems and as a result Malin has launched a range of concept designs for hybrid, full electric and hydrogen powered workboats over the last few months.  Chris is project lead on several of the disruptive innovation projects currently underway at Malin, in particular the conversion of one of the largest semi-submersible barges in Europe that will be mobilising to its new home on the River Clyde later in the year.

David works across Malin Newbuild, Marine Services and Marine Equipment, acting as a central point of contact for current and potential clients. This role sees him responsible for cultivating new client relationships as well as servicing the needs of current clients.  He also acts as a crucial bridge between clients and our technical team, communicating client requirements and ensuring projects are delivered to spec, on time and within budget. This service continues throughout the client relationship, form enquiry, to project completion and to aftercare.

When did you start with Malin?

Chris joined Malin in early 2020, with David more recently moved to cover the new business units in Autumn 2020, having previously worked for one of our sister companies.

What are your backgrounds?

Chris – A Chartered Engineer and a Member of the Royal Institute of Naval Architects, he has over 25 years’ experience in the Shipbuilding and Offshore Wind sectors in the West of Scotland, gaining experience in many of the technical departments within the Upper Clyde shipyards during his 17 years with BAE Systems.

In 2011 he moved from his position as Technical Project Manager at BAE to the Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa Offshore Wind where he helped develop the turbine manufacture, transportation, assembly and logistics strategies for their offshore installations. He returned to shipbuilding as Chief Naval Architect at Ferguson Marine in 2014, leading the design department & drawing office and responsible for providing technical leadership and naval architectural support to the design, construction and repair of their marine vessels.

David – David entered the Strathclyde Academy and after obtaining his HNC, he moved into the studies of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering at Strathclyde University. While studying at Strathclyde, he participated in a Summer school programme at Harbin Institute of Technology in Weihai. Before achieving his BEng, David worked at the Malin group in back-to-back Summer Internships before being offered a full position in the sales team of Malin Newbuild.

What are the key focuses of the Malin Group?

As noted above, the Group spans a number of specialisms, providing end to end solutions for the market. As such, we can assist clients in developing designs, verifying or modifying extant designs, fabrication, delivery, finishing – really anything that is required to meet the objectives of the project.

Our key focuses however flow from our values – a commitment to expertise and excellence, combined with impartiality, ensuring that our clients’ needs are at the forefront of all that we do. We are passionate about providing innovative, yet effective solutions and in harnessing the latest technologies to progress practice but also have a positive impact from a sustainability perspective. A great example of this is the recent fleet of vessels developed to challenge existent designs, with a view to offer more efficient and sustainable models. The range, covering hybrid, electric and hydrogen solutions – we look to utilise the established expertise within the team, coupled with cutting edge technology and techniques.

Are there any growth predictions for the company?

The company have already significantly grown and will continue to do so, as we strive to develop our areas of specialism and offering. A key element of this will be the delivery of the SMTP, which not only offers the opportunity to create significant numbers of employment opportunities but also to redefine what it means to work in this industry for this and future generations. It will also be the home to our new barge offering, as well as providing a hub from which to design, fabrication and launch new vessels.

What will be benefit to the Workboat Industry to these changes?

Malin is successfully working across the marine sector, spanning sustainable vessel design, semi-and fully automated fabrication techniques, advanced mechanical handling systems and emission reduction solutions.  This wealth of expertise and experience – combined with the vision to create a new, state-of-the-art fabrication facility on the banks of the Clyde will deliver the expertise necessary to develop a high-quality workboat factory; and one that will be capable of producing the next generation of green, affordable, efficient and effective workboats.

How can the Workboat Association help Malin Marine Services with its future?

The Workboat Association is a cornerstone of the marine sector, and membership enables us to keep in touch with industry colleagues.  The newsletters and publications not only give us invaluable insight into the main issues of the day but will also provide a fantastic platform for us to communicate results of our case studies, demonstrator projects and technological developments.  Most importantly however, the association will hopefully provide us with the opportunity to establish and develop meaningful partnerships going forward, ones which will enable us together to continually develop practice, alongside new greener, more efficient solutions.

Will you invite us to visit the new Technology Park once it is completed (and COVID allows?!)

Of course! This innovative facility will offer a common marine facility, with opportunities across marine manufacture, ship repair, renewables, marine electrical and marine service provision, teamed with an impressive infrastructure and variety of amenities. Together, this will form an impressive cluster, enabling like-minded, complimentary companies to thrive on a common, innovative space – so all visitors and collaborators will be welcomed!

Innovation will be welcomed at the park – our open approach to the development of the space, combined with a commitment to creativity, opens up an array of opportunities to create a research and development hub, with the appropriate infrastructure to nurture and develop technological innovation. Scotland has a strong heritage as a maritime leader, and the SMTP aims to continue this trusted tradition through the creation of an innovation culture and community. And we can’t wait to show this off, get others involved and share the opportunities it delivers.

Member profile: David McGuire and Chris Dunn, Malin Marine Services