MintMech Specialist Engineers: Flying the Flag for Cornish Engineering
MintMech are an innovative team of specialist engineers based in Penryn, specialising in the offshore and marine industries. Flying the flag for Cornish engineering, they are on a mission to champion local industry and encourage the next generation of young engineers to choose a career in the county.
Starting their careers in an international engineering company based in Cornwall, MintMech Directors Jack Berryman and Laurie Thornton honed their skills in the field, gaining invaluable, hands-on industry expertise from international offshore projects. Thriving in the unique, complex, and dynamic environments of the offshore engineering world, the pair seized the chance to plough their expertise into a fresh, innovative company of their own. Capitalising on unique project opportunities and focusing on building strong, local networks, they wanted to create something new and exciting to deliver bespoke engineering solutions and champion Cornish industry.
We chatted with one of MintMech’s Directors, Jack, about his experiences and why he is so passionate about flying the flag for engineering in Cornwall.
Speaking about where it all started, Jack explained: “I think there’s a real hub of engineers in Cornwall that hails back to the county’s mining industry. When the mines subsided, the marine industry took over. There’s a lot of transferable skills between the two – a lot of heavy industry and innovative, complex requirements. There was already this foundation of knowledge and the culture certainly travelled across with some of the early, pioneering offshore companies that were established in Cornwall. The county is world-renowned for drilling and inventive ways of mechanical engineering, demonstrating serious, creative problem solving. It’s a hotbed of innovation”.
Keen to ensure Cornwall continues to flourish as an industry leader, MintMech’s team are dedicated to supporting local infrastructure within the county. “With larger engineering organisations, they’re often owned by big companies, often abroad, and profits just disappear over the horizon, leaving the county and even the country. We want to build value in Cornwall and the South West, and to do that, the money needs to try and stay here. That’s one of the reasons that our team has fostered such a strong working relationship with our local supplier network. We have exceptionally high expectations and, by working with local manufacturers, we are able to raise the bar and also share the value of the high-end, complex engineering projects that we manage”.
“Fundamentally, we know what Cornwall is capable of delivering and we’re passionate about flying the flag for what the county can produce. For a long time, the county has been seen as a place that is just for tourism or just for holidays, but it has this serious engineering, industrial heritage and there’s a lot of very talented, industrious engineers based down here. MintMech and the companies we work with reflect that. We have an extensive network of manufacturers, makers and machinists in Cornwall that can handle all the complex requirements of our projects. Ultimately, we’re really good at what we do, and we recognise that other people are really good at what they do, so it makes sense to reduce our carbon footprint and support local, sustainable partnerships”.
Specialising in offshore engineering, MintMech’s turnkey solutions are certainly impressive: consulting, designing, building and commissioning for the heavy and marine industries. From drilling into underwater volcanoes to managing ultra deep-sea projects to creating bespoke handling equipment to improving operational safety onboard offshore vessels, their portfolio is as impressive as it is complex. “At MintMech, we have a really wide variety of projects that people get to work on. There are two sides to our business: the design, build and commission – actually making things which is fun and satisfying – and then there’s the high-level, professional services side where we’re acting as consulting engineers”.
And, of course, it’s not just the projects that have their own unique appeal. “I always have this vision that Cornwall is like a Silicon Valley but for engineering. We have all this amazing industry happening, but on the flipside, we are also able to benefit from one of the best lifestyles in the UK. Working in Cornwall, especially in this industry, you experience really challenging and rewarding projects that propel your personal and professional growth. Then, at the end of the day, you have the ability to go for a surf, swim, sail, cycle, or one of the many nice things that Cornwall has to offer. I really think the opportunity for engineers to work and live in Cornwall is one that’s difficult to beat.”
Looking to the future, Jack says: “It’s a really exciting time to be entering into the world of engineering and in Cornwall we’re at the centre of it all. A big focus for us, floating offshore wind is the next phase of offshore wind and we’re working on some really exciting projects. I don’t think we’ve seen the peak of fixed bottom windfarms, but floating offshore wind is going to absolutely take off. It has the potential to be the cheapest way of installing power at sea, and if we, together as an industry, can crack floating offshore wind, it’s going to really lift the lid on a whole new energy source for the planet”.
To support the next generation of engineering in Cornwall, MintMech engage with universities and local colleges to make sure anyone interested can experience what a career in engineering would be like. “We want to offer young engineers the chance to see under the hood of what happens in an engineering company. Once on board, we then continue to support professional development and work closely with IMechE to make sure everyone reaches Chartered status if that’s what they’re interested in doing. We support people in being the best they can and deliver the highest quality results for projects worldwide, assisting in the newly revitalised Cornish mining industry and paving the way for generations to come”.
If you’re interested in finding out more about MintMech Specialist Engineers, visit them online at mintmech.com