Women in Industry – SUT Oi Session

12 March, 2024


SUT Women in Industry – Session at Oceanology International 2024.

1430-1530hrs | Ocean Futures Theatre

This panel session will feature women engineers, scientists and technologists from the subsea and wider marine sector sharing insights from their experience and consideration of the present and future opportunities, challenges and solutions.


  • Sue John, Chair, SUTWelcome and Introductions
  • Ila Glennie, VP Subsea Operations, BPLeadership Impact on Women in Industry
  • Phoebe Lipp, Offshore Geotechnical Engineer, ArupWomen in Offshore Geoscience from an Early Careers Perspective
  • Katie Cross, Principal Marine Consultant, ERMThe Aspiration of an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Kola Otekalu, Human Resources Director – EMEA & India, OceaneeringBreaking Boundaries: My Career Journey and Insights


Sue John, Chair, SUTWelcome and Introductions

A varied career and working life have led to my current role as Chair of the Society for Underwater Technology. From joining Barclays Bank and working through their career pathways, I have worked in many areas of South Wales. My next career move was to HMRC which allowed me to access adult education classes which rekindled my interest in science and engineering. Eventually I became a mature student and by the off chance a science communicator who worked in education.

I have worked in all Key Stages, specialising in primary education, but also with universities supporting students and academic staff under- and post-graduates in their outreach programmes. My area of research explored the various roles women played in NACA, [NASA’s precursor administration]. I also examined how they were viewed by their male colleagues and how they viewed themselves

I am a committed volunteer. I am a volunteer Apprentice Master, with the Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers, supporting an Arkwright Scholar and I am a Trustee of The Worshipful Company’s Charitable and Educational Fund. I was one of the first Science and Engineering Ambassador, now STEM Ambassadors.

My roles with the SUT have included: Chair of the Education and Training Committee; Committee Chair of the Education Support Fund; SUT Member of Council and Trustee. I was elected the first female Chair of the Society in December 2021.

Ila Glennie, VP Subsea Operations, BPLeadership Impact on Women in Industry

Ila Glennie is the VP of subsea operations for bp, leading the global operations and engineering organisation that operates and maintains bp’s subsea production systems and manages survey and positioning operations for the company. In her 28 years with bp she has been an engineering leader in operations and on multiple major subsea projects around the world and spent some time as a senior lecturer in subsea engineering at the University of Aberdeen. Ila is a director of bp shipping, a Fellow of the IMechE and graduate of Strathclyde University.


Phoebe Lipp, Offshore Geotechnical Engineer, ArupWomen in Offshore Geoscience from an Early Careers Perspective

Phoebe is an Offshore Geotechnical Engineer currently working at Arup in their Energy Geotechnics team. Her primary focus is on offshore renewables, with particular interest in offshore wind (fixed and floating). Though early into her career, Phoebe has been involved in various phases of windfarm projects, ranging from early feasibility studies and concept development through to decommissioning. Her expertise spans several key areas including Site Characterisation, Ground Modelling, Cable Assessments and Foundation Design. Additionally, she sits on the SUT’s Early Careers Offshore Site Investigation, Geoscience and Geotechnics (ECOSIGG) Committee.


Katie Cross, Principal Marine Consultant, ERMThe Aspiration of an Effective Work/Life Balance

Katie has a BSc (Hons) in Oceanography with Marine Biology from the University of Southampton and an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection from the University of Wales, Bangor. She has 20 years’ experience as a marine professional, primarily in the consulting and survey contracting sectors. Katie has a strong marine biology background and detailed knowledge of the legislative frameworks which govern UK waters. Combined, these have enabled her to successfully manage both renewables and O&G marine environmental and multidisciplinary surveys in the North Sea and worldwide.

At present Katie is a Principal Consultant with the Marine CPD team at ERM, where she manages the Ecology Consultancy Team as well as completes project work including: the development of the Environmental Mitigation and Monitoring Plan for a tidal development, designing/managing benthic scopes of work for numerous developments (O&G and renewables), EIA/ES project management and licensing/consenting/permitting work within a range of sectors.

Katie additionally chairs the SUT Marine Environmental Science Special Interest Group and is an IMarEST Chartered Marine Scientist and an IMarEST Chartered Scientist.

Kola Otekalu, Human Resources Director – EMEA & India, Oceaneering – Breaking Boundaries: My Career Journey and Insights

Kola is Human Resources Director- EMEA & India at Oceaneering, a subsea engineering and applied technology Company that provides engineered services and products to customers in the oil and gas, defence, entertainment, logistics, aerospace, science, and renewable energy industries.

With over 20 years of progressive HR experience, she has worked extensively in the People profession locally, internationally and across many sectors holding a variety of leadership positions including a previous role as Head of Global Talent Acquisition, where she had the privilege of driving the Company’s Talent attraction and retention strategy.

In her current role ‘Kola is a strategic partner to senior executives, influencing the shaping of their people strategies to build an engaged and enabled workforce that contributes to bottom-line success and enhances their employee experience. She holds an MSc in HR Management and is a Chartered Fellow of CIPD (FCIPD).

A trusted partner to her clients and workforce alike, ‘Kola is a lover of sports, a mentor and advocate for the advancement of women in the world of work. Outside of her profession, ‘Kola sits on the board of charitable organisations at home and abroad, she is married with two loving children.